Pre-Seminar Workshops

NSPRA 2021 New Orleans logo and cityscape

Maximize your NSPRA 2021 National Seminar experience by registering for pre-Seminar workshops on July 10-11! Both in-person and virtual workshops are available on topics of interest to school public relations professionals. These in-depth, information-packed workshops offer extended learning opportunities to early birds who want to make the most of their summer professional development. 

In-Person Workshops (Sheraton New Orleans Hotel)

Virtual Workshop (Online Only)

Those who register for pre-Seminar workshops and the National Seminar receive discounted registration rates on pre-Seminar workshops. Register online now!

Cancellation Policy: For pre-Seminar workshops, 25% of the workshop fee is nonrefundable for cancellations received by May 28. For cancellations received from May 29 - June 12, 50% of the workshop fee is nonrefundable. After June 12, no refunds are available. If a workshop is canceled by NSPRA due to low enrollment, its registrants may enroll in a different, similarly priced workshop of their choosing.


In-Person Workshops (Sheraton New Orleans Hotel)


Hiring Solutions Start with Great Communications

Attracting and retaining quality employees—especially for those high-demand teaching, substitute and bus driver positions—is a struggle for most public schools, even without a global pandemic. Learn how to improve employee recruitment, onboarding and retention through strategic partnerships between the school communications and human resources functions. Discover why the most effective employee recruitment efforts start with sound communication planning. Register now!

When: Saturday, July 10, from 9 a.m. - noon Central Time

Where: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, room TBA

Registration Fee:

  • $240 if only registering for the workshop
  • $190 if registering for the workshop and the full Seminar (additional fee)

What to Bring: Laptop/tablet

Presenter: 

Amber Graham FitzgeraldAmber Graham Fitzgerald spent eight years transforming employee recruitment efforts for an 8,000-student school system, as its executive director of human resources and communications. Today she is the director of member engagement for the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, but she spent more than two decades in total leading school district communications. Early in her career, she also spent several years as an education reporter. She also holds a master's in educational leadership and administration as well as an Oklahoma teaching certificate in journalism.

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Secrets to Quality PR–News Media Relationships

Whether your schools are in the news daily or rarely, the relationship between your communications office and local news media outlets directly affects the quality of local K-12 education coverage. Explore why the public relations–news media relationship can be challenging and what to avoid when connecting with a new-to-you reporter. Discover effective strategies for building relationships with reporters, old and new, that will improve the quality and accuracy of your media coverage. Learn about the changing dynamics in news rooms today and why those should factor into your media pitch plans. Register now! 

When: Saturday, July 10, from 1-4 p.m. Central Time

Where: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, room TBA

Registration Fee:

  • $240 if only registering for the workshop
  • $190 if registering for the workshop and the full Seminar (additional fee)

What to Bring: Laptop/tablet

Presenter: 

Jinx BroussardJinx C. Broussard is a professor with the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, where she teaches public relations, strategic communications, media history and mass media theory. She was named the 2018 Teacher of the Year by the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Her research interests include the black press, representations of racial and ethnic minorities, media history, alternative media, crisis communication, public relations strategies and tactics, and the civil rights movement. Broussard is author of the 2013 national award-winning book African American Foreign Correspondents: A History, which followed Giving a Voice to the Voiceless: Four Pioneering Black Women Journalists. Her most recent book, Journalism and Public Relations in Times of Crisis: A Symbiotic Relationship, draws from her work as a public relations practitioner and teacher. 

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APR Prep: Get Ready for Universal Accreditation

Want to advance your public relations role from tactician to adviser? Then now is the time to earn your Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). This in-depth workshop will help you prepare for the Accreditation process and the computer-based exam by providing a solid grounding in the knowledge, skills and abilities tested. Learn which topics are assessed and how to plan and prepare for the various exam components. During this workshop, you’ll also build a new network of school PR colleagues to join you on the APR journey. Register now! 

When: Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Central Time

Where: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, room TBA

Registration Fee: 

  • $399 if only registering for the workshop
  • $349 if registering for the workshop and the Seminar (additional fee)

What to bring: Laptop/tablet

Presenters: 

Naomi Hunter, APRNaomi Hunter, APR, has more than 26 years of experience in strategic communications and public relations in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  She served as director of communications for the Redwood City School District for more than 10 years before launching Naomi Hunter Communications in 2017. She served as president of the Public Relations Society of America, San Francisco Chapter in 2014 and currently serves on the board of the California School Public Relations Association (CalSPRA). She has presented workshops at conferences for NSPRA, CalSPRA, the Association of California School Administrators' Women in School Leadership Conference and the Association of California School Administrators' Classified Educational Leaders Institute. She is chair of NSPRA's Accreditation Committee.

Rebecca Villarreal, APRRebecca Villarreal, APR, has more than 16 years of experience in school public relations. She is the director of communications for the New Braunfels (Texas) Independent School District, which serves more than 9,000 students. She also is president-elect for the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA). In addition to her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), she holds a master's degree in communication arts. She represents the South Central Region as a member of NSPRA's Accreditation Committee.

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Virtual Workshop (Online Only)


Strategic Planning for the One-Person Communications Office

Many NSPRA members fly solo in their school districts. This virtual workshop will allow practitioners who operate a one-person school communications office to come together and work to develop and improve their strategic communication plans, as well as their knowledge base and skill sets, with guidance from experienced school public relations pros who also work in one-person offices. Participants will have the opportunity to either create a strategic communication plan for their district or to refine the plan they have in place. Working with those who have similar experience, participants will have time to collaborate, organize and write their plan following the four-step strategic planning process. New for 2021: Small-group breakout room discussions will cover topics based on level of experience. This session is based on the award-winning work of the Missouri School Public Relations Association (MOSPRA).  Register now! 

When: Sunday, July 11, from 9 a.m. - noon Central Time

Where: Online

Registration Fee: 

  • $240 if only registering for the workshop
  • $190 if registering for the workshop and the full Seminar (additional fee)

What to Have: Your district's strategic plan, and if you have one, your current communication plan for your district

Presenters: 

Erica Chandler, APRErica Chandler, APR, is the director of communications for Affton School District, which serves 2,900 students in St. Louis, Missouri. She has been working in school public relations for eight years, with an additional 12 years spent in concert and entertainment PR and marketing. Erica is active in the community and serves as the secretary for the Affton Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves as president-elect of the Missouri School Public Relations Association, and was named an NSPRA Front-Runner in 2019. She has presented at numerous regional, state and national conferences.

Jill FilerJill Filer is the director of communications and community relations for the Harrisonville School District, which serves 2,500 students in Harrisonville, Missouri. She has 26 years of experience in public education, first as a high school journalism teacher for eight years and then 18 more in her current position. She has served as the president of the Missouri School Public Relations Association, and was the recipient of the MOSPRA Professional of the Year Award in 2013 and the MOSPRA Tina Zubeck Spirit Award in 2015. Jill was named an NSPRA Front-Runner in 2011. She has presented at numerous regional, state and national conferences.

Stephanie Smith, APRStephanie Smith, APR, is the director of public relations for the Fort Osage R-1 School District, which serves more than 4,900 students in Independence, Missouri. She has been with Fort Osage for 15 years. Stephanie is very active in the community, including being the past president of the Eastern Independence Rotary and past Buckner Chamber of Commerce President as well as serving on various non-profit committees. She is the past president of the Missouri School Public Relations Association and was named the MOSPRA Professional of the Year in 2016. She has presented as numerous regional, state and national conferences.

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