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April 28, 2022

CCPRO 2022: Peak Performers in Marketing and PRMembers of the California Community Colleges Technology Center’s public relations and marketing office had the privilege of attending and presenting at the 2022 CCPRO conference, held April 6 through April 8 in South Lake Tahoe.

CCPRO (Community College Public Relations Organization) is the statewide association of CCC communications professionals. Just as CISOA brings together the state CCC Chief Information Services Officers (aka CTOs) and their teams, CCPRO members are public information officers (PIOs) and/or serve on communication teams at colleges and districts statewide.

The CCC Chancellor’s Office Office of Communications and Marketing also participates in CCPRO, emphasizing its role of providing centralized leadership for all CCC institutions statewide, including auxiliary organizations like the CCC Technology Center.

Because the Tech Center also has a statewide mission, its relationship with the CO Office of Communications and Marketing is important and intimate.

According to its charter, in addition to review and approval from the Digital Innovation and Infrastructure Division, all public communication offered by the Tech Center is subject to review and approval of the CO communications division.

The Tech Center’s relationship with PIOs and the colleges and districts they represent is also important. PIOs are critical partners that help to drive participation in the products and services of the Tech Center and they are essential gatekeepers that manage local messaging to personnel and students.

No surprise: About half of the conference agenda sessions focused on recruitment and engagement of prospective students. With enrollment significantly down systemwide, communications teams are charged with adopting and enacting strategies to attract and retain students during challenging times.

The Tech Center comm team presentation also focused on this area, representing the Student Success Suite as a customizable tool that colleges are using for onboarding and engaging students to ensure that they have the resources they need to succeed.

Another hot topic at the conference: Cybersecurity.

A special breakout session, “Your College Has Been Hacked and Held for Ransom – Now What?,” was led by Paul Feist, Vice Chancellor of Communications for the CCC Chancellor’s Office. The session included advice from a crisis communication specialist and the experience of a representative from Sierra College, which endured a ransomware attack in 2021.

Rounding out the conference was a great set of sessions focused on deploying communication tools and strategies, leadership, self care, and understanding how to best serve and support our community college students.