Virginia Professional Communicators

Spring Conference Recap

Spring Conference Recap

on Jul 6, 2017 in Events

VPC’s spring conference featured an ethical hacker, an Associated Press guru and individuals who promoted their town and university during the VP debate. Mix in award winners and a beautiful campus and you have a conference that kept people talking.

Speaker Highlights

Information Security and You with Darren Manners of SyCom Security: Darren calls himself an ethical hacker. As a social engineer he tries to get people to do something, usually involving private information. His key point is that each of us plays a strong role in security, and can make a difference.

AP Style Quirks with Karen E. Wormald of Kew Publications: Karen presented the zippity-zip guide to AP and after providing numerous examples asked if we all needed Advil because AP style can be confusing.

All Eyes on Longwood with Ilsa Loeser, Matthew McWilliams, Mary Jo Stockton: With the VP debate on Longwood’s campus, both the university and the town built communications outreach around their goals. This meant sometimes ditching fun, innovative ideas that didn’t align with the goals. But they were ready for little moments to build excitement. The town and university experienced strong social media growth as a result of the debate coverage.

Celebration Time

We announced the VPW Foundation recipients. You can learn more here.

Our Communicator of Achievement recipient is Debby Padgett. Learn about her career here.

Communications contest winners also were announced. Here is the list of winners. First-place winners have advanced to the NFPW contest. Good luck!


Social media was used leading up to and throughout the conference. VPC tweeted and posted on Facebook from the official accounts and members were able to share helpful information from the speakers. One member even had a communications professional in another state ask a question based on one of her tweets. She was able to ask the question and provide an answer during the presentation on AP Style. Talk about working at the pace of news!

For additional images from the conference, you can view this Flickr album.