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Communications Boot Camp: Winning the Ed Reform Conversation (K-12 Policy) is a Course

Communications Boot Camp: Winning the Ed Reform Conversation (K-12 Policy)



Full course description


Student-centered education policies have little chance to succeed without the support of parents, educators, business leaders and community members. How we talk about reform, how we deliver our messages, and with whom we communicate will make a big difference when it comes to winning the education reform conversation. In this self-paced course, participants will build their communications skills related to media relations, targeted messaging, and the use of social media.

Each module offers both video and written core content that will take no longer than an hour to complete. Additional resources are available in each module for those that want to take a deeper dive into specific topic areas. A digital badge and a certificate will be provided for course completion.

Course Objectives:

  • Create, identify and explain effective messages in advancing education reform.
  • Develop an effective communications strategy and tactics utilizing the skills and knowledge gained throughout the course.
  • Clearly communicate the need for education reform, explain a diverse array of reform policies, and refine messaging to different audiences.

Topics Covered Include:

  • Module One: Introduction
  • Module Two: Identifying Your Audience, Micro-targeting Matters, Proven Messages, and Packaging the Message
  • Module Three: Delivering Effective Messages
  • Module Four: Harnessing the Power of the Digital and Social Media
  • Module Five: Conclusion and Review

Technology Requirements:

You can access the course content via a computer, laptop, and/or mobile devices (e.g., iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, etc.). For mobile devices, go to the apps store (Apple or Android) to download Canvas apps.


Alia Faraj-Johnson, Senior Vice President, Hill+Knowlton Strategies: Alia is a longtime public relations and public affairs professional with more than 25 years of experience. She specializes in public affairs, legislative initiatives, crisis communications and the media. As a former television news producer and reporter and former Gov. Jeb Bush's longest-serving communications director, Alia has covered the capitol and legislative issues for more than two decades. She is a skilled professional spokesperson and has outstanding crisis management skills, having represented a host of state agencies and a broad cross-section of national clients including those in the healthcare and insurance sectors. She is a multiple Emmy award-winning producer, a 2009 winner of the national PR News Legal PR Award for Media Relations During Litigation or Crisis, and winner of the 2009 Bronze Bulldog Award for Best Crisis Communications. She is currently serving a second term as a gubernatorial appointee on the Florida Elections Commission. Alia has extensive relationships with the media and throughout state government.

Devin Foley, Co-founder and President, Intellectual Takeout: Devin is co-founder and president of Intellectual Takeout. In his role, he oversees content development and marketing, works with academics and experts to assure quality, and publicly promotes the site. Prior to co-founding Intellectual Takeout, Devin served as the Director of Development at the Center of the American Experiment, a state-based think tank in Minnesota, where he was responsible for meeting a $1 million annual budget. He has roughly eight years of fundraising and policy experience working for candidates and non-profit organizations. Additionally, he has been on 100.3 KTLK as well as Talk of the Nation on NPR and was named a 2011 Young Leader by the American Swiss Foundation.

Katie Harbath, Global Politics and Government Outreach Manager, Facebook: Katie Harbath is a Global Politics and Government Outreach Manager at Facebook, where she focuses on political outreach. Prior to Facebook, Katie was the Chief Digital Strategist at the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She previously led digital strategy in positions at DCI Group, the Rudy Giuliani for President campaign and the Republican National Committee. In 2009, she was named a Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections magazine.

Felix Schein President, RALLY: Felix Schein, President of RALLY, manages the firm’s operations and provides strategic vision and management for a range of complex client challenges. Felix began his career in journalism as an associate producer and researcher at Meet the Press and the NBC Nightly News. In 2001, he joined Today where he produced live and long-form packages on a variety of issues, including the geopolitical aftermath of 9/11. Following his stint with Today, Felix shifted his focus to domestic politics as a producer for NBC’s political unit, logging more than 500 days in the field reporting on the 2004 presidential campaign. Felix later segued into campaign management, leading a 2006 gubernatorial campaign before co-founding Griffin & Schein, which is now RALLY.

Aaron Lichtig, Head of Industry, Google: A digital native and experienced brand marketer, Aaron leads Google’s relationships with advocacy groups and associations. Before moving to Washington, DC in July 2014, Aaron worked for 3 years at Google Chicago, building marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 food & beverage companies. Prior to joining Google, Aaron spent 7 years in brand management at Procter & Gamble, leading marketing and innovation for global brands like Tide/Ariel, Gain, Downy, and Bounce.


Alia Faraj-Johnson

Senior Vice President, Hill+Knowlton Strategies




Devin Foley

Co-founder and President, Intellectual Takeout



“Katie Harbath

Katie Harbath

Global Politics and Government Outreach Manager, Facebook




Felix Schein

President, RALLY





Aaron Lichtig

Head of Industry, Google

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