Education Communicators Boot Camp 4

26-27 October, Catalyst Ranch, Chicago


Education Communicators Boot Camp 4


26-27 October, Catalyst Ranch, Chicago

About the Event

We are pleased to welcome you to the most comprehensive training for communications professionals in the education sector in North America!

This Boot Camp offers your organization the opportunity to update your communications strategy and protect your reputation in an increasingly polarized environment through case studies presented by communicators from North America's leading universities.

Come and hear how Stanford, Harvard, Northeastern, University of Georgia, and University of Notre Dame are updating their communications strategies.

Our inspiring speakers will discuss the latest communication issues and trends, including:

  • Crisis communications planning for a polarized world
  • Communicating effectively with employees in today's rapidly changing environment
  • How to avoid purpose-washing and stay true to your core values, purpose, and strategies.
  • The importance of participating in the cultural conversation and influencing action
  • Embedding inclusivity across all communications
  • Creating authentic student-centered content
  • How can we become more data-literate in communications?
  • Assessing the digital landscape for PR in the present and future
  • Top reputational threats in 2024 and beyond

Interested in attending with your colleagues? Contact Stan today for more info on our group discounts!


Facts & Figures

  • The Education Communicators Boot Camp is brought to you by P World, the world's leading organizer of PR Summits and Boot Camps
  • In the past, the Boot Camp has been attended by senior PR and communications professionals from the following institutions: Saint Joseph's University, Harvard-Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Dalhousie University , Lamar University , Phillips Academy Andover, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology , Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, La Sierra University, Duke University, The Ohio State University, Sustainability Institute, Mount Holyoke College , Westminster Theological Seminary , USC Iovine and Young Academy , CSU, Gladstone Institutes , UALR William H. Bowen School of, Law , Neumann University, Fordham Law School , PCOM Georgia , Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis , University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Colorado State University....


Greg Trevor University of Georgia

Irene Payne Kenyon International Emergency Services

Farnaz Khadem Stanford University

Meghan Donovan Northeastern University

Dr. Yan Jin University of Georgia

Molly Seltzer Princeton University

Jenna Rehnstrom-Liberto University of Notre Dame

Sue Ryan University of Notre Dame

Kimberly Moniz Harvard University

Sabrina Debrosse Harvard University



 Registration and Morning Coffee


Opening Fireside Chat: Crisis Planning in a Polarized World and Protecting Your Reputation in an Age of Permacrisis
In an era of permacrisis and deep polarization, having the right approach to reputation management is more critical than ever. Farnaz will share how she leads crisis communications at a world-class institution and best strategies to maintain and mitigate reputational damage in a rapidly changing landscape. 
Farnaz Khadem, Vice President for University Communications, Stanford University


Preparing the Next Generation of Crisis Communicators 
As the world becomes more polarized and complex, and demand continues to rise for skilled communicators who can manage crises in business, academia and the non-profit sector, the University of Georgia is expanding its innovative program to educate and prepare students for crisis communication careers by combining the knowledge and insights of leading academics and experienced practitioners from around the world.  
Building on more than five years of success – including groundbreaking academic research, an annual Crisis Communication Think Tank with ongoing thought leadership development programming, and the placement of graduates at leading firms and universities – UGA is taking steps to expand this program to include graduate education and executive training. The stated goal: make the University of Georgia the “go-to place for the study of crises.” 
Dr. Yan Jin, C. Richard Yarbrough Professor in Crisis Communication Leadership, University of Georgia 
Greg Trevor, Associate Vice President and University Spokesperson, University of Georgia 


Lunch for Speakers and Delegates


Engaging External and Internal Stakeholders Through Authentic Stories
In a world where content is king, communicators must think strategically about engaging external and internal stakeholders through the creation of authentic stories and aligned messaging. Sue Ryan (media relations) and Jenna Liberto (internal communications) from the University of Notre Dame dive into the innovative ways their teams are collaborating to produce content that thrives across internal and external platforms, improving efficiency, expanding creativity, and increasing engagement.
Jenna Liberto, Director of Internal Communications, Office of Public Affairs and Communications, University of Notre Dame
Sue Ryan, Director of Media Relations, University of Notre Dame


Creating Authentic Student-Centered Content
Highlighting our students to showcase their expertise, personalities, passions, and experiences, while also illustrating the uniqueness of our faculty, programs, and campuses as an institutional account has become increasingly more challenging in a video-heavy social landscape that prioritizes authenticity. Kim and Sabrina will share how they use photo, video, and written pieces to give voice to Harvard students' authentic experiences and stories across platforms.
Kimberly Moniz, Assistant Director of Content Strategy, Harvard University
Sabrina Debrosse, Communications & Engagement Manager, Harvard University


Networking and Refreshment Break


 How Can We Become More Data Literate in Communications
In today's world of rapid change, data is everything. During this interactive keynote, Meghan is going to talk to you about how to create student-centered content and how to use data to tell a compelling story. More importantly she will focus on proving the value of social to your C-suite and will share her journey of how they got senior management to invest in social by proving their success using data. 
Meghan Donovan, Director of Digital News and Social Media, Northeastern University


Communicating Environmental Research to a Skeptical Audience
Figuring out what’s unique about your campus’ sustainability work and environmental research is not easy. In this talk, Molly will offer tips for developing effective communications strategies around environmental research and sustainability projects on campus. Molly will also discuss how to communicate technical environmental research for the popular press, drawing on her experience as an environmental communicator focused on energy and climate solutions, first as a freelance reporter for, then at Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and now at Princeton’s Office of Communications. She will cover the tools she used to amplify Princeton’s landmark study, the Net-Zero America report, which earned wide-ranging, consistent coverage in the NYTimes, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Economist and other outlets. The insights will help guide your organization on how develop and tell an authentic and compelling sustainability story.

Molly Seltzer, Environmental Content Strategist, Princeton University


End of Day One


A Full Day Interactive Workshop with Irene Payne: Test and Update Your Crisis Plan for a Polarized World

Whether it is a worldwide pandemic as COVID-19, a disaster or an active shooter on campus, crises pose a great risk to your organization's reputation. These events often unfold at great speed, forcing public relations and communications professionals to act rapidly to prevent reputational damage from occurring. In order to respond effectively to a crisis, it is essential to consider the most important factors: the severity of the situation, its impact on the business' commercial, financial, and reputational interests, and how it must be managed strategically.
Presented by Irene Payne, a renowned international crisis communications expert, particularly on firearms incidents in educational settings, this one-day interactive workshop, will prepare you with a comprehensive understanding of strategic crisis management and communication protocols as well as how to establish effective media relations. 
You will also learn effective strategies for managing reputational crises and establishing crisis leadership in order to protect brand trust. Upon completing this workshop, you will be armed with the skills necessary to protect your organization against reputational shocks and damages, and you will emerge from any crisis with a more positive image.

Benefits of attending:
- Minimize the damage caused by a crisis by detecting early warning signs
- Develop a crisis management and communication plan that is robust and effective
- Communicate effectively during times of complex crisis with diverse stakeholders
- Select the appropriate communication channel
- Communicate when information is scarce
- Manage aggressive media interviews more effectively
- Take full control of media exposure by crafting powerful key messages
- Manage crises effectively using social media

About Your Workshop Leader:
Irene Payne is the Associate Director of Crisis Communications at Kenyon International Emergency Services. Originally from the United Kingdom, Irene Payne is now based in Nevada, USA. She has extensive communication experience in crisis management, particularly firearms incidents in educational settings. In 2012, she was presented with the 'Leadership Through Communication' award from the American Association of School Administrators and the National School Public Relations Professionals Association. Additionally, Irene has worked in India, Pakistan, and Europe. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Communications from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom.

Our partners


Catalyst Ranch, Chicago, USA

Address: 656 W Randolph St Ste 4E, Chicago, IL 60661, United States

Catalyst Ranch in Chicago is a unique meetings and events venue designed for companies to go offsite for thinking, planning, developing, creating new products, solutions, and innovative ideas. The Ranch was named the “Best Conference Venue” by Illinois Meetings & Events in 2012 and 2013 and the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convene Magazine “Best in Show” for Small Meetings 2014. The design inspires play for grown up companies with today's big challenges. Play is the first step toward creativity. Toys, games, color, texture, natural light, comfortable seating, and space to roam all contribute to the stimulate creativity and communication. For groups of 3 to 120, it's a wondrous environment that can be configured to meet your needs. Imagination, environment, creativity, innovation.