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12 Conference Sessions to Freshen Your Media Skills

head shot of Rick Bragg looking at the camera.
Rick Bragg

1. "Writing With Color."
Rick Bragg,
Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter and author of six books, says that "Show, don't tell" is one of the oldest of journalism boiler plates. "The notion that only real rich writing will capture a reader, that painting a picture with words and hanging it on the air will keep them reading, wears on and on," he says.

2. "Tricks for Loosening Up A Tough Subject"
How do you prevail and get your best story when your interview subject clams up? Longtime AMP member Carolanne Griffith Roberts, former newspaper TV critic and Travel/Features Editor for Southern Living magazine, will share her tricks of the trade.

head shot of T.K. Thorne looking at the camera.
T.K. Thorne

3. "7 Steps To Make Your Fiction or Nonfiction A Page Turner"
Award-winning author and former police woman T.K. Thorne has published historical novels and a non-fiction book about the research behind the investigation of a Birmingham bombing case that became a pivotal point in America's civil rights movement.

head shot of cynthia price looking at the camera.
Cynthia Price

4. "#TweetPitch Success"
Cynthia Price,
Director of Media and Public Relations at the University of Richmond and a former NFPW president, will tell you how to use Twitter to pitch the media, respond to reporter requests and amplify your reach.

5. "Grant Proposals: Stay Calm and Write!"
Applying project management techniques developed over 30 years in the IT Department of BellSouth, AMP member Herb Patterson has successfully won 70% of his grant proposals for Alabama nonprofits. Patterson will reveal the secrets to answering questions on grant application forms.

6. "Maintaining Objectivity While Covering Racially Charged Events"
Small communities and large cities are facing challenges in reporting events where race becomes an issue. Hear what retired Circuit Court Judge Helen Shores Lee, whose childhood home in Birmingham was bombed during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, a former Birmingham policewoman-turned-writer T.K. Thorne, and a working journalist have to say about reporting what's happening accurately and without bias.

head shot of Javacia Harris Bowser price looking at the camera.
Javacia Harris Bowser

7. "People, Not Page Views: Why Relationships Are Key to Building Your Blog, Brand or Business"
Javacia Harris Bowser,
founder of See Jane Write, an award-winning membership organization and website for female writers, bloggers and entrepreneurs, will offer practical tips on how to use blogging and networking (online and offline) to grow your personal brand and writing career.

8. "Social Media and the Impact of Fractured Channels"
It's no secret that the world of information is drastically different, but most of us aren't in touch with how much our habits have changed. Former broadcast journalist Ike Pigott, communication strategist at Alabama Power, shares insights about what that means for you --as consumer, creator, publisher--and for us, as a society of free people.

head shot of Stuart Englert price looking at the camera.
Stuart Englert

9. "Write It Right: Concise and Precise"
Stuart Englert,
a former senior editor at American Profile, with two novels under his belt, is a master at whittling 1200 words down to 600. He'll show you how selecting relevant details and appropriate words is key to tight writing.

10. "Politics, The Media, and American Democracy"
Natalie Davis,
recently-retired Birmingham-Southern College professor and one of Alabama's best-known political commentators, will discuss what's on every journalist's mind in these days of media-bashing. "How influential are the media? Do they create or simply mirror our politics? To what extent have new technologies changed the basic nature of American politics?"

11. "Copyrights and Trademarks"
Birmingham attorney India Vincent specializes in these areas, and will tell you how to avoid the pitfalls of not observing these important points of law.

12. "How To Talk Your Book"
After you publish your book, you'll have to write press releases, do radio interviews and make appearances on television and in person to talk about your work. AMP's Donna Francavilla, who broadcasts nationally on CBS Radio News, anchors on WCBS in New York, and owns her own consulting company, Frankly Speaking Communications, will lead an interactive session on presenting yourself powerfully and memorably.