Conservatives Learn Media Strategies at two LI Communication Schools
September 28, 2011, Arlington, VA—A combined total of 40 people spent September 19-23 improving their media skills with two back-to-back communications trainings: the Leadership Institute’s Public Relations School and Broadcast Journalism School.

The Public Relations School was an intensive three-day evening training focused on preparing attendees to handle the media for their causes or campaigns.
Faculty included Blain Rethmeier, senior vice president for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA); Scott Hogenson, a senior vice president at Dezenhall Resources; and the Leadership Institute’s own Director of Digital Communications Abigail Alger, to name a few. 

Attendees learned valuable tips such as, “Don’t let people talk to the press who haven’t been prepped beforehand” and “unless it’s about security, don’t dictate to the press.”

Other tips included the timing of hosting events, the amount of time people should post on Twitter vs. Facebook, creating ambiance for media events and building relationships.
Lauren Valainis, an intern for Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03), said the Public Relations School was “a great way to learn PR basics, get great advice, and increase my DC network.”

Similarly, Chad Hemmert, a writer for the Community College of Denver’s Campus Connection Newspaper, said the training was “informative, lively [and] practical.”

To end the week, the Broadcast Journalism School was a two-day lesson in on-camera media strategy. Kristen Cosby, a freelance reporter for Jacksonville’s WJXT-TV, led most of the training. She used her own experience as the backdrop for lessons on everything from makeup application/clothing/jewelry to writing broadcast reports to actually standing in front of a camera for a live feed.

LI Intern Thomas Cloud (pictured), was one of the students who tried the on-camera exercises. Afterwards, he said: “I was a bit nervous about talking without a script, but with Kristen’s advice and some practice, I felt more confident standing in front of that camera. I would recommend the training to anyone who wants a career in media.”

Missed the Broadcast Journalism School? LI will have a Television Workshop on October 7.  To register for this school and others offered year-round, check out