PR Power Hours

PR PowerHour Logo

Fast, focused and always on Fridays, NSPRA’s PR Power Hour professional development series, sponsored by TeacherLists, provides insights and best practices from top experts in school communications. NSPRA builds its lineup  of live, virtual programming after scanning the education landscape for big challenges, innovative ideas, hot trends and new tools affecting the work of school communicators.

The once-monthly PR Power Hours are scheduled for September through June and broadcast via Zoom on  Fridays at noon Eastern (11 a.m. Central, 10 a.m. Mountain, 9 a.m. Pacific). 

NSPRA members, you save $30 on the registration fee for every live PR Power Hour! 

PR Power Hour Topics in 2020-21

Registration

Tune in live

There are two registration options for viewing the live PR Power Hours:

  • NSPRA members: Registration for each live PR Power Hour is only $59 for current association members
  • Non-members: Registration for each live PR Power Hour is $89 per registered attendee.

Watch it again later

There are three options available to access recordings of PR Power Hours:

  1. Register for a PR Power Hour, and you can purchase the recording of that same program for just $10.
  2. Register for five or more PR Power Hours, and you will receive access to the recordings of those same programs for no additional fee. 
  3. Missed registering for a live PR Power Hour? Purchase the recording of past programs for only $69 as a NSPRA member or$99 as a non-member.

Sign up now

Find your  favorite PR Power Hour below and select "REGISTER NOW" to register online for an individual session, or to register for multiple sessions, download and submit the registration form (fillable PDF).

Sponsored by TeacherLists logo with an apple and a checkmark


Communicating Constant Change in the COVID-19 Era

Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 @ Noon Eastern - REGISTER NOW

For public schools, the ongoing pandemic has brought extended shutdowns, unexpected system-wide moves to remote learning, new safety measures that strain school budgets, and conflicting guidance on re-opening while social distancing. Districts have also had to prepare for short-notice school closures amid new COVID-19 outbreaks during the school year. These constant changes are challenging districts’ ability to effectively communicate with staff, students and their families. 

In this session, discover how leading school districts are managing to keep their staff and families well-informed and engaged with district messaging despite the evolving pandemic situation for public schools. Learn how they are delivering clear, consistent and timely messages even as health guidance changes and new questions come in from the community. Use the live Q&A and chat features for personalized advice.

This learning opportunity is ideal for school PR pros who worry they may be under- or over-communicating with stakeholders in an era of constant change. Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

PRESENTERS

Justin ElbertTracy Jentz, APRArianna Vazquez-Hernandez, APR

  • Justin Elbert, director of external communications, Klein (Texas) Independent School District  (~53,000 students)
  • Tracy Jentz, APR, communications and community engagement coordinator, Grand Forks (N.D.) Public Schools (~7,500 students); officer-elect of the NSPRA Executive Board
  • Arianna Vazquez-Hernandez, APR,  executive director of communications, marketing & public information, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, Pharr, Texas (~31,000 students)

MODERATOR

Patrick Gallaway

  • Patrick Gallaway, NSPRA Mideast Region Vice President

Register now for the September 2020 PR Power Hour.

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Telling Your Hybrid Learning Stories While Maintaining Student Safety and Privacy

Friday, Oct. 23, 2020 @ Noon Eastern - REGISTER NOW

For school communicators, the move to widespread online learning means that knowing who is an opt-out or opt-in is no longer the biggest worry in capturing classroom stories. For starters: Where do you go to find engaging stories of public education if many of your students aren’t in a physical classroom? Virtual learning has also opened a video-window into students’ private home environments (think: mom walking by in her pajamas), and in some schools, given disrupters the opportunity for uninvited drop-ins (think: R-rated comments in an elementary Zoom room). 

Learn how to tell your district’s education story whether your students are in class, in a hybrid model or strictly online at home. Get ideas for telling the story of a virtual learning environment while maintaining student privacy and parents’ confidence in the safety of your new learning model. Use the live Q&A and chat features for personalized advice from the presenters, whose district overcame a Zoom-bombing incident that earned national attention. 

This learning opportunity is ideal for school PR pros seeking storytelling inspiration in the era of virtual and in-person schooling. Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

PRESENTERS

David StephensonKimberly Bird

  • David Stephenson, Administrator of Public Relations, Alpine School District, American Fork, Utah (~81,000)
  • Kimberly Bird, Assistant to the Superintendent/Administrator of Public Relations, Alpine School District, American Fork, Utah (~81,000 students)

MODERATOR

Mychal Frost

  • Mychal Frost, NSPRA Southeast Region Vice President  

Register now for the October 2020 PR Power Hour.

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Show Your Story: The Keys to Better In-House Videos

Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 @ Noon Eastern - REGISTER NOW

Video storytelling and production skills have become necessary for the modern communications department. Whether you’re a one-person shop or one of many on a large team, chances are you’ve been asked to use video to increase support for and engagement with your school district. Explore the video communication best practices of a district that has earned numerous NSPRA Awards of Excellence for in-house videos. 

The three panelists, who each have backgrounds in professional broadcasting or reporting, will share universal tips for producing better videos that can be adapted to the unique needs and equipment in your school system. Use the live Q&A and chat features for more personalized advice.

This virtual learning opportunity is ideal for school PR pros who want to improve their video skills. Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

PRESENTERS

Stacia HarrisBen RickertTim Reaves

  • Stacia Harris, Communications Director, Buncombe County Schools, Asheville, NC (~25,000 students)
  • Ben Rickert, Assistant Director of Communications, Buncombe County Schools, Asheville, NC (~25,000 students)
  • Tim Reaves, Digital Communications Specialist, Buncombe County Schools, Asheville, NC (~25,000 students)

MODERATOR

Curtis Campbell

  • Curtis Campbell, NSPRA Northwest Region Vice President 

Register now for the November 2020 PR Power Hour.

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Markers of Success: Proving the Value of Your Communications

Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 @ Noon Eastern  - REGISTER NOW

What gets measured, gets valued. What gets valued, gets to stay in the school budget. Do you have the data, tools and knowledge you need to show how your communications program contributes to school district success? Explore a variety of strategies and tactics – from small and free to large and comprehensive – that a district or department can use to show the value, or return on investment (ROI), of its communications. 

Use the live Q&A and chat features for personalized advice from the three panelists, who all have a background in communications ROI work. 

This virtual learning opportunity is ideal for school PR pros looking to maintain or expand their communications program. Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

PRESENTERS

Natalie AllenTim Carroll, APRSandy Cokeley, APR

  • Natalie Allen, Chief Media and Communications Officer, Virginia Beach City Public Schools (~70,000 students)
  • Tim Carroll, APR, retired, 2020 NSPRA Learning and Liberty Legacy Leader
  • Sandy Cokeley, APR, CEO and Founder, SCoPE School Surveys, 2020 NSPRA Presidents Award

MODERATOR

Angela Marshall

  • Angela Marshall, NSPRA Northeast Region Vice President

Register now for the December 2020 PR Power Hour.

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Simple Steps to Transform Your Communication To-Dos Into a Strategic Communication Plan

Friday, Jan. 15, 2021 @ Noon Eastern - REGISTER NOW

An annual to-do list of communication responsibilities is not a strategic communication plan. Strategic public relations – the gold standard for Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) – starts with solid planning. As a school PR professional, you can improve the effectiveness of your communications and your ability to support district goals by following the four-step strategic PR planning method. 

In this how-to session, learn simple steps for revamping your current plans for communication to create a truly strategic communication plan. The presenters will share signs to look for to determine whether your current plan is likely to be a dust collector, a to-do list or a valuable tool for communication success. Explore the key principles of the four-step process – research, planning, implementation and evaluation (RPIE) – that will help you plan effective PR programs that get the results your district needs.

This virtual learning opportunity is ideal for school PR pros who are new to communication planning or who are interested in pursuing their APR. Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

PRESENTERS

Adrienne Leon, APRErica Chandler, APR

  • Adrienne Leon, APR, Director of Communications and Public Relations, Capital Region BOCES, Albany, N.Y.; NSPRA representative to the Universal Accreditation Board
  • Erica Chandler, APR, Director of Communications, Affton (Mo.) School District (~2,600 students)

MODERATOR

Lesley Bruinton, APR

  • Lesley Bruinton, APR, NSPRA President 2020-21

Register now for the January 2021 PR Power Hour.

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Uncomfortable Conversations: How to Engage Your School Community in Equity Work

Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 @ Noon Eastern - REGISTER NOW

The conversations people least want to have are often the ones they most need to start. In school communities, such uncomfortable conversations around issues of equity, inclusion and diversity can be polarizing if handled poorly but unifying if handled well. Discover best-practice strategies for school districts looking to engage their community in the conversations necessary for successful equity work. 

Use the live Q&A and chat features to get personalized advice from the three panelists, who serve on NSPRA’s Communication Equity and Diversity Task Force

This virtual learning opportunity is ideal for school PR pros who want to help build equitable, inclusive school environments. Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

PRESENTERS

Royal Gurley, Ed.D.Joseph OrtizCatherine Carbone Rogers, APR

  • Royal Gurley, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent, Dinwiddle County (Va.) Public Schools  (~4,400 students) 
  • Joseph Ortiz, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Tolleson Union High School District, Tolleson, Ariz. (~12,000 students) 
  • Catherine Carbone Rogers, APR, Chief Communications Officer, Highline Public Schools, Burien, Wash. (~20,000 students) 

MODERATOR

Yolanda Stephen, APR

  • Yolanda Stephen, APR, officer-elect to the position of NSPRA Vice President for Diversity Engagement 

Register now for the February 2021 PR Power Hour.

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Creative Tactics to Expand Your District’s Social Media Presence

Friday, March 5, 2021 @ Noon Eastern - REGISTER NOW

More than 70% of U.S. adults use social media, and in Canada, 61% of adults use it every day. It’s no surprise then that in a survey of NSPRA members, respondents ranked social media top among communication tools for return on investment. But just being on social media is not enough to ensure that a school district will effectively reach and engage its parents, staff and students online.

Discover the strategies that award-winning districts have used to grow their social media presence and increase stakeholder engagement. Learn tactics for connecting with students on their favorite social media platforms. Hear tricks for capturing special moments through user generated content, which can help overcome the challenges of remote learning and social distancing. Use the live Q&A and chat features to get personalized advice. 

This virtual learning opportunity is ideal for school PR pros who want to expand their school districts’ social media presence and increase stakeholders’ online engagement. Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

PRESENTERS

Kristin Boyd EdwardsHeather Kahoun

  • Kristin Boyd Edwards, Communications Director, Reading (Pa.) School District (~18,000 students) 
  • Heather Kahoun, Community Relations Specialist - Social Media, Osceola County School District, Kissimmee, Fla. (~72,000 students)

MODERATOR

Melissa McConnell

  • Melissa McConnell, District Communications Specialist, Belton (Mo.) School District #124; officer-elect to NSPRA Executive Board 

Register now for the March 2021 PR Power Hour.

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Finding Strength in Self-Care: Guidance for School PR Professionals 

Friday, April 16, 2021 @ Noon Eastern - REGISTER NOW

How do you make time to take care of yourself, when the school PR profession can feel like a 24-hour job? When crisis training rarely covers personal care, how do you assess your own balance and wellness? More importantly, how do you know when it's time to call for reinforcements?

In this session, learn strategies and techniques you can begin using right away to ensure you deliver the greatest value to your district – while staying well for yourself and your loved ones. 

PRESENTERS

Chris Tennill, APRKevin Tennill, LPC

  • Chris Tennill, APR, chief communications officer, Clayton (Mo.) School District (~2,600 students)  
  • Kevin Tennill, Licensed Professional Counselor 

MODERATOR

Joe Ferdani, APR

  • Joe Ferdani, APR, NSPRA Southwest Region Vice President

Register now for the April 2021 PR Power Hour.

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Accessibility Best Practices for the Digital School Community

Friday, May 14, 2021 @ Noon Eastern - REGISTER NOW

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires school districts to communicate with people who have communication disabilities in ways that are equally effective as those for people without disabilities. But beyond the law, it is now a demand among most parents and staff that school district communications are more accessible and effective for people of all abilities.

Yet many districts today still struggle to ensure that all of their communication content and channels – including external and internal websites, social media, mobile apps, automated messaging systems, virtual classrooms and data dashboards – follow best-practice standards for accessibility.  

In this session, explore why accessibility matters more than ever for public schools; best practices in accessibility for school district digital communications; and how to start (or restart) the conversation on the changes necessary to improve the accessibility of your district and school communications.

This virtual learning opportunity is ideal for school PR pros who want to ensure their stakeholders can receive, understand and take action on district communications. Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

PRESENTERS

Amanda Holdsworth, Ed.D., APRTom Scheidel

  • Amanda Holdsworth, Ed.D., APR, founder of Amanda Holdsworth Communications
  • Tom Scheidel, public information coordinator, Allegan (Mich.) Area Educational Service Agency 

MODERATOR

David Sovine, Ed.D.

  • David Sovine, Ed.D., NSPRA Vice President at Large — Superintendents of Schools 

Register now for the May 2021 PR Power Hour.

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Building Understanding for the Role of School Resource Officers

Friday, June 11, 2021 @ Noon Eastern - REGISTER NOW

For decades, school resource officers (SROs) have filled the safety needs and requirements of their local school districts, and many continue to do so today. But as societies and schools discuss the role of police officers in their communities, the role of SROs has and may continue to change. Consider: Are your local officers' duties this school year different than in the past, and if so,  how? What do they and your school district leaders foresee as future trends in the work of SROs for local schools?

In this session, explore the role of and challenges for SROs in today's schools as well as how a school communication professional can work with those tasked with keeping students, staff and schools safe.

PRESENTERS

Mo CanadyChristy McGee, APR

  • Mo Canady, Executive Director, National Association of School Resource Officers
  • Christy McGee, APR, Director of Communications, Fountain-Fort Carson (Colo.) School District 8 (~8,500 students)

MODERATOR

Nicole Kirby, APR

  • Nicole Kirby, APR, NSPRA president-elect 2020-21

Register now for the June 2021 PR Power Hour.

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