2018 College Media Conference 6/24/20186/24/20186/24/20186/26/20186/26/20186/26/2018 Capital Hilton Washington, DC

About the Conference

The College Media Conference helps campus communications and public relations professionals create and cultivate effective working relationships with some of the nation’s top reporters, editors, writers, producers, and bookers, as well as exchange experiences and best practices with one another.

Participants will gain information and insights from representatives of major regional and national media organizations on:
  • Current and upcoming story topics and trends;
  • The most effective approaches and pitches for story ideas for diverse media and audiences—regional and national, print, digital, and electronic media;
  • What works—and doesn’t work—on the social media front; and
  • Best practices and strategies for campus communications officers in large and small, public and private, and rural and urban institutions.

Who Should Participate

With a focus on print, digital, electronic, and social media for a wide variety of audiences, the conference will be helpful to public and media relations vice presidents; chief communications and marketing officers, directors, and managers; writers; associate and assistant deans for external relations; and other interested administrators from all colleges, universities, and educational associations.

(Note: Individuals who work for companies are invited to become sponsors of the College Media Conference but may not register as college or university participants. Contact David Brailow at dbrailow@cic.nche.edu for information about sponsoring the conference.)​


The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 767 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. It conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. AASCU institutions enroll nearly 4 million students representing approximately half of all students at public four-year colleges and universities.


(The list of speakers will be updated regularly; please check back for updates.)

Autumn Arnett, Editor, Education Dive
Madeline Baro, Assistant Director of Media Relations, Florida International University
Sunni Brown, Assistant Director of Media and Public Relations, University of Richmond
Bill Burger, Vice President for Communications and Chief Marketing Officer, Middlebury College
Kevin Burke, Vice President for Communications, Franklin & Marshall College
Rae Goldsmith, Chief Communications Officer, Southern Illinois University
Molly Hensley-Clancy, Business Reporter, Buzzfeed
Rebecca Hersher, Science Reporter, NPR
Christopher Howard, President, Robert Morris University
Abby Jackson, Reporter, Business Insider
Scott Jaschik, Editor and Co-Founder, Inside Higher Ed
Doug Lederman, Editor and Co-Founder, Inside Higher Ed
Bob Ludwig, Assistant Vice President, Media Relations, University of Maryland University College
Susan Matthews, Science Editor, Slate
Justin Mattingly, Higher Education Reporter, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Liz McMillen, Editor, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Javier Miyares, President, University of Maryland University College
Kaitlin Mulhere, Reporter, Money Magazine
S. Georgia Nugent, President Emerita, Kenyon College, and Senior Fellow, Council of Independent Colleges

Erica Palan, Assistant Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Jonathan Potts, Vice President Public Relations and Marketing, Robert Morris University
Andy Shaw, Director of Enrollment Operations and Communications, York College of Pennsylvania
Jennifer Shaw, Opinions Editor, Hechinger Report
Michael Smart, President, MichaelSmart PR
Nikki Sunstrom, Director of Social Media, University of Michigan
Scott Travis, Higher Education Reporter, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Jamal Watson, Executive Editor, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education


Monday, June 25

8:45–9:15 a.m.

Check-in for Media Visits and Tours

9:30–10:30 a.m.

Media Discussions and Newsroom Tours

12:45–1:45 p.m.

Trending News on the Higher Education Front

1:50–2:50 p.m.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media

2:50–3:15 p.m.


3:15–4:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

National News and the Local Perspective

Business Media and Higher Education

4:20–5:45 p.m.

“Tackling Public Mistrust of Higher Education,” Presented by The Chronicle of Higher Education

5:45–6:45 p.m.

Cocktail Reception, Sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education

7:00 p.m.

Dine-around Dinners

Tuesday, June 26

7:15–8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast and Roundtable Discussions

While some of the roundtable discussions will focus on further discussion of The Chronicle of Higher Education-sponsored session on Monday, other roundtables will be reserved for these special interest groups to discuss PR and media issues specific to them.
  • Mid- to Large-Sized Universities
  • Small Institutions
  • One- or Two-Person Communications Shops
  • Research Institutions
  • Arts Institutions
  • Urban Campuses
  • Rural Campuses
8:30–9:35 a.m.

On the Air

9:45–10:45 a.m.

Presidents and the Press

10:45–11:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

The Magic—and Science—of the Perfect Pitch

12:30–1:45 p.m.

Lunch and Update on Public Policy and Higher Education

2:00–3:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Science in the News

Spotlighting the Arts

3:15–4:00 p.m.

Beverage Break

4:00–5:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

Working with Opinion Editors

Crisis Communications in a Turbulent Campus Culture

Wednesday, June 27

7:15–8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast and Roundtable Discussions

9:15–10:15 a.m.

Story Idea Discussions with The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed (choose one)

10:15–11:00 a.m.

Repeat: Story Idea Discussions with The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed (choose one)

11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Making Higher Education News

12:30 p.m.


Special Events

Media Discussions and Newsroom Tours

Conference participants interested in visiting DC-area newsrooms or meeting with editors and reporters will be invited to sign up for one of the activities listed below. There is no cost for a visit or tour, but space is limited and is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note: The media discussions and newsroom tours listed below are not yet confirmed but have been available in the past. Registered participants will receive the first opportunity to sign up for one of the discussions/tours when they become available.

Monday, June 25, 9:30–10:30 a.m. (Tentative)

  • C-SPAN—tour of the facility and meeting with a C-SPAN official (limited to 25 participants)
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education—breakfast roundtable discussion with several editors and reporters at the facility (limited to 20 participants)
  • Inside Higher Ed—breakfast roundtable discussion with several editors and reporters at the facility (limited to 15 participants)

Participants will receive an email confirmation of a reserved place in the tour or roundtable. If you do not receive email confirmation within five days of your selection, please contact Tabitha Truscott, CIC conference and program coordinator, at conferences@cic.nche.edu.)

Note: Participants may sign up for only one newsroom visit/roundtable.

The Chronicle of Higher Education Reception

Monday, June 25, 5:45–6:45 p.m.

Following the session on "Tackling Public Mistrust of Higher Education," all conference participants are invited to a reception that provides excellent opportunities to reconnect with old friends, welcome first-timers, and talk with new colleagues.

Hotel and Travel


​The Capital Hilton Hotel

1001 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 393-1000 or (800) 445-8667

 Hotel Information

Hotel Reservations Discount Deadline: Friday, May 18, 2018

Hotel Rate: $249 single/double*

*Note: This rate is in effect three days prior to and three days after the program dates on a space-available basis.
The Capital Hilton is ideally located in the heart of Washington, DC, two blocks from the White House and within walking distance of the Smithsonian museums, the National Mall, memorials, art galleries, shopping, and dining.

Hotel reservations at the CIC conference hotel rate of $249 single/double room can be made by calling the Capital Hilton at (202) 393-1000 or (800) 445-8667 or by visiting the conference reservation site. Select “Attendee” as your guest type from the dropdown box then proceed to make your reservation. When calling to make your reservations, please indicate that you are with the College Media Conference or Council of Independent Colleges to receive the group rate.

The reservation deadline for the special rate is Friday, May 18. We encourage you to make reservations early. Reservations made after the deadline cannot be guaranteed at the conference rate but will be accommodated on a space-available basis.

Please note the conference is taking place during a city-wide conference in Washington, DC. Hotel rooms will be limited in the city, and CIC may be unable to add rooms to the block or extend the cut-off date. Please make your reservations as soon as possible.


The closest airport to the Capital Hilton Hotel is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Also nearby are Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Reagan National airport is five miles from the hotel and is public transportation (Metro)-accessible on the Blue Line to the Farragut West or McPherson Square stations; a cab ride takes about 20 minutes and costs approximately $20. Dulles airport is 25 miles away, and BWI airport is about 30 miles away; cab rides cost approximately $60 and $95, respectively. Amtrak trains stop at Union Station, which is a 20-minute cab or a Metro ride away. The Metro Red Line Farragut North stop is just two blocks from the hotel. Farragut West (Blue, Orange, and Silver lines) and McPherson Square (Blue, Orange, and Silver lines) are three blocks away. Transportation also is available through Super Shuttle to the hotel from all three airports. Super Shuttle reservations can be made online.

The hotel offers valet parking only at $59 per day. There also are self-park garages nearby that are independently operated.








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Sponsorship Opportunities

To discuss opportunities for sponsoring the 2018 College Media Conference, please contact David Brailow at dbrailow@cic.nche.edu or (202) 466-7230.