2017 College Media Conference Will Explore “Making News across the Media Spectrum”

If campus PR and media relations professionals choose to participate in only one conference this year, CIC suggests it be the 31st annual College Media Conference in Washington, DC, June 26–28, 2017. Sponsored by CIC and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the conference brings together higher education public relations professionals and experienced reporters, editors, and producers who cover higher education across multiple media platforms. It is the only conference for college and university communications professionals that features such a broad array of experienced journalists.

This year’s focus, “Making News across the Media Spectrum,” will bring participants up to date on changes in traditional media, the dynamics of new media, and higher education trends and issues in today’s political context. Participants will learn first-hand how to create and pitch story ideas to editors and freelancers, work with broadcast producers, and tap digital media’s reach to tell their institution’s story. ​More than 30 presenters are scheduled to speak at the conference, including top journalists from the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, National Public Radio, PBS NewsHour, Forbes, POLITICO Pro, Vox, Science, Science News, the National Association of Hispanic Publications, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Hechinger Report, University Business, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, and University World News (see below).

In addition, campus PR experts will discuss today’s top strategies for crisis communications, the art of the pitch, digital storytelling, and compelling use of video. A session on public policy will provide an inside look at the big issues and public policy challenges facing higher education from the new federal administration. “The Big Event—Measuring the Value,” a session led by veterans of hosting presidential debates, will discuss the value of the attention received from hosting such large events.

Participants will be able to tour area newsrooms, join breakfast roundtables on Monday morning before the conference begins, and order reduced-rate tickets to the Newseum. The event also allows for informal interactions with representatives from industry-leading PR support businesses. The conference’s premier sponsor is the Chronicle of Higher Education. Other key sponsors include Dick Jones Communications, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, Finalsite, Gehrung Associates, Meltwater, Merit, Newswise, Inc.,
and WilcoxM3.

The conference is designed chiefly for campus communications officers and specialists, public and media relations vice presidents, chief marketing officers, directors and managers, writers, associate and assistant deans for external relations, and other interested administrators from all colleges, universities, and educational associations.

Campus PR professionals are encouraged to register now at a discount and to secure a hotel room at the Capital Hilton at the special conference rate. The registration fee has been held the same for the third year in a row. The early-bird registration deadline is June 2. For more information and to register, visit the conference site.

Speaker Spotlight

Steve Drummond headshotSteve Drummond is senior education editor at National Public Radio, where he heads the new education reporting project, NPR Ed. He has worked in various roles at NPR since 2000 and has more than 20 years of experience covering education issues. Earlier, he was deputy managing editor of Education Week and a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida.

Kim Hefling headshotKim Hefling is senior education writer at POLITICO Pro. Previously, she served as the national education writer for the Associated Press. During her 18-year career at the AP, she covered diverse topics; she also served as an embedded reporter with the 101st Airborne Division early in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Caroline Howard headshotCaroline Howard is executive digital editor-producer at Forbes. She covers education, enterprising women, and special projects, and she edits the America’s Top Colleges, 30 Under 30, Most Powerful People, and 100 Most Powerful Women reports. Previously, she was senior editor at AOL and a contributing correspondent at People.

Jon Marcus headshotJon Marcus is higher-education editor of the Hechinger Report and North America correspondent for the Times (U.K.) Higher Education magazine. He also has written about higher education for the Washington Post, USA Today, and Time, and contributed to the book Reinventing Higher Education.