Communication Directors Institute Schedule

NOTE: All Times Mountain. Sessions marked with an asterisk (*) will be available to virtual attendees.

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Wednesday, July 12

10:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.: Registration

1:00–1:30 p.m.: Event Kick-Off & Welcome*

  • Danielle Hammett, 2023 NAR Communications Directors Chair; Deputy Director of Communications, Austin Board of REALTORS® (20,000 Members)
  • Mantill Williams, Vice President of Public Relations and Communication Strategy, National Association of REALTORS®

1:30–2:00 p.m.: Icebreaker*

  • Brenda Fisher, Communications Director, Lubbock Association of REALTORS® (1,600 Members)

2:00–3:00 p.m.: Getting Real With AI: Balancing Innovation and Responsibility in Marketing*

  • Jeff Turner, Co-Founder, KTK Partners & Tangilla

3:00–3:30 p.m.: Getting Real With AI: Hands-On Workshop*

  • Jeff Turner, Co-Founder, KTK Partners & Tangilla

3:30–3:45 p.m.: Break

3:45–4:10 p.m.: Getting Real With AI: Roundtable Session*

4:15–5:15 p.m.: Breakout Sessions*

Breakout A: Tapping Into Trends: Innovative Approaches to Member Engagement and Content Planning*

  • Mallory Siegfried, Director of Communications, Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (3,500 Members)
  • Meghan Byrnes Weinreich, Vice President of Communications, Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS® (7,000 Members)
  • Justin Paige, California Desert Association of REALTORS® (3,400 Members) and East Valley Association of REALTORS® (2,500 Members)

Get ready to learn how one association enhanced the marketing of their real estate school, how one association drove engagement with their email communications and how another association leveraged their brokers to become ambassadors.

Breakout B: M-L-YES! Keeping the Plates Spinning as an Association-Owned MLS*

  • Caitland Orlicz, Senior MLS Content Specialist, Austin Board of REALTORS® (20,000)
  • Shelby Sharron, Senior ABoR Content Specialist, Austin Board of REALTORS® (20,000 Members)

Resources abound for REALTOR® association CDs, but if you also manage communications for an MLS, you know that pickings are slim! In this breakout session, you’ll hear from Austin Board of REALTORS® and ACTRIS MLS leaders Caitland Orlicz and Shelby Sharron on how to build and maintain a distinct MLS brand apart from the association, how to humanize and drive engagement around complex MLS topics, and how to develop communications strategies that benefit both entities.

6:00–7:00 p.m.: Welcome Reception at Sheraton Rooftop Pool

Sponsored by and Austin Board of REALTORS®

Thursday, July 13

7:45–9:00 a.m.: Breakfast & Networking

Sponsored by Agency McKenna

9:00–10:00 a.m.: Media Mayhem: Defending a Reputation and Regaining Control in the Aftermath of a PR Crisis*

  • Molly McPherson, Founder, Molly + Co. and Indestructible PR®

In this dynamic keynote, attendees will gain practical insights and strategies for successfully navigating a PR crisis and protecting their organization's reputation. With a focus on dealing with the press, crisis communications, social media PR crises, and combating misinformation, this presentation equips participants with the tools they need to handle reputation-threatening situations effectively.

Key highlights include:

  • Dealing with the Press: Techniques for building positive relationships, managing press conferences, and controlling the narrative.
  • Crisis Communications: Principles of transparent messaging, stakeholder engagement, and crisis response planning.
  • Social Media PR Crisis: Strategies for monitoring, engaging, and countering negative sentiment on social media platforms.
  • Misinformation: Tactics for fact-checking, deploying accurate information, and debunking false narratives.

10:05–10:45 a.m.: Breakout Sessions*

Breakout A: Metrics That Matter: Measuring and Optimizing Your Marketing*

  • Kevin Juliano, Chief Growth Officer, Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (39,000 Members)
  • Emily Hroblak, Communications Coordinator, Longleaf Pine REALTORS® (2,500 Members)
  • Ward Lowe, Director of Marketing Technology, Texas REALTORS® (151,000 Members)

Data everywhere! Are you using metrics that you have at your disposal? Learn how to use data to plan your marketing efforts for your association. Get ready to dive into emails, websites and segmentation.

Breakout B: A Tale of Two CDs: Collaborative vs. Solo Video Production*

  • Christine Barnhart, Vice President, Strategic Communications, Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (10,500 Members)
  • Jeff Fyke, Communications Director, East Tennessee REALTORS® (5,800 Members)

Amp up your videography game and impress your members! Whether you have the resources to build out a full-fledged video program for your association – or you're operating on a shoestring budget – this session will lay out the steps that both large and small associations can take to transform your video program from meh to magnificent. You'll walk away with practical tips to help you level up, and stat!

10:45–11:00 a.m.: Break

11:00–12:00 p.m.: At the Intersection of Creativity, Culture & Change*

  • Pamela Benson Owens, President and CEO, Edge of Your Seat Consulting, Inc.

There are only so many hours in a day. Even if we love the work we do, the people we work with and a healthy organizational culture, none of that produces another hour in the day. As we sit at the intersection of creativity, organizational culture, and a lot of change, how do we remain the best versions of ourselves? This session will explore that and more.

12:00–12:15 p.m.: CD Group Photo

12:15–1:30 p.m.: Lunch & Networking

Sponsored by Real Strategies

1:30–1:45 p.m.: 2024 CD Vice-Chair Election*

  • Kevin Juliano, 2023 NAR Communications Directors Vice-Chair; Chief Growth Officer, Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (39,000 Members)

1:45–2:45 p.m.: Owning the Real Estate Conversation*

  • Owen Truesdale, Vice President of Public Affairs, The Abbi Agency
  • Victoria Barnett, Public Relations Account Executive, The Abbi Agency

With so many brokers, developers, and individual REALTORS® fighting for media coverage around the perennially hot topic of real estate, how do you get your association to be the "go to" source for local media? The Abbi Agency will explain how to become the "source of the source" so that you and your team can own the real estate conversation in your market. From learning what journalists want to how to craft key messaging, this presentation will give you the tools to be a media pro and set your association apart from the crowd.

2:45–3:00 p.m.: Break

3:00–3:45 p.m.: Breakout Sessions*

Breakout A: Visual Power: Best Practices for Engaging Social Media Content*

  • Janice Carpio-Hernandez, Vice President of Communications and Marketing, San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (14,000 Members)
  • Cristina Schaefer, Director of Social Media, Houston Association of REALTORS® (44,000 Members)
  • Mason Chapple, Marketing Manager, Sacramento Association of REALTORS® (7,400 Members)

Are you hip, cool and manage your association’s social media presence? Learn from association experts on how they engage their members with the latest offerings from social media platforms. Get ready to explore engaging ways to use organic social media tactics that really work while also saving time.

Breakout B: Communications Horror Stories*

  • Dan Eckles, Communications Director, Nevada REALTORS® (21,000 Members)
  • Katie Fletcher, Vice President of Operations, Sierra Nevada REALTORS® (3,300 Members)
  • Kristi Olds, Director of Communications, Connecticut REALTORS® (18,000 Members)

Communications Directors share 'horror stories' of their own and others during their communications careers.

3:50–4:50 p.m.: The Rest of Your Story: Three Ways to Reclaim Your Time, Focus, and Creative Confidence*

  • Lara Hollers, Consultant & Facilitator, Lara Hollers Consulting

Day in and day out, as communicators we're expected to produce more with less, all while those pesky "Creative Bandits" threaten our time, energy, and focus—not to mention, rob our joy. This impending pressure not only leads to less impactful work but it also erodes our sense of purpose. In this inspirational and insightful session, communications veteran and award-winning writer Lara Hollers will help you (re)write your story to move out of the churn and burn and rekindle your creative confidence.

4:50–5:00 p.m.: Day Two Recap & Closing Announcements *

  • Danielle Hammett, Deputy Director of Communications, Austin Board of REALTORS® (20,000 Members)
  • Kevin Juliano, Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (39,000 Members)

6:00–7:30 p.m.: Reception at Wynkoop Brewing Company

Sponsored by .realtor™ + .realestate and REALTOR® Safety

Friday, July 14

7:45–9:00 a.m.: Breakfast & Networking

9:00–9:15 a.m.: Day Three Welcome*

  • Kevin Juliano, Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (39,000 Members)

9:15–9:45 a.m.: Power Agent Panel: What Members Really Want from their Association*

  • Piper Knoll, REALTOR®, The Knoll Team at West + Main Homes
  • Natalie Davis, 2023 President, Colorado Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR®, The Evolution Group powered by Keller Williams Downtown Denver LLC
  • Moderated by Kelea Youngblood, Chief Marketing Officer, Austin Board of REALTORS® (20,000 Members)

9:45–10:15 a.m.: Roundtable Sessions*

10:15–10:30 a.m.: Break

10:30–11:30 a.m.: Embrace & Empower: From Words to Action—Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging*

  • Natalie Davis, 2023 President, Colorado Association of REALTORS®, REALTOR®, The Evolution Group powered by Keller Williams Downtown Denver LLC

In a rapidly evolving world, it is imperative that we move beyond mere rhetoric and truly embrace and empower diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Join us for an inspiring and thought-provoking presentation that explores the transformative power of turning words into meaningful action. Through engaging anecdotes, real-life examples, and practical strategies, we will begin to challenge conventional notions and ignite a fire within each attendee to drive positive change. From fostering diverse perspectives to dismantling systemic barriers, we will delve into the essential steps required to create inclusive environments that empower every individual to thrive, irrespective of their background. Be prepared to be inspired, motivated, and equipped with the tools to make a lasting impact.

11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Trivia Game & Closing Remarks*

  • Danielle Hammett, Deputy Director of Communications, Austin Board of REALTORS® (20,000 Members)
  • Kevin Juliano, Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® (39,000 Members)