Communications and COVID-19: Lessons Learned

Join us for a virtual panel discussion hearing from local and regional professionals, as well as a resource from the initial spread of the novel coronavirus area in Washington state!

We’ll cover digital, internal, corporate, nonprofit, and government communications in these uncertain times, touching on challenges faced and lessons learned. 

Thursday, May 21, 4 p.m.
Zoom Meeting
Members $10
Non-members $15
Students free

Register Now

April Hutcheson, Director, Office of Communications, Pennsylvania Department of Health. April Hutcheson is an experienced media relations expert with more than two decades of professional work in crisis communications and public relations, as well as experience helping non-profit organizations increase awareness to build member and donor bases.  She currently serves as the Director of Communications at the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

At the Department of Health, April oversees all external communications and serves as the communications lead for the Opioid Command Center. She has worked on high profile issues like the implementation of the medical marijuana program and serves as a department spokesperson. She has also served in the private sector providing public relations, association management, strategic planning and organizational support for non-profit organizations, public relations firms and marketing companies nationally and internationally.

Kelly T. McCall, Public Relations Director, UPMC Pinnacle Kelly McCall is director of public relations and communications for UPMC Pinnacle. She is an accomplished communications professional with 25 years of experience in developing and executing integrated communication campaigns that attract media attention and support strategic initiatives. Kelly is responsible for public and media relations activities supporting strategic goals and system marketing plans for key clinical and ancillary areas at UPMC Pinnacle. She develops and executes strategies that are intended to create and uphold a positive public image for UPMC by working and forming relationships with various members of the media, government, and public. In addition, Kelly serves as the PIO for crisis communications and emergency response.

Colby Reade, APR, Director of Communications, M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust Colby started his career as a radio news journalist, editor and anchor before transitioning to public relations full time. His background includes several years working on the agency side of the business with clients such as Microsoft, JELD-WEN, Alcatel-Lucent, The Portland Clinic, HEALTHWORKS, and Avangrid Renewables before he moved in-house. He currently serves as the Communications Director for the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, one of the largest private nonprofit foundations in the Pacific Northwest. In his free time, Colby hosts a career development podcast, “Coffee with Colby,” but the most important role he fills is husband to an incredibly talented wife and father to a brilliant daughter.

Shane M. Swisher, Senior Director, Corporate Communications, Listrak, an eCommerce technology company focused on retailers. In his role, he oversees internal, external, corporate and industry communications, reputation and crisis management, educational outreach and community relations, CSR, employee engagement and employer branding. Shane has more than 20 years of experience in public relations, combining time-tested tools with today’s technology and platforms. Prior to joining Listrak, Shane held public relations management positions in the Harrisburg, Philadelphia and New York City markets, serving a diverse client range of business-to-business and consumer accounts. He holds a BA in English from the University of Pittsburgh and also coaches students in media training and crisis response at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Communications and COVID-19: Lessons Learned



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