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  • October 10, 2017 - October 11, 2017
    8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Social media has changed the world  in the way electric cooperatives engage and connect with member-owners. As more cooperatives embrace the use of social platforms for crisis communications, it is essential to learn the best techniques from leading industry experts. So, whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, this workshop will take your social media efforts to the next level and generate results. A third day option will cover energy efficiency.

Information on Thursday’s energy efficiency session is forthcoming.

For More Info Contact
Brandy Riley or Valerie Cheatham



Day One Agenda
Day Two Description

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. First things FirstTell us about you and what you seek to gain from this workshop, and what your biggest issues and challenges are using this communication format.
Moderator: Valerie Cheatham, AIEC, VP of Communications

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. The Art of Social WritingCreate compelling content that your followers will crave. Increase your skillset for incorporating keywords and hashtags the correct way. Discover the best strategy to set the correct tone, create and grow conversations.Speaker: Kristin Moorhead, NRECA

9:45 – 10:00 a.m. Break

10:00 – 10:45 a.m. It Pays to be Likeable Use social media as a customer service tool to handle customer complaints. Find out the best approach to handle criticism, respond or ignore comments on social networks. Gain techniques to turn negative comments into a positive reputation.Speaker: Kristin Moorhead, NRECA

10:45 – 11:15 a.m. Case Study: Cooperative Success StoriesGo behind the scenes with successful cooperatives utilizing social media to see what they’re doing right – and how you can translate their ideas into your own success stories.Speaker: Hillary Cherry, Director of Communications, Corn Belt Energy Corporation

11:15 – 12:00 p.m. Amplify your PresenceAcquire more leads and build awareness through online social channels. Enhance your reach through learning about strategies that work, such as pay-per-click ads, paying for likes and followers.Speakers: Ann Johnston, President – Central States Media and Brynne Pearson, Senior Project Manager& Partner – Central States Media

12:00 – 12:45 p.m. Lunch

12:45 – 1:30 p.m. Measuring Success with Metrics What metrics have significant value and should be monitored? Find out how to analyze and measure online digital efforts. Leverage the different tools to quantity influence, ROI and define which statistics really matter. Speaker: Colten Bradford, AIEC, Assistant Editor

1:30 – 2:15 p.m. Social Networking Security
Jeff Thompson (Certified Ethical Hacker) will present a hacker’s perspective to Social Networking. You will learn how to help secure your confidential data and protect your personal information. You will not want to miss this unique presentation which takes a scared straight approach to information security using humor, facts, lock picking and even juggling.
Speaker: Jeff Thompson, Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology

:15 – 2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Social Media & Video Capture the interest of member-owners. Video can play a crucial role in a social media communication strategy. Learn how Paul Dow uses video to tell its story and how to use video to impact cooperatives in a positive way.Speaker: Paul Dow, AIEC Coordinator of Video Productions

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. Case Study: Outage Communications at RECCCustomers have rising expectations when it comes to outages. Improve your social media response to potential crisis scenarios. Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative CEO David Stuva will join the seminar to explain their social media practices during outages. Speaker: David Stuva, RECC, CEO

3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Workshop Round RobinYou’ve got social media questions and we’ve got answers. This session is joined by Brandy Riley, statewide social media whiz and a jury of your peers (that’s you). Get ready to tackle your questions and concerns in this interactive session.Moderator: Brandy Riley, AIEC, Manager of PR/Business Development & Graphics

Electric Cooperative Communicators’ Conference

Crisis Communications Interactive Workshop

During the second day workshop, conducted by Ann Thelen, participants will gain an in-depth understanding of crisis situations including how to plan for the crises that are most likely to impact cooperatives, and the best ways to communicate with credibility during a crisis. As a result of the workshop, participants will have the basis for a crisis communications manual along with template documents for key crisis situations. The bulk of the template documents will be developed through interactive group activities.

Crisis Presentation

The customized crisis communications presentation will cover the following:

  • Crisis Overview (Types of Crisis, Types of Responses, etc.)
  • Steps to Effectively Handle a Crisis
  • What to Do When Your Crisis Goes Viral (Emphasis on social media)
  • Crisis Communications Checklist
  • Media Relations Tips / Mastering the Rules of Communicating During a Crisis
  • Understanding How the Different Types of Media Channels Work in a Crisis Situation/Other PR


  • Recognizing the Elements of Great Media Messages
  • Determining Your Spokesperson
  • Case Study Examples

*Throughout the presentation, there will be opportunities for interaction.

* Key materials from the presentation will be included in a crisis communication binder that will be given to each participant. Participants will be asked to bring some materials to the meeting, such as their media contact list so that the materials can be added to the binder.

Interactive Exercises

Scenario Planning (Examples: Fatalities/Serious Injury; Workplace Violence; Cybersecurity Threats; Massive Outages; Weather Disasters, e.g. Tornadoes, Floods, Storms, Lawsuits, Environmental Spill, etc.). This section will give an example of a realistic threat and provide a brief summary of what should be considered for the situation. Participants will then work together in teams to develop template documents, which will be presented to the entire group.

Template Documents

Working in teams, participants will use the information learned from the presentation to respond to different scenarios and come up with the following template documents that will be shared and made available to everyone.

Development of the following template documents for the Top 5 crisis scenarios. These documents will provide the basic framework to update during an actual crisis situation:

  • Official Statement
  • Fact Sheet/FAQs
  • News Release
  • Key Messages Points and Supporting Points
  • Social Media Plan/Messages

Presentations/Role Playing by the Attendees

Rooms Available


Hampton Inn and Suites
2300 Chuckwagon Drive
Springfield, IL 62711
ask for the AIEC Crisis Communications room block
Cut-off date is Fri., Sept. 15



Venue Phone: (217) 529-5561

6460 S 6th Street Frontage Rd E
United States