Potomac Forum The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

The Forum of Choice for Government & Industry Training Since 1982

Social Media in Government, Investment Return Training Workshop: Making the Most of Your Investment

Making the most of modern communication technologies

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


**Online registration for this workshop is closed as of 2:50pm on August 18th. Onsite registration will be available as space permits at the Willard Hotel starting at 7:30am on Tuesday August 19th. Please send any questions to info@potomacforum.org.**


Morning Keynote Speaker:

Jessica Milcetich
Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategist
General Services Administration
Afternoon Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal
Guest Speakers:
Jason Townsend
 Deputy Social Media Manager
Bernetta Reese 
Web and New Media Manager
First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)
Department of Commerce
Blogger Bob (Curtis (Bob) Burns)

The TSA Official Blogger


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meeting Location: 
Willard InterContinental Hotel

Willard Intercontinental Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington 20004
United States

Metro Center (Red, Orange, Blue Lines). Use the exit marked “12th & F Sts” to exit onto F St., then continue straight two blocks and cross 14th St.


Significant resources (time and funds) are being spent by the Government on New Media. The way your Agency communicates – to the public, to international audiences, and perhaps most importantly with its own employees – is in the second  stage of a dramatic shift.  (The first stage was the acceptance that social media would be used by the Government). The combined forces of Administration Open Government goals, social media technology innovations, ubiquitous and mobile access, and an imminent surge in a younger, more electronically social workforce has driven changes in how we communicate and interact.   Government leaders are   embracing the change and adapting it for effective communication outreach to a new generation.  The question is:  how does an agency make the best use of the funds available for new media to achieve the most benefit? At this Potomac Forum Workshop  thought leaders and practitioners will discuss the current state of social communication technology and policy, real examples of how social media is being used and governed effectively, what the future holds for technology and communication trends and how staff managers and executives can measure and evaluate the benefits and outcomes for new media activities.

What You Will Learn: 

  • Changing nature of communication

  • Overview of the social media landscape

  • Ways new media has been used successfully in the Federal Government

  • Ways you can use new media tools and social engagement techniques effectively in your agency

  • How to establish and evaluate the results of New media activities

  • What’s on the horizon and how to be prepared



Why You Should Attend: 

  • Hear from Government leaders who have successfully adopted new media tools and social techniques,

  • Engage with new media practitioners and thought leaders,

  • Gather ideas to move your communications strategies  in new directions,

  • Take away ideas that you can put into practice in your Agency immediately,

  • Learn about techniques for setting and measuring success criteria and tools to measure them 


Who Should Attend: 

  • Executive leadership in charge of communication (internal and external)

  • Leaders wishing to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing

  • Managers responsible for open government and transparency in government initiatives

  • IGs, evaluators and reviewers who must review the effectiveness of Agency new media Activities

  • Industry partners



 Presentations, case studies and government speakers




Registration and Continental Breakfast



Art Chantker, President, Potomac Forum 


Government Keynote Presentation:
Jessica Milcetich,
Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategist,
General Services Administration


Understanding the Current Social Media Landscape
  • Managing online communities
  • What works and what does not –strategy, engagement, evaluation
  • Traditional evaluation techniques – what is good and what is not
  • Reviewing real-world examples
  • Specific Lessons Learned 

Refreshment Break

Crafting An Effective Social Media Strategy
  • Understanding your audience
  • Measures of Success
  • Research and planning
  • Staffing and execution
  • General Lessons Learned from Government and Industry
  • Best Practices from other government agencies
Hosted Working Luncheon  
Students will be presented with a discussion topic based upon the morning’s presentation and will be asked to discuss.  Each lunch table will select a “leader” who will “report out” after luncheon

“Report out” of Working Luncheon Discussion Topic

Government Panel of Social Media Executives 
Donna J. Buckner, PMP, CSM, ITILv3
Vice President
Primescape Solutions, Inc.
Panel Members:
Jason Townsend
Deputy Social Media Manager
Bernetta Reese 
Web and New Media Manager
First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)
Department of Commerce
Blogger Bob (Curtis (Bob) Burns)

The TSA Official Blogger


Refreshment Break


Making the Most of Your Investment

  • What to Measure
  • How to Evaluate
  • How to determine if your investment is achieving the right results
  • Tuning your approach
  • What questions should managers ask of their new media Team (and what answers should the team be prepared to give to senior leaders)?
Keynote: New Media Trends for the Future
What the Government Needs to Know to Prepare for the Future
Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal 
Wrap-up and Q&A
5:00PM Workshop Adjourns
5:00PM Post Workshop Discussions with Instructors on Specific Individual Topics

Agenda Subject to Change



Registration Information: 

Government Employees: $995 (Federal, State, or Local Government Issued ID).
Reduced Registration Fee: Now $795 



Government Team Discount Rate: Send a team to learn together. Register one employee and the second person from the same department registers at 50% of the current rate.

Industry and Contractors: $1095 (Including contractors on-site and in direct support of government agencies).
Reduced Registration Fee: Now $895




Fee includes instruction, presentations, Training Workshop Notebook, and continental breakfasts, morning and afternoon refreshments, and working lunch at the Willard.



Keynote Speaker: 

Jessica Milcetich

Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategist,

General Services Administration


Jessica Milcetich is a social media and digital strategist at the General Services Administration. She pioneered the use of social media at GSA’s Federal Citizen Information Center and manages social media for FCIC’s well-known website USA.gov. Since starting with USA.gov, Jessica has been responsible for managing the organization's presence in the ever-changing world of social media. Her agency was the first federal agency to use Tumblr, and her role helps provide social media assistance for thousands of people with questions on how to navigate the complexities of the federal government. Jessica is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism and a huge Terps fan. When she's not busy working or cheering for the Terps, Jessica spends her time training for marathons and triathlons.



Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is a prolific blogger and public speaker who has dedicated her professional career to pioneering best practices in branding, social media and transparency. She is an active contributor to DigitalGov, the interagency Social Media Community of Practice, and her writing is regularly featured on the social network Govloop.com. A former brand consultant who has worked in the public sector for more than a decade, Dr. Blumenthal has served as Chair of the Federal Communicators Network, Director of the Institute for Brand Leadership, and member of the editorial board of the Journal of Brand Management, and is also on the marketing adjunct faculty at University of Maryland University College. She is speaking for Potomac Forum in her own personal capacity, but her professional activity is supported by her employer, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, where she currently serves as Director of Digital Engagement. Her blog is located at www.dannielleblumenthal.com, and she Tweets @thinkbrandfirst. All opinions expressed by Dr. Blumenthal are her own.

Guest Speakers: 

Bernetta Reese

Web and New Media Manager

First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)


Bernetta Reese currently serves as the acting Web and New Media Manager for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) where she oversees web operations, digital content and social media, and provides strategic guidance on industry web best practices.


Prior to working at FirstNet, Bernetta served as the Web Manager for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) where she engaged in department- and federal-wide initiatives in support of the Secretary’s priorities and the White House’s Digital Government Strategy and represented the department on several working groups, committees, sub-councils, and web communities while also serving as liaison to USDA’s 29 agencies and offices.


Bernetta has an extensive background in public service. At the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security she led critical web efforts and provided emergency web response to terrorist incidents and other national crises.


Today, with more than 15 years of public service, she is honored to serve throughout the federal government managing federal websites and teams, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She has participated in numerous events and campaigns across the public sector, most recently with the White House, State Department, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration to help inform and engage the public via social media.

Jason Townsend

Deputy Social Media Manager



Jason Townsend is NASA's deputy social media manager where he helps oversee and coordinate over 450 social media accounts covering NASA’s people, missions, and programs. He coordinates between internal social media users and NASA’s external community of fans and followers to tell NASA’s story using tools such as the agency’s flagship Twitter account, @NASA, and pages on Facebook and Google+. Additionally, Mr. Townsend provides guidance to agency leadership on social media best practices, policy, and upcoming social media activities. He also plans and supports successful NASA Socials (formerly Tweetups) events that take online engagement with fans and followers to the next level through behind-the-scenes, in-person experiences.

Bob Burns

Blogger Bob 

The TSA Official Blogger


Bob Burns joined the Transportation Security Administration’s Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs in 2008 to manage the TSA Blog. Known in some circles as “Blogger Bob,” he has become the face of TSA’s social media presence, writing nearly 700 blog posts, tweeting, and most recently posting pictures to Instagram.


Prior to joining the Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, Bob served in various TSA positions at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport from 2002 until March of 2008. His extensive field experience, knowledge of both TSA procedures and passenger issues, and his engaging personality has enabled Bob to communicate effectively in all of TSA’s social media initiatives.


Every week, Bob posts on relevant topics – offering tips for getting through the checkpoint faster, commenting on stories in the press, or investigating and providing insights into “why” TSA has certain policies or performs certain procedures. His posts contain the perfect mix of fact and funny – artfully conveying important information in an informal and entertaining fashion. Bob continues to do an excellent job of leveraging this experience, personality, creativity, motivation, and commitment to public service to increase transparency and help transform open government from promise to practice.


Among many other accolades, the TSA Blog won a PRSA Bronze Anvil award in 2010 for the best blog campaign and Bob was recognized by the Washingtonian Magazine as one of Washington DC’s top 100 Tech Titans in 2011.


Bill Matlock


Bill Matlock has more than 20 years of professional experience with Federal Government, associations, and private industry in a variety of functional roles. Each role has required extensive communication and collaboration skills unique to the environment. Bill has adapted to put to practical use new tools as they have evolved. He has supported a variety of programs at Department of State in the last 5 years while with Primescape, including various new media, communications, and Web 2.0 activities both directly for customers and at the corporate level. Bill is a member of the Primescape Executive Leadership Team and is a certified PMP, Agile Scrum Master, and ITIL v3 practitioner

Caroline Duncan


Caroline Duncan currently works for Primescape Solutions Inc onsite for a State Deparment run video team. She began working in New Media in the government 4 years ago with a interactive webchat team, assisting to manage their social media and online properties. She currently works on the Video Team, where the mission is to develop, create innovative video products that further understanding of and foster conversation about American foreign policy, culture, society, institutions, history and values. The videos are distributed worldwide, including in-language, through digital and traditional media outlets.

Denise Pirnia


Denise Pirnia served as a Program Manager in the Department of State’s Office of Innovative Engagement in the Bureau of International Information Programs. During her 5 ½ years there, she supported the office during the introduction, adoption, training, and formal policy development of social media use in public diplomacy outreach. Denise continues to supports agile and innovative projects as well as functioning as a business developer for Primescape Solutions. Denise is a certified PMP, Agile Scrum Master, and PMI-ACP agile certified PM.

Donna Buckner

Vice President

Primescape Solutions, Inc.


Donna Buckner has more than 30 years of experience in the IT discipline. Throughout her career, Donna has successfully managed diverse IT teams while successfully meeting client and budget expectations. Donna oversaw the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs OASD(PA) team as they developed and maintained www.defense.gov and initiated the DoD Web 2.0 working group to set standards and guidelines for using social media in the DoD. As Vice President of Primescape Solutions, Inc., Donna is responsible for Primescape’s strategic growth and corporate outreach and communications. Donna is a certified PMP, Agile Scrum Master (CSM), an active member of the University of Tampa MIS Advisory Board, an IAC Fellow, a recipient of the Federal 100 Award, and an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University focusing on IT in the Global Economy.

Cancellation Policy: 

Confirmed registrations who cancel within 3 business days of the program will be subject to a $250 cancellation fee. Registrations cancelled after the program starts are subject to the full registration fee. Substitutions can be made at any time. In the event a particular training workshop is cancelled, the liability of Potomac Forum, Ltd is limited to refund of any prepaid registration fee.

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