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AKC club members seeking to become savvy media specialists gathered at the first-ever AKC Communications Summit for a full day of learning and sharing ideas with AKC Communications staff and club-member panelists who have already found a formula for success when it comes to promoting their clubs and events.

Held at the Kennel Club of Philadelphia dog show site in Fort Washington, PA on November 12, the seminar drew dozens of dedicated fanciers. A special thank you goes to KCP President, Charles Schaefer and KCP Show Chairman, Wayne Ferguson for their help in securing a wonderful venue and participating in the summit.

AKC Assistant Vice President of Communications, Daisy Okas kicked-off the day by expanding on many ideas from the club tool kit “Spreading the Word: PR Tips and Tools” which is available from the AKC online and in binder form. Attendees learned about the difference between public relations and advertising, what types of press materials to use and how to approach the media. Harrisburg Kennel Club Show Chairman Ron Scott, Houston Kennel Club’s AKC Delegate and Public Education Chairwoman for the Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows Carol Williamson, Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club Publicity Director Karen Cottingham and Ferguson spoke during the panel discussion about their experiences in attracting and working with the news media.

After lunch, media trainer Jon Kraushuer of New York City brainstormed with the audience on what messages are important to convey during media interviews and reviewed basic “do’s and don’ts” to keep in mind when dealing with the press. Summit attendees, as well as AKC Spokesperson Gail Miller, took part in mock interview sessions which demonstrated how to stay cool under pressure and make sure messages are communicated in an interview situation.

The Communications Department hopes to host additional seminars in 2005.

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