2019 LINCS PDS Agenda


Kansas City, Mo.

Oct. 23-25, 2019 | Kansas City, Mo.

Known as the City of Fountains and BBQ Capital, Kansas City is the setting for the 2019 professional development seminar for the Legislative Information and Communications Staff association (LINCS).

This year each session will include, or be followed by, a facilitated discussion so attendees can digest what they've learned and share challenges and solutions from their own experiences.

Below is the agenda.


Time Sessions

6:30-8:30 p.m.

Arthur Bryant's

1727 Brooklyn Avenue,
Kansas City, Mo.


LINCS Dinner

Join us for a casual evening of camaraderie and delicious BBQ before the PDS! 

Please note: You must RSVP to jane.andrade@ncsl.org by Oct. 9. The restaurant is about 2 1/2 miles from the hotel; attendees are responsible for their own transportation.

LINCS is grateful to NCTA - The Internet & Television Association for sponsoring this dinner. 

Time Sessions

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Main Gallery Foyer

21c Museum Hotel

219 W. 9th St.

Kansas City, Mo. 64015


8:45-9:15 a.m.

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel


9:15-10:30 a.m.

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel


The Fake-Out: Avoiding Fake News and Other Falsehoods in Social and Digital Media

The advent of digital media has created a new cottage industry for pranksters and agitators looking to perpetuate “deep fakes” in our flow of news and information. With the proliferation of social media platforms and the speed and ubiquity of today’s digital communications, it’s all too easy for legislators and other public figures to fall victim to those who choose to spread and amplify falsehoods for fun and profit. Hear an overview of the perils we face in today’s media environment, and what, if anything, you can do about it. Weigh in with your own thoughts and questions during a Q&A period.  


  • Speaker: Kathy Kiely, Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies, University of Missouri
  • Facilitator: Rob Stoddard, Senior Vice President, Industry & Association Affairs, NCTA - The Internet & Television Association
10:30-10:45 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m.-noon

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel


Social Media: Trends, Tweets and Trolls

The past decade has seen a rapid evolution of digital media, offering many new challenges for professionals in communications. In a legislative environment, throw in an additional layer of scrutiny while trying to keep up with the latest trends. Let’s navigate our way through the social media landscape to see what works best for our constituents, our time and our resources.   


  • Speaker: Berkeley Teate, Public Affairs Specialist, NCSL
Noon-12:15 p.m Break

12:15-1:30 p.m. 

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel

Luncheon and Keynote: When Hackers Attack

Ransomware attacks are becoming more common, and no entity is immune. Cybercriminals have found an easy way to make money, and it could involve hacking into your computers and holding your system hostage. Nancy Lewis got a firsthand lesson this August. With 30 years in media, public relations and communication, Lewis is ready to handle any crisis. This one, however, had its own unique set of challenges. She will walk you through a ransomware attack from a communicator’s point of view, and give you tips for handling that and other crises that often start in the same way… with that random phone call at 4 a.m.


  • Speaker: Nancy Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer, Truman Medical Centers
1:30-1:45 p.m. Break

1:45-3:15 p.m.

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel

Reporters Roundtable

This popular session, where we turn the tables and you ask the questions, brings in statehouse reporters to explore the relationship between the legislature and the media.


Guest Reporters:

  • Jason Hancock, lead political reporter, The Kansas City Star 
  • Jonathan Shorman, state government and politics reporter, The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star 
  • Crystal Thomas, political reporter, The Kansas City Star 
  • Brent Martin, news director, KFEQ/Eagle Radio 

3:15-4:45 p.m.

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel

The Art of Persuasive Communications
Gathering support for a position is an enormously valuable legislative and life skill. Yet true persuasion requires more than facts and figures. Learn what the current brain research teaches us about how people make decisions and walk away with tangible techniques that you can use to help shift the thinking of others to your side.


  • Speaker: Curt Stedron, Legislative Learning and Development Principal, NCSL

5:15-7 p.m.

Museum Gallery

21c Museum Hotel

Opening Reception: Celebrating LINCS' 20th Anniversary

Networking and enjoying hors d'oeuvres and beverages with your fellow LINCSters takes on a special meaning as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of LINCS. 



8:30-9 a.m.

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel

Coffee & Pastries

9-10:30 a.m.

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel


Collaborative Problem-Solving

Legislative staff are often involved in situations where two sides are locked into a conflict, and they need to help resolve it. This hands-on workshop is designed to teach staff to apply the principles of negotiation to help explore creative ways of delivering solutions to conflicts in a way that all sides can leave feeling satisfied.


  • Speaker: Curt Stedron, Legislative Learning and Development Principal, NCSL
10:30-10:45 a.m. Break

10:45-11:45 a.m.

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel




Persuasive Writing: Beyond the Speech

Except for press releases (third person, inverted pyramid), most of the writing legislative communicators do for lawmakers is (a) first-person and (b) persuasive. Explore how to use the best tools of speechwriting not just for speeches, but for op-eds, committee testimony, newsletters, constituent emails, TV scripts and radio. You’ll learn how to give a speech with emotional velocity, incorporate storytelling, write quickly under pressure and more.


  • Speakers: Guy Bergstrom and Jen Walderf, Senior Communications Specialists and Speechwriters, Washington House Democratic Caucus

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel


12:30-1 p.m.

Hotel entrance

21c Museum Hotel

Break and board bus for tours. Bus leaves at 1:05 p.m.


1:30-3 p.m.

3-3:20 p.m.

3:20-5 p.m.

Museum Tours:

Board bus and travel to WWI Museum

5-5:20 p.m. Board bus and travel back to hotel


Free to explore Kansas City

8:30-10:15 a.m.

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel

Breakfast and Business Meeting 

Join us for a hot breakfast, followed by LINCS' annual business meeting, where we'll elect officers and directors for 2019-2020, update our bylaws, present awards and discuss LINCS activities.

10:15-10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m.-Noon

Main Gallery

21c Museum Hotel

The New Publication

While informing and engaging constituents has been an important function for legislators and staff since the first legislature convened 400 years ago, the avenues for communicating have grown exponentially in the digital world. Hear from two states employing innovative communications methods, then join a roundtable discussion about other state efforts.


  • Speakers: Jeff Fossett, Video Communications Specialist, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission; and Will Tracy, Production Assistant, Arkansas House of Representatives