Conference Agenda


Content is subject to change


Monday, August 30

8:00 AM–5:00 PM


8:30–11:30 AM

Preconference Session – Smartphone Video Lab: How to Create Compelling Recorded and Live Video Content

In this high-energy, hands-on, interactive session, Kerry will cover ways to quickly create compelling video content for your social media platforms. This includes how to shoot great looking video, basic editing techniques, and how to do effective livestreams on Facebook Live, Twitter, and Instagram. Kerry will reveal great apps that allow easy content creation on the go, and will demonstrate the accessories that give you excellent audio, great lighting, and steady shots so you can look like a pro!

Note: Bring your smartphone, fully charged. Kerry recommends installation of one or more of the following apps: iMovie (if you have an iPhone); InShot, or Adobe Premiere Rush (which work on iPhone or Android).


Kerry Shearer “The Livestream Expert”

1:15–1:30 PM


1:30–2:30 PM

Opening Keynote – Communicating at the Speed of Light

The past year showed us more than ever just how volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous of a world we live in. Where do we go from here? What are lessons we can learn from the past, and how do we keep up as communicators in a society evolving at warp speed?  For those of you who remember and miss The Brooks Show, here is the long overdue current version.


Brooks BennettAssistant City Manager, City of Round Rock


Concurrent Sessions

2:45–3:45 PM

TAMIO Teammates: Tips from the Tops – Media, Websites, and Video

Municipal communications professionals manage a wide range of disciplines. TAMIO Teammates are recognized as tops in their field for their expertise in some of those areas. Learn from the best and pick their brains! Session one will focus on Media Relations, Website Development and Management , and Video Production and Programming. Bring your questions and your notepad!


Dorothy White, CPC, Public and Media Relations Director, City of Garland


Brian Groves, Communications Manager, City of San Angelo; Ryan Hunt, Managing Editor, City of Arlington; Brian Ligon, CPC, Communications and Marketing Director, City of Mont Belvieu; Devin Sanchez, Director of Communications, City of Odessa; Steve Stoler, Director of Media Relations, City of Plano; Kristen Waggener, Communications and Marketing Manager, City of Bryan; and Belinda Willis, CPC, Strategic Communications Consultant/Content Specialist, DFW Strategic Communications


City-wide editorial planning: How to get your entire organization on the same page.

Whether you are part of a team or a one man shop, Communications professionals live in the trenches. Common complaints are that we do not have enough time, resources or stakeholder buy-in within our organizations to effectively manage the volume of communication & marketing work required. Too often, we react to these narratives rather than taking control of them, burning the candle at both ends rather than using these realities to lay the foundation for a much needed culture shift.

This session is about empowerment. We’ll look at how to create sustainable processes that support organization-wide editorial planning and streamline content production; and how to lobby internally for implementation. We’ll teach you how to identify and cultivate content creators outside of your department to support you and your team. Finally, we’ll teach you how to operationalize your plan using Microsoft TEAMS or similar collaborative software to develop action items, assign work across departments and demonstrate ROI on activities.


Julie Goodgame, Director of Marketing & Communication, City of Tyler


Winter Storms and Water Outages: The Importance and Effectiveness of Communication in a Crisis

February’s deep freeze and subsequent water and power outages made crisis communications more challenging than usual. In this session, we’ll have a panel of experienced PIOs discuss what worked, what didn’t, and lessons learned.


Will Hampton, Communication and Marketing Director, City of Round Rock


Joshua Lee, Director of Communications, City of Pearland; LeaAnn Petersen, Director of Communications, City of Seabrook; and Jay Warren, CPC, Director of Communication and Legislative Affairs, City of Arlington

3:45–4:15 PM

Networking Break with Sponsors

Concurrent Sessions

4:20–5:20 PM

TAMIO Teammates: Tips from the Tops – Marketing and Social Media

Municipal communications professionals manage a wide range of disciplines. TAMIO Teammates are recognized as tops in their field for their expertise in some of those areas. Learn from the best and pick their brains! Session two will focus on Marketing/Graphic Design and Social Media.


Dorothy White, CPC, Public and Media Relations Director, City of Garland


Ann Beck, CPC, Marketing and Communications Manager, City of Mansfield Parks and Recreation; Austin Ellington, Digital Content and Social Media Specialist, City of Round Rock; Kelli Lewis, Director of Marketing, City of Carrollton; and Frances La Rue, Communications Manager, City of Anna.


COVID-19: Lessons learned, best practices, and everything in between

Did COVID-19 make you feel you were in a stampede? Throughout the past year many of us were challenged to rethink our approach to communication and come up with new and effective ways to reach our residents. From managing the flurry of ever-changing public guidance and local/state orders to navigating our first global pandemic, 2020 really shook things up. But 2020 wasn’t just a year of challenges, it was also a year where our most creative ideas flourished and paved the way for some new best practices. In this session, learn how some of your fellow cities and counties navigated the unknown as they share their lessons learned along with some new ways to approach tired ideas.


Kristen Waggener, Communications and Marketing Director, City of Bryan


Brian Ligon, CPC, Communications and Marketing Director, City of Mont Belvieu; Deanna Phillips, Community Services Director, City of Burleson; and Jen Samp, Communications Manager, City of Austin


Zen and the Art of PIO Multi-Tasking: Tips for Managing a One-Person Communications Shop

Small communication departments face unique challenges each day, from responding to the demands that typically come from management and city council to ensuring that your message to residents is timely and effective. It is a constant juggling act. Learn tips on managing a small or one-person shop from two TAMIO members who are successfully navigating the complexities of communicating to their communities all on their own.


Belinda Willis, CPC, Strategic Communications Consultant/Content Specialist, DFW Strategic Communications


Melinda Brown, Main Street Manager/Communications/CVB, City of Plainview and Rosalee Kertok, Communications and Marketing Specialist, City of Willow Park

5:30–6:15 PM

Meet Up at the BaoBob Social (lower level lobby bar)

6:30–9:30 PM

Restaurant Romp

Restaurant Romp is our popular dinner, networking event.  Kalahari has many restaurants and after finding your group in the gathering spot at BaoBob Social, everyone will walk to their restaurant.  You will be able to sign up for the restaurant you want a few weeks before the conference.  Everyone pays for their own dinner.  The best thing is no one has to get on a bus and leave the resort.

Tuesday, August 31

7:30 AM–4:30 PM


8:00–9:00 AM

Breakfast and Welcome

9:00–10:00 AM

Morning Keynote – Don’t be a Facebook Fool: Avoiding First Amendment Fouls on Social Media

What do you do when a comment appears on your social media feed that’s contrary to your agency’s values or ignites controversy with the public? Do you know what you can (and cannot) post on social media? Knowing how the First Amendment applies to your social media feeds can protect you from a lawsuit, legal fees, and damages. Many public agency personnel are confused about legal issues surrounding social media comments, and most government attorneys don’t understand social media. Get practical tips from a social media expert who is also an attorney who advises public agencies. This won’t be dry legal humdrum – expect funny, real life examples that will make your social media feeds better and smarter.


Mark Weaver, President, Communications Counsel

10:00–10:30 AM

Networking Break with Sponsors

Concurrent Sessions

10:30–11:30 AM

Assessing and Achieving Equity – Simple Standards and Assessments for Local Governments and Communicators to Use Now.

Did you know that equity was almost included in official auditing standards for governments along with effectiveness and efficiency? If you think maybe it should have been, or you’re wondering what role communicators can play, this talk is for you. You’ll learn simple standards that are easily explained to colleagues, and you’ll learn how to use different types of public input to ensure that your agency is treating all residents appropriately, with examples from policing to parks. You’ll also learn about other ways to help measure and achieve equitable treatment across your different demographics.


Kevin Lyons,Founder and CEO, FlashVote


Selling You

As municipal communicators, we are adept at telling other people’s stories and selling their value. But, we when it comes to sharing our own story and communicating our value, we often fall short. In this session, we’ll look at ways to show your value to city management and elected leaders to solidify you and your team’s position within the organization, gain a voice (or more influential voice) at the table and grow your communication operation (in budget, responsibility and/or staff).


Jay Warren, Director of Communication and Legislative Affairs, City of Arlington


Tom Bryson, CPC, Strategic Communicatoins Consultant, DFW Strategic Communications; CoCo Good, Communications & Marketing Director, City of McKinney; and Kelli Lewis, Marketing Director, City of Carrollton


Congratulations!  You’re a Manager.  Now What?

Communication departments are general overlooked when it comes to support staff. Many of us over the years have been tasked with running one-person shops and expected to produce a wide array of communication tools and collateral pieces. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, while other city departments may have caught a break during the shut-down, communicators were stretched thin. Partially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with the additional stress placed on communication departments, many cities are now understanding the need for support personnel in their communication departments. So, congratulations, you’re a manager now! Now what? Moving from a one-person shop into the role of a manager who is now responsible for managing one, two or perhaps several employees is not easy to navigate. In this session we will discuss what it takes to becoming a strong leader while also sharing tips and tricks on how to manage projects and people.


LeaAnn Petersen, CPC


Erin Mudie, Director of Marketing and Communications, Town of Little Elm; Kristen Waggener, Communications and Marketing Manager, City of Bryan; and Terri Toledo, CPC, Communications Director, City of Pflugerville

11:45 AM–12:45 PM

Lunch and Business Meeting

12:45–2:00 PM

Film Fest

Sit back and enjoy the best videos created by you and your peers in this favorite, annual TAMIO session.


Molly Fox, CPCDirector of Communications, City of Bedford

Concurrent Sessions

2:15–3:15 PM

Short- and Long-Term Strategies to Reach Diverse Audiences

For many of us, the 2020 Census, COVID-19, and recent social unrest exposed gaps in our communication plans, strategies, and tactics as it relates to reaching diverse audiences. This session features communicators from two of the most-diverse counties in Texas. You’ll hear real examples of outreach techniques that span grassroots to innovative, intentional relationship building by city leadership, and why simply translating your messages may not be enough. Following brief presentations from each speaker, our panel will open the floor to hear about your experiences and challenges communicating with hard-to-reach residents.


Jay Socol, CPCPublic Communications Director, City of College Station


Betsy Deck, Assistant to the City Manager, City of Euless; Ryan Hunt, Managing Editor, City of Arlington; and Roxana Rubio, Senior Public Affairs Officer, City of Dallas


Managing Within a Culture of Crisis

The year we all wanted to end finally did, but the madness continues. While we all enjoy the variety our work brings, none of us anticipated the variety of crises we would have to manage over the last year and counting. This session gives you a chance to feel seen, experience a bit of group therapy and add some tools to your kit for dealing with the next crisis lurking around the corner.


Belinda Willis, CPC, Strategic Communications Consultant/Content Specialist, DFW Strategic Communications


Shannah Hayley, CPC, Director of Communications and Community Outreach, City of Plano and Devin Sanchez, Director of Communications, City of Odessa


Predictive Media Training

Russ will share a statistically-based media training model that helps spokespeople better anticipate questions and craft messages. Russ’ company commissioned extensive research on hundreds of media interviews to develop a message preparation model based on the common question types reporters ask. Attendees will leave the session with some new tools to stay in control and on message in media appearances. This is also a “train the trainer” session. Those attending this presentation will learn a process to simplify and condense messages to better prepare their city’s spokespeople for media interviews and speaking appearances.


Russ Rhea, Predictive Media Network


3:15–3:45 PM

Networking Break with Sponsors


Concurrent Sessions

3:45–4:45 PM

It’s Not Just About Compliance, It’s About Accessibility: ADA and Your Communications

We are all aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act and that our cities have compliance responsibilities. But what does that mean for our communications platforms, particularly our websites and social media pages? Sharron Rush with the nonprofit Knowbility will help us better understand what’s required of us and how those efforts impact our audiences. Learn about the key things you need to know and how you can better engage with the people in your community who have accessibility needs to better serve them.


Sharron Rush, Co-founder and Executive Director, Knowbility


Looking Ahead at PEG

While the rules and regulations of PEG funds have not changed much over the years, cable TV is constantly changing and less and less residents are actually watching your PEG channel. As a result, PEG funds are getting smaller and smaller each year. More and more residents are cutting the “cable” and moving solely towards streaming devices. Now is the time to spend your PEG budget wisely and plan for the future. In this session you will hear from two seasoned PEG experts on how you should be spending your PEG fund.


LeaAnn Petersen, CPC, Director of Communications, City of Seabrook


Brian Groves, Communications Manager, City of San Angelo and Keith Reeves, Acting Deputy Director, Communications and Public Information Office, City of Austin


Essential Crisis Communication Tools

Jeff shows how busy communications professionals can rapidly put 12 proven tools to work when their spaghetti hits the fan.

The centerpiece is Jeff’s (a crisis communication veteran) Reputation Dissonance model, developed after more than seven years of research, design, and testing in scores of crisis situations. The model makes a big promise: If organizations can effectively perform five actions, in sequence, they can successfully navigate virtually any bad news break.

Jeff applies these scientific models to some recent high-profile crisis case studies.


Jeff Hahn, Principal, Hahn Public Communication

7:00–9:00 PM

TAMI Awards Banquet

Wednesday, September 1

7:30–10:00 AM


8:00–9:35 AM

Breakfast and Keynote – Staying Alive: How Successful News Organizations are Engaging and Growing their Audience

Newsrooms across the country have experienced endless disruptions to the way they do business. Learn how the Texas Tribune and Community Impact Newspaper are harnessing these changes to produce high quality journalism that resonates with their audiences. You’ll leave with new ideas for telling your city’s story, as well as a better understanding of the future of media in our communities.


Sara Bustilloz, CPC, Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, City of Round Rock


Bobby Blanchard, Director of Audience, Texas Tribune and John Garrett, Founder and CEO, Community Impact Newspaper

9:40–10:40 AM

Closing Keynote – How to Tell Your Story So People Listen, Care, Remember and Share

The hottest trend in business today is emphasizing the power of your perfectly-told stories. How do you find them? How do you tell them? How do you get audiences to care? Dave Lieber says, “down with bullet points, and up with stories.” You already know that facts and bullet points are not enough. You know that stories must be compelling, unforgettable, funny and smart. Stories bring out yearned-for passion and emotion. Dave will show you the perfect storytelling formula and how to use it immediately.


Dave Lieber, “The Watchdog” Columnist, Dallas Morning News



10:45 AM