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ACS Hosts Public Relations Workshop

March 14, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 11

The second Sparkle Communications Workshop, organized by the American Chemical Society Office of Public Affairs (OPA), will take place from April 29 to May 1 in Washington, D.C.

Sparkle helps local section public relations chairs become comfortable working with the media to communicate their activities. Workshop topics include how to write a press release, how to build a media list, and how to talk to reporters.

By doing public relations, “you build community awareness for ACS, for your local section, and for the chemists in your section who are doing the good work,” says Nancy E. Blount, OPA’s assistant director for society communications. “With greater public awareness, you can increase attendance at your events and at your ­meetings.”

“Besides increased attendance at events, the job they do can accomplish a moment of joy for our members at seeing ACS mentioned, which subtly leads to member involvement and retention,” says Lee Latimer, chair of the ACS Committee on Local Section Activities.

The Sparkle workshops began in the early 1990s, but budget cuts led to a hiatus of the program in the early 2000s. A greater emphasis on society communications has prompted the reintroduction of Sparkle, and the first of the new workshops was held in October 2010 in Washington. The new workshops include tips on leveraging social media tools such as the ACS Network.

“Everything that people learn in Sparkle, they can use in their professional life, in their personal life, and in other volunteer work,” Blount says.

At the ACS spring national meeting in Anaheim, Calif., OPA will host a Sparkle reunion workshop, called Sparkle Light. ACS Grady-Stack Award winner Ron Seely, who is a science and environment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal, will offer advice on working with the media. The session will be held on Sunday, March 27, from 3 to 5 PM at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel. One-on-one meetings with Seely will be available by appointment on Monday, March 28, from 8:30 AM to 4 PM in Mezzanine Room 13 at the Hilton Anaheim Hotel.

For more information, e-mail Nancy McCormick-Pickett at or call (202) 872-4381.



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