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Mom Congress 2012 Highlights, Part II


As we go forward to change the world for the better, Mom Congress delegates and parents everywhere are equipping themselves with the knowledge they need. Mom Congress 2012 gave us ideas and tools to be effective change makers. Today is the second of two posts highlighting some of those lessons. (Part I HERE.)


United Nations Foundation’s Aaron Sherinian

Dynamic speaker, Aaron Sherinian, the VP Communication and Public Relations for the United Nations Foundation taught us at Mom Congress 2012 how parent education advocates can effectively engage with the media.

“It’s an amplifier,” he reminded us. As one person, there’s only so much you can do so you want to amplify your message using the media.

Three branches of media to reach are broadcast, print, and social / digital. Then, remember these four principals of media interaction:

1. You’re in control. Be yourself

2. Know your safe place. If you’re rambling, stop! What’s is your safe place? Is it your story? Just don’t keep rambling.

Don't forget . . . 

- Have MEGA messages

- Use strong powerful words

- Use stats

- Ask / call to action

- Tell a story

3. Find your wine glass – like a dinging wine glass at a wedding to get the newly married couple to kiss - and USE it.

Use a sound bite as your wine glass:

“At the end of the day”

“What most moms don’t realize”

“The bottom line is”

“The most important thing”

“Let us be very clear”

“The fact of the matter”

Whatever you say AFTER these wine-glass phrases need to be your best quotable message. 

4. Pivot with Poise

If you get into an uncomfortable situation, remember point one. You’re in control. Breathe. You don’t have to answer questions if you don’t want. Remember your safe place. Then, reengage.

Delegates loved, laughed, and learned from Sherinian. For many, he was the favorite presenter of the entire conference! 

Reach Out and Read 

Another speaker, CEO of Reach Out and Read, Earl Martin Phalen, inspired us with his personal story of success after being abandoned by his mother and growing up in foster care. Oregon 2011 delegate, Jen Barth, interviewed Phalen on her blog 1 Oregon Mom about the impact that medical professionals are having with the Reach Out and Read program. Read the blog post here.

Who else inspired the Mom Congress delegates?

VH1 Save the Music
National Family Engagement Alliance
Volunteer Spot
NBA Cares
White House chef, Sam Kass
National PTA
National Education Association
Anu Partanen
Model UN, UN Association of the USA
Oak Hill Elementary School principal, Amy Goodloe
The Khan Academy
Center for Green Schools
Book Make it Better
Southwest Airlines Community Affairs
Teach For America
Huff Post blogger, Susan Stiffelman
Dominos Smart Slice 
previous delegates: Lyssa Sahadevan, Felisa Hilbert, Marilyn Zaragoza, Jerri Ann Reasons, me (Melissa Taylor,) Myrdin Thompson, Jen Barth, Bonnie DeLong,  

Reflecting on the Conference

"Word can not begin to express my gratitude for this past weekend." - Lori Harding
"Proud to be a mom and inspired for things to come." - Lyssa Sahadevan
"I can't wait to see what develops from this . . . it feels like a beginning, not an ending. I will watch for the inspiring stories I know will come of this." - Kathie Green
"Loved connecting with all of the moms, loved hearing and learning . . . especially the fun!" - Kimberly Cabral
"Thank you to the staff of Parenting Magazine for a great opportunity. I've returned home inspired and tired but ready to continue to support and advocate for children with educational differences." - Erica Brignac
"Thank you, Parenting Magazine, for an amazing conference, new friendships with like-minded, awesome moms and the tools to inspire change!" - Jeanette Killip

Delegates' Blog Posts

My Mommy Reads 
The Parent Backpack 
NYS Delegate
Dirt Under My Fingernails
Roots and Wings
1 Oregon Mom  
Advocacy & Consulting in Education