Communications & Marketing is thrilled to host the second annual Summer Summit on Tuesday, Aug. 1. 

This year's theme is "Ignite the Spark." Join us, live and in person in the Jaguar Student Activities Center to learn new approaches to strategizing and connecting with those that make our university like no other. 

Contact Us

Raysean Ricks

Health Sciences Campus

G. Lombard Kelly Building

trees and camp fire artwork inside sheild

The packed program will feature innovative, insightful industry-specific sessions, notable speakers, outstanding case studies and valuable in-person networking.

Don’t miss out on the C&M's second annual Summer Summit: Ignite the Spark!

Benefits of Attending

The Summer Summit is a valuable investment in you and your respective college or unit. Through the summit you will have a tremendous opportunity to:

  • Receive practical training in key concepts and review best practices and trends for the communications and marketing field .  
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how communications and marketing plays an integral role at an institution.
  • Develop practical strategies that will improve and advance your communications and marketing initiatives.
  • Discuss the ever-changing landscape of communications and marketing metrics and ROI.
  • The opportunity to make valuable connections with peers who you can call upon throughout your career.


Who Should Attend

1. Marketing and communication professionals responsible for the university brand position
2. Professionals new to the field of communications and marketing
3. Experienced professionals with new communications and marketing responsibilities
4. Experienced communications and marketing professionals who are new to higher education
5. Campus leaders and anyone who wants to better understand communications, marketing and multimedia fundamentals

This conference is designed for all professionals on campus with any communications and marketing responsibilities as well as those interested in learning more about our division.

Learning Objectives

After attending, you will be able to:
  • Identify creative ideas and innovative techniques that will set you apart while upholding the university's brand.
  • Develop a process to align resources to achieve brand awareness and preference across your institution or within your college or school unit.
  • Demonstrate effective strategies to champion your department chair, vice president, dean and other campus leaders.
  • Prioritize operational effectiveness to better structure your marketing/communication function.
  • Analyze data-driven insights to inform institutional brand and communication strategy and reputation.

Program Schedule

8 a.m.

Kindling Connections (Check-In)

  • Williams Ballroom, JSAC

Kick off the Summer Summit with an interactive icebreaker activity designed to help attendees connect and mingle before the main event starts. As part of the check-in process, each participant will receive a custom Bingo card tailored specifically for this networking session. Discover shared interests and meet new colleagues as you fill out your Bingo card by finding individuals who match the criteria in each square.

8:40 a.m.

man smiling

Ignite the Spark: Welcome to the Summer Summit

  • Russell Keen, Executive VicePresident of Administration & Chief of Staff to the President
  • Williams Ballroom, JSAC

9 a.m.

photo of Mark Lane

Mark Lane

  • Vice President
photo of Taylor Lamb

Taylor Lamb

  • Director, Marketing & Creative Services
photo of Heather Henley

Heather Henley

  • Director, Brand Communications
photo of Rachel Robbins

Rachel Robbins

  • Director, Digital & Interactive Effectiveness
photo of Art Berger

Art Berger

  • Director, Multimedia

State of the Department

  • C&M Leadership team
  • Williams Ballroom, JSAC

The Communications & Marketing leadership team will review the past year and share what's ahead for the upcoming year.

10:30 a.m. Breakout Session I

Responding to a social media crisis

  • Danielle Hayes, City of Augusta
  • Butler Meeting Room, JSAC

In this session, we will explore effective strategies and best practices for handling social media crises. With the rapid and widespread nature of social media, institutions face the risk of encountering a crisis that can quickly escalate. Danielle Hayes, public information officer for the City of Augusta, will share professional insights and experiences, providing valuable guidance on monitoring, identifying and responding to potential crises. Attendees will learn how to effectively navigate challenging situations, preserve brand reputation and turn crises into opportunities for growth and positive engagement.

Building influencer partnerships

  • Natasha Carter, Destination Augusta
  • Hardy Meeting Room, JSAC

Discover the power of influencer marketing in this interactive session. We will delve into the art of building successful partnerships with influential individuals who can help amplify your brand message and reach a wider audience. Natasha Carter, our expert speaker, will discuss key strategies for identifying the right influencers, establishing authentic relationships and executing impactful campaigns. Whether you are a beginner or have some experience in influencer marketing, this session will equip you with valuable insights and practical tips to leverage the influence of social media personalities to achieve your marketing goals.

Case Study: Vintage Augustus' creation and launch

  • Jason Craig, Taylor Lamb, & Alison Rohdy
  • Williams Ballroom, JSAC

Join us for an inspiring case study session as we dive into the story behind the creation and successful launch of Vintage Augustus, the newest addition to the Augusta University brand, that captured the hearts of Jag Nation. Learn from the creators themselves as they share their journey, from the initial concept to product development, branding and marketing strategies. Gain valuable insights into their decision-making process, challenges faced and the lessons they learned along the way. This session will inspire you to think creatively, embrace innovation and apply effective techniques when using official university artwork and marks.

11:45 a.m. Lunch (Williams Ballroom, JSAC)

man smiling

From Spark to Flame: Charting a Course to Excellence

  • Bennish Brown, CEO of Destination Augusta
  • Williams Ballroom, JSAC

Our keynote presentation, "From Spark to Flame: Charting a Course to Excellence," will be presented by Bennish Brown, CEO of Destination Augusta, who will delve intothe transformative journey of revamping the city of Augusta's branding and marketing strategies. Plus, enjoy a complimentary lunch and networking opportunities withindustry professionals.

1 p.m. Breakout Session II

Creating compelling content for different media platforms

  • Taylor Ferguson, Sergio Gallardo &Laura Evans
  • Hardy Meeting Room, JSAC

Discover the art of crafting engaging content tailored for various media platforms in this informative session. From social media to bulletin boards, digital campaigns to videos, each platform requires a unique approach to captivate and resonate with your target audience. Our experienced content creators will share their expertise, covering topics such as storytelling techniques, optimizing content for different formats and adapting to evolving trends. Learn how to create compelling, shareable and relevant content that cuts through the noise and drives meaningful engagement across diverse media channels.

Mastering the art of interviewing: Techniques and strategies for success

  • Stacey Eidson & Kevin Faigle
  • Butler Meeting Room, JSAC

Join us for an interactive session that will elevate your interviewing skills to new heights. Our seasoned interviewers will share their insights, techniques and strategies for conducting successful interviews that uncover valuable insights, capture compelling stories and engage interviewees. From preparing thoughtful questions to active listening and building rapport, learn how to create meaningful and memorable interviews that resonate with your audience. Gain practical tips, tricks and best practices that will empower you to conduct impactful interviews across various mediums, from articles to podcasts and beyond

From script to screen: Crafting engaging videos for today's audiences

  • Multimedia Team
  • Coffeehouse, JSAC

Unleash the power of video storytelling in this hands-on session designed to help you create captivating videos that resonate with today's audiences. From ideation to production and post-production, our industry experts will guide you through the entire video creation process. Learn about effective storytelling techniques, video editing tools and best practices for optimizing your videos for different platforms. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced videographer, this session will equip you with the skills and knowledge to produce engaging videos that leave a lasting impact.

2:15 p.m. Breakout Session III

Bridging communication with Alumni and Community Partners

  • Denise Parrish, Ashley White & Heather Young
  • Butler Meeting Room, JSAC

Communications and marketing professionals from the Division of External Relations discuss new and innovative programs and initiatives at Augusta University that foster meaningful connections with community partners and alumni. This breakout session will be beneficial for communicators as we explore new and existing ways to successfully leverage your unit's communication efforts using dynamic storytelling and comprehensive campaigns to boost community engagement, one of our university's strategic priorities.

Innovative communications and marketing strategies for mobile apps

  • Aenea Clark
  • Hardy Meeting Room, JSAC

Join us for an engaging session dedicated to exploring innovative communications and marketing strategies for Jag Mobile, the official Augusta University app. Discover the successes and achievements of Jag Mobile as we discuss the best strategies for campus partners to effectively utilize the app's features and functionalities. Aenea Clark, digital operations coordinator, will share her insights on optimizing user engagement, promoting app adoption and driving meaningful interactions within the campus community. Additionally, this session provides a valuable opportunity for attendees to share their feedback and suggestions for future iterations of the app, ensuring its continuous improvement and alignment with the evolving needs of our university.

Digital Accessibility: It's everyone's responsibility

  • Web Services
  • Coffeehouse MeetingRoom, JSAC

Join us for a thought-provoking session on the importance of digital accessibility and how it impacts user experiences. Our experts will shed light on inclusive design principles, assistive technologies and industry standards to ensure that your digital content and platforms are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Learn about common accessibility barriers and how to overcome them, as well as the legal and ethical considerations surrounding accessibility. Discover practical strategies to integrate accessibility into your communications and marketing efforts, promoting inclusivity and reaching a broader audience while fostering positive brand perception.

3:30 p.m.

photo of Christian Osborne

Christian Osborne

  • Market 31:30 & Co.
photo of Travis Highfield

Travis Highfield

  • Kennesaw State University
photo of Lindsay Fruchtl

Lindsay Fruchtl

  • Destination Augusta
photo of Stacie King

Stacie King

  • Stacie Social

Digital Spark Seekers: Amplifying Your Digital Impact

  • Williams Ballroom, JSAC

This panel discussion will cover the ever-evolving world of digital media. Our esteemed panelists, seasoned experts in communications and marketing, will shed light on the latest trends, best practices and innovative strategies for navigating the digital landscape. Learn from real-life examples and case studies as our panelists share their experiences in crafting compelling digital campaigns, creating authentic content and building meaningful connections with diverse audiences.

Kindling Connections (Networking Hour)

  • 5 p.m.
  • The Indian Queen (2502 Wrightsboro Road)

Join us for "Kindling Connections," an electrifying networking hour at The Indian Queen. Expand your network among fellow higher education professionals and campus thought leaders. Enjoy delightful conversations and the warmth of camaraderie in The Indian Queen's charming ambiance.