Upcoming talks in Toronto: PSEWEB 2011 and Worldviews International Conference

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I’m excited to be speaking at two communications conferences this spring.


First up on May 20 is PSEWEB 2011, Canada’s leading web and social media conference geared toward communications professionals working in post-secondary education.

I attended the 2010 conference at Brock University in St. Catherine’s. The sessions were provocative and the attendees interesting — if you work in higher education in Canada and your responsibilities include web communications or social media, you should think about attending.

This year, my colleague Bob McKenzie in York University’s Learning Technology Services group (part of York’s centralized IT division) decided to put a talk together. I frequently collaborate with Bob and his new media team to produce video, so talking about strategies and tips to create quality video seemed like a natural fit. I’m happy to report that our proposal was accepted.

Here’s the synopsis:

Producing video is now an essential skill for communications professionals in higher education. With the continuing rise of social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo, communicators need to be as good at telling stories through video as we are with traditional text and images.

While the demand for compelling video is constantly increasing in our workplaces, communications professionals don’t always have the tools and training they need to make the most of their content.

In this presentation, you’ll get five practical tips for making better video in the first five minutes, building on the pre-conference video workshop and other media-related sessions. Learn how to be a media detective and which equipment accessories make sense for your production needs.

After that, we’ll use practical examples drawn from research, alumni relations, recruitment and the student experience at York University and other institutions to explore these tips in greater depth, along with other techniques and equipment strategies to help you  produce watchable video that highlights your institution’s academic and strategic strengths.

Learn how to leverage content and technical resources on your campus to more efficiently create engaging video.

More video + less hair loss = wins all around.

BONUS: Survey and video consultation offer

Given the range of video expertise on university campuses, we’ve posted a short pre-session survey to refine our understanding of what prospective attendees want out of this session.

Answer the survey, provide your email address, and we’ll do a draw during the presentation for a free 45-minute one-on-one consultation with new media expert Bob McKenzie (guaranteed to take place by phone, Skype, or your digital platform of choice within 45 days of PSEWEB 2011).

Worldviews International Conference on Media and Higher Education in the 21st Century

In June, I’ll be speaking at the Worldviews International Conference on Media and Higher Education in the 21st Century. It’s happening from June 16-18, 2011 in downtown Toronto.

I’ll be a panelist on a session titled “The implications of social media (and new communications technology) for public perceptions of universities and the democratization of coverage.”

Organized by the University of Toronto, Inside Higher Ed, University World News and OCUFA/Academic Matters, the conference aims to consider how media the coverage of higher education — colleges, universities, and research institutions — has changed over the past two decades and where it is headed in the future:

Speakers will look at the impact of social media and other forms of emerging communications technology — how are they changing what is covered and how higher education is understood? They will also look at the role the media play in influencing public policy debates on higher education and how higher education institutions engage the media to inform public opinion. It will also look at the intersection of science journalism and university research.  And it will examine the different realities of the developing and developed world.

The confirmed list of speakers is impressive, especially considering that this is the first year it’s being offered. I was planning to attend when I first heard about it; getting asked to speak was an unexpected bonus.

Luckily for me, both conferences are taking place in Toronto. Hope to see you there.