June 23, 2022

SEC Communicators Share Ideas, Network at Annual Conference

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After not meeting in 2020 due to COVID-19 and in a virtual format in 2021, university communication and marketing specialists from across the SEC recently gathered at the University of Alabama for the annual Southeastern Conference Communicators Association (SECCA) Conference.

From June 13-15, attendees participated in various networking, learning and professional development opportunities. SECCA was established in 2007 and supports the SEC’s 14 member university’s communication goals and initiatives through collaboration and sharing of best practices.

Alabama President Dr. Stuart R. Bell echoed those goals in his welcome message, encouraging participants to learn from each other as they help fulfill each university’s mission. “Communicators help students understand how their dreams can be realized on our campuses,” Bell said.

Attendees also heard from two keynote speakers. Alabama softball Head Coach Patrick Murphy described his program’s culture of mudita, or having vicarious joy in someone else’s success. Murphy also discussed how “moments of wow” and sharing affirmations can create special, individualized connections. Dari Nowkhah, Lead Anchor at the SEC Network, served as the conference’s closing keynote – using an interview with Alabama Vice President for Strategic Communications Ryan Bradley to talk about his career, top broadcasting moments and more.

Leaders from Alabama’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion gave a presentation titled “Developing Your Campus DEI Communications Framework.” Dr. G. Christine Taylor, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, along with Cresandra Smothers, Executive Director for External Engagement, highlighted numerous strategies to increase cultural competencies, create intentional messages and build inclusive environments.

SEC communicators from different universities led the majority of the programming sessions. Presentations included creating supportive professional network groups and using Reddit in higher education, while small group discussions focused on social media, presidential communications, graphic design, integrated marketing and IT communications. In addition, several SEC vice presidents/chancellors for communications sat down for a panel on lessons learned from the pandemic.

The 2023 SECCA event is scheduled to be hosted by Louisiana State University. With LSU on the docket, every SEC school will have hosted a SECCA conference at least once in its history.