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NABJ Presents: The Basics Boot Camp

By Cheryl Smith

Becoming an effective communicator is something that we should all strive for. Whatever you do in life, the better you are at communicating, the more successful you can be; even when you don’t realize it.

Communication, as I tell my students, is not just what comes out of your mouth. It’s what you don’t say, how you look, act, walk, move your body, dress and more. 

Unfortunately sometimes what you want to communicate does not come across as you’d like or too often people project their own realities unto you, instead of sometimes, just asking for clarity.

Others wonder why their messages aren’t being received. Which brings me to my truth.


Maybe you need help!

The National Association of Black Journalists is bringing its Basics Boot Camp to beautiful Paul Quinn College, February 14-15, 2020, inner the leadership of founder and fellow FAMU Rattler Marlon Walker and here’s a unique opportunity to gather invaluable information that could help you on the job, in the streets and even in your relationships.

There will be sessions on everything from pitching a story idea and mentoring to appropriate attire and writing.

You may think this boot camp is not for you but if you are responsible for the dissemination of information, you should come. If you want to be a more effective communicator; you need to sign up!

Have you ever written a press release and it never got picked up by any news outlet? Do you REALLY know how to write a media advisory? Are you familiar with AP Style? Did you schedule a press conference and only you and your peeps showed up? Have you looked on social media and asked yourself, “what was I thinking when wore that?” Are you responsible for media coverage for your sorority or fraternity but you never get any coverage?


I could go on, but hopefully you get the message: you need help. We all do and we can all benefit from this boot camp.

There are so many changes in the industry and NABJ is bringing in pros from around the country, along with many who are right in town, who will help enhance your communication skills.

If you are you a student, media professional, journalist, educator, politician, publicist, agent, PIO, entrepreneur, author, business exec, athlete, blogger, broadcaster, podcaster, community organizer or activist, volunteer organization (frat/sorority/non-profit) PR person, elected official, PTA officer, et. al; this boot camp is where you need to be.

And if you hire or work with any of the above, you could benefit because you need to at least have a comfort level that your person actually knows what they are doing! Believe me when I tell you, some employers are being hoodwinked because they don’t know and they don’t know that they don’t know!

Sure, you THINK you have all the answers and you THINK you know all there is to know.


Let me assure you that you do have another THINK coming. For a small fee of $35 or $25 for students, I guarantee you will learn something that will help you.

Some of the pros you’ll hear from include NABJ President Dorothy Tucker, an investigative reporter for WBBM-TV Chicago and host on WVON Radio; NABJ VP Print Marlon Walker, an education reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; NABJ Treasurer Greg Morrison, Executive Producer and Owner Bumper2BumperTV; Comedian Roy Wood Jr. leads a discussion on storytelling and how he uses it in his daily life; Kelley L. Carter, senior entertainment reporter for The Undefeated; political reporter Errin Haines of The 19th; News & Special Projects Editor Johann Calhoun of the Philadephia Tribune, and fellow NABJ Board member Terry Allen of 1016 Media and FedEx.

And, there will be a Google News Lab, breakfasts powered by the Dallas Morning News and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and networking opportunities. 

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