Communications Committee
August 2005 - PLN Minutes
August 29, 2005
Garvin Quinn - Chair
Bob Reynolds - Vice-chair
Debbie Archer - Secretary
Carla Craycraft - 1862 PLC representative
Gloria Mosby - 1890 PLC representative
Frank Wolak - 1862 advisor
Lorenza Lyons - 1890 advisor
Robin Adams
Haven Miller
Angela Bokin
Terry Meisenbach
Tom Knecht
Virginia Morgan
Ashley Wood
Ellen Ritter
Frankie Gould
Anne Young
Debbie Dalhouse
Dee Shore
Don Stotts

Update and correct membership roster
Garvin asked that all communications committee members check the communications roster to update and make corrections. Anyone can use the listserv listed on the site to send messages to the entire group. The URL is:
Report on meetings from previous day

Gloria Mosby - The PLC asked for a standardized logo. Our committee took on the task. Georgia came up with a design that was presented to the PLC in December. At that time, they requested minor changes, which were made. After a closer look, however, they wanted the whole logo revised. Comments included:

  • The image does not reflect networking
  • They questioned the significance of the light bulb
  • Said there are too many letters and asked they be scaled down
  • The original gears used in previous designs were discussed. They want our committee to consider having gears as part of the design again.
  • Left the task up to the communications committee

Gloria recommended that the communications prepare three to four new versions of the design for the PLC to look at.

The PLC also discussed the two original task forces - Cooperative Extension leadership and the obesity task force. The task force committee on leadership disbanded. The obesity task force is still functioning. It was suggested that each committee do something in line with the obesity task force. Suggestions should be reported back to the committee. For the communications group, Gloria suggested perhaps some kind of design work.

Garvin and Bob attended the meeting and reported to the group.

Garvin reported that each committee must put their minutes on the website by October 1. The PLN website can be found at

Garvin asked the group for suggestions on how to react to the requested logo change. The committee agreed to ask graphic designers in each of our states to try their hands at designing a new PLC logo. Drafts should be submitted to Bob Reynolds. Bob's e-mail address is Logos should look good in both grayscale and color. October 15 is the deadline for submissions to be sent to Bob.

Each state should supply to Bob their communications office website.

By October 1, each committee must submit their plan of work to Kathy Ibendahl as well as minutes from SR-PLN meetings.

Report from CECP Steering Committee representatives: Ellen Ritter and Frankie Gould

Ellen - The committee reviewed lots of processes and documents and updated their annual plan of work. One document discussed involved a work item for the communications group--CECP online courses and modules.

Question - does this meet each committee's needs? If not, we can add items. CECP online modules and a courses-review form were shared.

The CECP steering committee is asking individual committees to review their competencies to make sure they are on target. Individual committees should look at competency lists for overlap.

Various rotation terms are up. Ellen's term is up. The communications committee needs a new steering committee member. Frankie is an at large member who was appointed. Her term is ending as well. Her term will be filled elsewhere.

Sustainability of CECP efforts: Review communications taxonomy, identify future priorities, decide what kinds of content will be needed

Review process - people assigned to review sections. Once modules pass through an internal review, there is no other review process. It is up to committees to conduct reviews.

The communications committee has its own review system.

As a committee, we need to think about how to structure the review process. The peer review process in our group involves fellow communicators. It may be helpful to have review input near the beginning of the development process by reviewing at stages rather than just at the end.

Garvin - This conversation may necessitate a change in our review process. In November, a review process was submitted to Julie Sexton. We may need to revise to include current early on reviews.

The purpose of CECP was discussed. Ashley suggested that a measurement tool be developed to accompany modules. Carla said we should cause the program and staff development groups to be proactive.

There is an online transcript to see who has completed courses.

  • Ellen - way of peer review.
  • Tom - may need a pilot test group to give us feedback.
  • Robin - not limit peer review to communication group members.
  • Bob - peer review, then field test.
  • Ellen - guide for development of modules says to include people who would use module to review.
  • Tom - need feedback for suggestions.
  • Bob - instrument needed for response.
  • Robin - need customer to tell us if product works. Basic part of process.
  • Ellen - depends on what kind of competencies are needed in individual states.
  • Garvin - called for volunteers to serve on sub group for review process. Said the review process needs to be reviewed.

Don Stotts volunteered to be on the review committee.

Frankie recommended that whoever volunteers look at the guidelines before process begins.

Dee Shore volunteered.

Robin volunteered.

Garvin - What are some other competency areas we need to look at? New modules?

  • Writing for the web - on list
  • Haven - disaster communications. How do you communicate during a disaster?
  • Ashley - battery operated radio. Have to think at the base level. Communication is door to door in disaster situation.
  • Frankie - look at EDEN site
  • Ashley, Texas person and Frankie will work on exhibit design
  • Ashley - Distance education done by Ricky Telig might be looked at. Available on CD. Garvin will communicate with Ricky Telig about distance education work that has been done
  • Carla - Basic digital photography w/link for release forms
  • Bob - Basic writing/rules of writing
  • Angela working on fundamentals of writing
  • Bob working w/UALR writing and rhetoric
  • Angela said she would work w/curriculum development person in her state to see if that could be coordinated as a CECP module.
  • Tom, Bob, Frankie will work on basic photography module.

Frankie - learning management system being looked at by steering committee. Separate portals for internal and external users? Look at software capabilities.

Carla - Initial thrust is external for eXtension. Learning management system - can be expensive piece of software. Partnering with USDA to set up various agencies. Tracking system, evaluation system. 2006 look at more closely. Use CECP examples and figure out how to move them into learning management system. It is the content that is important. CECP - internal training, eXtension - external training. At some point the two will mesh.


CECP module discussion, updates on progress of projects, demonstrations of CECP modules in process
  • Haven - Writing for the Newspaper
    • Showed module
    • Haven asked how the module can measure success without the user actually submitting a writing sample
    • Robin suggested having users judge good and bad writing samples
    • Haven asked that the module be reviewed
    • How can module be made more visually exciting?
    • How to interest the reporter in writing a story (Robin) i.e. - pitching the story
    • Mention it here, but go into detail with media relations module
    • Virginia asked about putting advanced levels up within the module(s)
  • Ellen - Marketing Extension Programs
    • Showed module
    • Made some progress. Had hoped to have it completed. It is close. After consulting with an instructional designer, we did more work. Five modules. All content is complete. System itself has limitations. Dreamweaver can be used or you can import other software into the system.
    • Put marketing in the Extension context. Had to be generic. Used graphics throughout. Pleased with the content. Long way from having it like we want it to look. Have added links to include other states. Look at in on site in a couple of weeks. Will have it done (Elizabeth Gregory will finish it up) by end of this year, early next year.
  • Ashley - Producing Effective Newsletters
    • Shared a hard copy of what has been done so far.
    • Module needs to be tested. Group has been assigned to move the module forward. Will input visuals to go with text. Ashley will share more of the module with the group as the project moves along. Once prepared and presented, he will use it with his training.
  • Tom Knecht - Media Relations Made Easy
    • Delegated work to Danny Garner, who has retired. Never made much progress with the module. Needs to be rewritten.
    • Rock group (ACE group) developed a media relations workshop. Excellent material. Been working six to nine months to get approval from group to use the material. Concern that putting it online would cut into sales of the workbook. More openness now that the material can be used.
    • A few questions still need to be answered.
    • Copyright - who will own the copyright of this material? How is CECP addressing this?
    • Ellen - issue has been discussed. Material belongs to the Southern Region. By using material developed by another group, this opens up new issues. Group doesn't want to loose their rights to the material. Perhaps group could license the material.
    • Frankie - technically, the media relations SIG of ACE owns the material.
    • Tom - for our purposes, get owners to license the materials for the PLN's use. Tom suggests that he continues to work on getting licensing agreement worked out.
    • Question about access. Can copies of materials be made to individual institution sites? Will there be a charge? There will be no charge for materials used on CECP site.
  • Tom - Copyright/Intellectual Property
    • Showed module
    • Put set of test questions at end. Can't figure out how to make it visually attractive
    • Solicited feedback.
State Report

Robin Adams and Dee Shore - North Carolina

August 30, 2005

Curriculum development for in-service training - Tom Knecht

OLC Training Curriculum

  • Shared Instructional Design Plan for Understanding Copyright and Trademarks handout, Addressing the Need for Communications Training handout and the Mississippi State Train the Trainer - Media Relations and News Writing Curriculum Guide Notebook
  • A need or desire to talk about training in communications group. All must do face-to-face training.
  • Ellen - shop working on re-purposing. If somebody is going out to videotape, do more than one thing such as still photography, or line up some interviews with scientists. Staff came up w/idea that agents often driving around in cars, producers end up with lots of video. Extension Talk Radio came out of discussion. Pressing cds that agents can listen to. Distributed first batch to new employees. All repurposed stuff. Listening to audio in cars make this media well received.
  • Tom - It would be easy to generate a script off of the CECP modules and change it a bit for voicing and pressed to CDs.

Interactive Video

  • Bob - seems to be a resistance because it is a technology that people still aren't willing to take advantage of.
  • Dee - depends on what it is and what you expect out of it will determine if it will work or not.
  • Frankie - constant request "can we videotape that and can we put it on the web?" Opens up a can of worms for putting field days on the web. We should train specialists/agents to videotape. Train via distance education. Do testing and evaluate their work. Looking at streaming activity via videophone.
  • Robin - need to ask "what makes good tv?"
  • Frankie - Louisiana doing this as a test
  • Ashley - streaming video. Extension comings and goings. Been fairly successful. Now doing monthly two-minute videos. Response is favorable.
  • Field days - working on first virtual field day. Working with instructional designer. Not videotaping actual field days, but giving field day "feel."
  • Tom - Perhaps we should share expertise on how to use interactive video effectively.
  • Ashley - effectiveness - ability to see people from a distance. Cut down drive time.
  • Virginia - couple of gripes - Hard to help people understand the etiquette of using an interactive video system, and with buffering, you loose continuity.
  • Ashley - There is a difference in a distance education event and a video conference event.
  • Ellen - have to recognize limitations of methods. Still not a good medium for teaching skills.
  • Tom - continue sharing information about what works and what doesn't work.

Sharing Among States

  • Ellen - as we look at our colleagues they sell the notebooks they produce. Perhaps we should look at issues of sharing and some buying and selling of products. Group agreed the buying and selling of materials is a good idea. May give some incentive for development.
  • Tom - asked how many of us have training materials that are ready to be shared/sold to others. Need an inventory of what is available. Take on as a group project. Each state could work up a charge schedule.
  • Debbie D. - need a central place for the buying and selling of materials.
  • Bob - would add to value of the product.
  • Tom - asked Garvin if there is a way to put a listing on the website. It would be up to each state as to how the product would be sold. Could use listserve to put out announcements.
  • Frankie - ADEC is a possibility.
  • Bob - would like to see how it goes just within this group. Keep it simple.
  • Ellen - we do come face-to-face once a year. Could bring training materials to show.
  • Dee - has a newsletter that talks about communications training. Would be willing to share. It would be good to have a repository.
  • Debbie D. - or offer a link
  • Garvin - good work plan item for next year
  • Volunteers to work on this? - Dee Shore, Debbie Dalhouse and Gloria Mosby

Management Issues

  • Bob - shop offers one-on-one coaching
  • Ashley - new faculty orientation - offer in-service training during that time
  • Dee - working on prioritizing
  • Don - gearing up for training
  • Ashley - Extension symposium - communications training offered there.
  • Haven - Training agents vs. specialized training. Brought in a special trainer. Media training for administrators.
  • Bob -- suggested a keynote speaker (outside speaker) on crisis communications be brought in to present to next year's general session.

Role of Communicators in eXtension - Terry Meisenbach

Joined eXtension team on July 11. Appointment is 60 percent. Lot of time being spent catching up what is happening with eXtension.

Communications and Marketing

Advisory Committee - call went out and committee will be announced. Work will be done from a distance. May be necessary to bring group together at some point. Funds together to bring group together.

Communications and Marketing Plan

Suppose to be done by end of this calendar year. Still waiting for that product to be marketed. Will build good plan.

Internal vs. External

Internal market is being focused on now. Working with issues on getting financial support. Some states are still to join eXtension family. Still a large body of people we need to reach and talk to.

Institutional Teams

Launching meetings. Find out about institutional teams. Seventy-four institutions that can be part of eXtension, currently 31 teams. Need someone from communications on teams. Training being done with Breeze technology. Allows great interaction.


Two of them. First to be in Feb. 2006, the other will be at the launch of eXtension. In Feb. will celebrate the first Communities of Practice launch. Have asked 17 to come back with full proposals.


  • Formal - Cris Boone. Focus groups with select members of Extension audience and target people.
  • Anecdotal - What are people saying about eXtension? How do we fit into eXtension? Where do you learn about eXtension? - E-mails, teleconferences. Do you get e-mail from CSREES commheads list? Angela needs to be added. What questions are you hearing/getting about eXtension?
  • Ellen - what is scary is the lack of questions.
  • Tom - was asked to explain it to department heads.
  • Don - one question being asked is "will this count toward my tenure and promotion?'
  • Frankie - "that's an Extension thing, that doesn't involve us." Concern that a vital group is being left out.
  • Tom - concerned that it will be a regional work.
  • Terry - asked about calls of engagement.
  • Frankie - cotton specialist was called to head up team. Put proposal in. Was accepted for a second round.
  • Terry - review process was balanced.
  • Ashley - "what is this and how will it help me" is being asked.
  • Bob - urban offices say they like the web because they can't handle the volume of calls.
  • Haven - show and tell is important. Administrators and agents need to see the presentation.
  • Terry - presentation hasn't been shared broadly. eXtension will be personalized for clients. News will be important for keeping eXtension fresh.
  • Ellen - issue of identity is of importance.
  • Bob - good idea to deputize folks to go out into states with a PowerPoint presentation on eXtension.
  • Terry - idea of giving teams a tool kit will be an important thing.
  • Bob - survey people who have heard it and share questions that have come up.
  • Terry - if you get questions, please share them.

Implementation of the Plan - First Steps

  • Assessment
  • Where are we now?
  • Goals and objectives
    • Communication
    • Marketing
  • Audience
    • Internal-Extension
    • External-The World?
  • Join the process -

Sharing Spanish language materials - Discussion leader: Haven Miller

30 sec. PSAs presented - Asthma from Air Pollution and Lead in Water

About three years ago, a staff member was contacted by an editor of a Spanish language publication to solicit information from Kentucky Extension.

Radio Vida

8-10 percent of the population in Kentucky are Hispanic. Small gospel station in Paris, Kentucky. Broadcast 12-16 hours per day. Gospel music and talk. Extension's relationship with them is to provide PSAs in Spanish. Got Kentucky PSAs translated in Florida and a student started helping produce announcements. Supply radio station with PSAs. Write in English, Translate in Spanish. Can get to news and events at the Kentucky website - Spanish Language Public Service.


  • Radio Source Net - about 25 states participate
  • Bob - 75 percent of Hispanics surveyed in Arkansas listen to Spanish radio all the time
  • Haven -- Monthly visit to radio Vida
  • Specialist in subject matter area
  • Take out specialists once a month - ask question in English, then translated answer on radio.
  • Consumer subject matter provided in such topies as finance, horticulture, nutrition, entomology, pets, clothing and sociology
  • Extension on the Air - Feb. 2003; Open up more and more
  • Ellen - issue goes back to sharing. Made investments at various institutions. Radio Source has been a huge asset. Publication out there. Shared Extension en Espanol handout. Want to keep building collection. Need to collaborate with Puerto Rico.
  • Debbie D. - majority of Hispanics in America are from Mexico and it is a different Spanish. Need a Mexican or native speaker as well.
  • Ellen - trying to do what commercial broadcasters have done. Looking for broadcast standards. Can't serve just one Spanish speaking population.
  • Ashley - There is just a need to understand.
  • Ellen - Asked Terry about Spanish issue with eXtension. Need a permanent place to feed into.
  • Terry - a mirror site in Spanish is a goal. As we go out for calls of engagement, that has to be considered.
  • Tom - Radio an excellent way to deliver information in Spanish.
  • Dee - disaster is horrendous. Need to get disaster PSAs out to the Hispanic audience.
  • Ashley - Call 352-392-2411 Marion Douglas will send CDs. Mostly Spanish. Radio is the only way to get information out after a disaster.
  • Undertaking want to hire someone w/communications background whose first language is Spanish. Want to translate publications - start with five most requested publications. Have a large agricultural worker Hispanic population. Don't have enough material in Spanish.
  • Ellen - the labor pool of Hispanic communicators- how do we attract them to Extension?
  • Anne - shared a publication - done through a grant. At field days, have a translator onsite to translate. Publication is done in both English and Spanish. Landscape Safety Training
  • Manual for Hispanic Workers
  • Tom - need reviews of Hispanic publications
  • Ashley - find a graduate student, perhaps. Need someone with Spanish as a first language with a communications background.

Information/Action item - Have crisis information general session at general session next year.

Joint meeting time with Information Technology Program Committee

State Report - Ellen - Texas

  • Extension in the City CD shared
  • Dr. Lorenza Lyons, 1890 advisor, was introduced
  • Election of new communications program committee officers
    Secretary Frankie nominated Anne Young
    Elected by acclimation
    1862 PLC representative Virginia nominated Frankie Gould
    Elected by acclimation
    CECP steering committee Bob nominated Tom Knecht
    Tom declined
    Frankie nominated Robin Adams
    Elected by acclimation
  • Evaluation forms handed out

State reports

  • 1890 Arkansas - Debbie Archer / 1890 Texas - Gloria Mosby - 1890 Impact document
  • Florida - Ashley Wood
  • Louisiana - Frankie Gould
  • Alabama - Virginia Morgan

Work plan due October 1, 2005

August 31, 2005

State reports

  • Kentucky - Haven Miller

Report on early morning meeting of the SR-PLC - Gloria and Frankie

  • New PLC chair - Thelma Sanders Hunter
  • New vice-chair - Nina Boston
  • Went through action and information items
  • CECP (Julie Sexton) presented forms for review for modules. Asked PLC to endorse it then forward to directors. Two items brought up:
    1. ADA compliance - are they being reviewed for compliance?
    2. Diversity and sensitivity should be addressed.
  • Frankie - SR emergency management committee MOU be developed to help with emergency management.
  • Instructional design and technology - pool resources to help
  • FCS - asking directors to endorse direction of the obesity task force

State reports

  • Mississippi - Tom Knecht
  • Georgia - Anne Young
  • South Carolina - Debbie Dalhouse
  • Arkansas - Bob Reynolds
  • Oklahoma - Don Stotts
  • Tennessee - Garvin Quinn
Anne Young brought a copy of an accountability and CECP module. Sharon asked group if we should proceed with our module or just use one already developed. We'll just let the other group proceed. Frankie asked that we look at the module.

Action items have to be turned in by Bob by Oct. 1

  • Progress of Modules
  • Teleconferences schedule

Dates for PLC conference calls (Gloria)

  • Oct. 20
  • Winter meeting, Nov. 30-Dec. 1
  • Feb. 16
  • Apr. 20
  • June 15
  • July 20

Dates and Times for Communications Audio Conferences

  • Oct. 19, 2005 - 2 p.m. CST
  • Feb. 15, 2006 - 2 p.m. CST
  • April 19, 2006 - 2 p.m. CST
  • June 14, 2006 - 2 p.m. CST
  • July 19, 2006 - 2 p.m. CST

Gloria - reminded group to get revised logos prepared and sent to Bob

Bob - said he would have the logos on line for the October audio conference.

The meeting adjourned at 10 a.m.