2017 LINCS Agenda

Oct. 3-5 | Washington, D.C.

Our nation's capitol will be the setting for the 2017 professional development seminar for the Legislative Information and Communications Staff association (LINCS). Below is the agenda.



Time Sessions

6-8 p.m.

The Dubliner

Phoenix Park Hotel

4 F St. NW 

LINCS Dutch Treat Dinner

Join us for our annual "pregame," a causal get-together the evening before the PDS begins.

Time Sessions

8-9:30 a.m.

Liaison Capitol Hill

Lobby Prefunction Space

415 New Jersey Ave. NW


9-9:45 a.m.


25 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 101 

PDS Kick-off and Welcome to D.C.

We'll get to know each other with introductions and icebreakers, so our next two and half days together will be more pleasant and productive.

10-11:30 a.m.

NCTA Theater

Roundtable with Congressional Communications Staff

We'll pick the brains of our counterparts on Capitol Hill, discussing everything from media relations to writing to social media, and anything else on our minds.



Marneé Banks, Communications Director, U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Montana; Ryan Taylor, Communications Director, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, Mississippi

11:30-11:50 a.m.

NCTA Theater 

Planning for Legislative Staff Week 

NCSL is planning its first-ever Legislative Staff Week, Dec. 4-8, highlighting the great work of legislative staffers nationwide. We'll be taking photos and collecting testimonials from PDS attendees (on a voluntary basis) to include on NCSL's website and in State Legislatures magazine.

11:50-12:30 p.m. - Lunch

NCTA Theater Foyer


12:30-1:30 p.m. - Keynote

NCTA Theater

Luncheon and Keynote

The Washington Post’s Electric Transformation

The Washington Post has undergone a dramatic transformation—from a traditional, major-market daily newspaper to a digital and electronic information powerhouse. Hear how it happened—and how The Post remains relevant and boosts its competitive advantage in a changing and challenging industry. You’ll come away with ideas for how you can work more effectively with news organizations in the digital era.



Jeremy Gilbert, Director of Strategic Initiatives, The Washington Post

1:45-2:45 p.m.

NCTA Theater

Crisis Communications: Prepare, Adapt, Learn

Almost everyone remembers Act 10, the buget repair bill affecting collective bargaining in Wisconsin that led to 100,000 protesters converging on the Capitol, legislators leaving the state and a gubernatorial recall election. Kit Beyer survived it all, and will share how being prepared and learning from mistakes resulted in a better, stronger institution. We'll also discuss how the lessons learned can apply to crises large and small in any state legislature.



Kit Beyer, Communications Director, Office of Speaker Robin J. Vos, Wisconsin State Assembly

3-4 p.m.

NCTA Theater

Turning Dry Data Into Dazzling Graphics

Everyone's using data to explain ... everything! We'll explore simple techniques—and learn about free and inexpensive tools—for using graphics to make data easier to understand and more visually appealing.



Matthew Zablud, Partner, Beekeeper Group

4-5 p.m.

NCTA Theater


Social Media Influencers: Who Are They and How Can They Be Leveraged?

Individuals are building their own communities on social media and telling stories that can influence their followers. We'll discuss how to develop storytelling strategies to leverage these social media influencers that might help you engage audiences that otherwise could be difficult to reach. We'll also take a look at "Today’s Newsgathering Tech"—featuring new products and devices that can help make capturing and posting content easier than ever. 



Meagan Dorsch, Media and External Relations, Verizon Wireless, and former NCSL LINCS Liaison

5:30-6:30 p.m.

Art and Soul Patio

Liaison Capitol Hill

415 New Jersey Ave. NW

Opening Reception

Relax, unwind, and enjoy hors d'oeuvres and beverages with your fellow LINCSters at this popular D.C. restaurant located at our headquarter hotel. (Plan B: We'll move to the lobby if it rains.) 

WEDNEsday, OCT. 4

8:15-9 a.m.

NCTA Theater Foyer


9-9:15 a.m.

NCTA Theater

Greeting from NCSL Staff Chair Chuck Truesdell

Legislative Fiscal Analyst, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission and first former LINCSter to become NCSL Staff Chair

9:15-11 a.m.

NCTA Theater

Cortisol, Connections and Constituents: The Science of Storytelling and How to Engage Your Audience in Any Medium


Learn how stories impact the human brain and why they are such effective tools of communication. After examining several examples using storytelling to engage your audience, we'll explore together how best to use stories to cut through the clutter and connect with constituents. You will leave with ideas on how to promote understanding of your work that you can implement immediately and over the longer term. 



Piper Hendricks, advocacy communications consultant, Washington, D.C. 

11 a.m.-Noon.

NCTA Theater

8 Things Every Public Servant Needs to Know About Social Media

Even though we all use it, social media remains one of the most misunderstood means of communicating. We’ll break it down, discussing its role in today’s professional world and what it means to be social media savvy. Regardless of your politics or experience, let’s learn about the principles and best practices of this brave new digital world, and how to harness it to further our legislative and public service goals. 



Jonathan Rick, President, Jonathan Rick Group, digital-marketing firm

Noon-12:45 p.m. - Lunch

NCTA Theater Foyer


12:45-1:30 p.m. - Keynote

NCTA Theater

Luncheon and Keynote

A Conversation with David Chalian

CNN's David Chalian will share his journey to becoming political director for one of the world's top news organizations, offering his take on the changing media landscape and more. This session will truly be a conversation, so come with your questions.



Rob Stoddard, Senior Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, NCTA - The Internet & Television Association


David Chalian, Political Director, CNN 

1:45-2:45 p.m.

NCTA Theater

Roundtable with National Civic Trust

LINCS is spending the day with the National Civic Trust, the association of state public affairs networks. In this roundtable discussion, we'll explore how our jobs overlap and how we can work together to improve government transparency.

3-5 p.m.

400 N. Capitol St., NW 

Tour of C-SPAN

Enjoy a VIP tour of the country's premier public television network! We'll view C-SPAN's studios and video library, and hear how they manage everything from their technical operations to communications strategies.

6:30-9:30 p.m.

National Press Club Ballroom

529 14th St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20045

2017 National Press Club Fourth Estate Awards Gala (black tie optional)

We're being whisked away to the ball by LINCS sponsored Rob Stoddard of NCTA - The Internet & Television Association! This year's dinner honors ESPN sports personalities Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser, among others. Speakers include Bob Woodward of The Washington Post and talk show host Maury Povich.


RSVP to Jane Andrade by Friday, Sept. 22.


8:30-9 a.m.

Hall of the States

444 North Capitol St. NW

Room 285


9:15-10:15 a.m.

Hall of the States

Room 285


LINCS Business Meeting

The business meeting is for all attendees! In addition to electing new officers and discussing the location for next year's professional development seminar, we'll brainstorm ways to strengthen and grow LINCS to include and assist legislative communicators throughout the country

10:15-11 a.m.

Hall of the States

Room 285


Social Media: Too Many Choices, Too Little Time

In many cases legislative communicators have had to absorb growing social media responsibilities into already demanding jobs. Learn how to make the biggest impact on social media with limited time. We'll also hand out the new Facebook Guide for State Legislators, a joint publication of NCSL and Facebook designed specifically for legislators and legislative communicators.



Mick Bullock, Director of Public Affairs, NCSL, and Berkeley Teate, Public Affairs Associate, NCSL

11 a.m.-Noon

Hall of the States

Room 285


LINCS Roundtable and staggered tours of NCSL D.C. Office

We'll wrap up our seminar with a roundtable discussion about what we've learned and share challenges, ideas and best practices from our own states and experiences. Those who are interested can head upstairs to see NCSL's Public Affairs shop and where NCSL's D.C. staff does its great work advocating on behalf of the states.