2019 Professional Development Conference

CommNEXT: Local communication organizations to host conference

for college students, communication professionals


Register today:


SHREVEPORT, La. — College students and professionals in journalism, advertising, public relations and marketing have the opportunity to learn from industry experts as the American Advertising Federation of Shreveport-Bossier and the Shreveport Journalism Foundation host the second CommNEXT event on Saturday, Oct. 19, at LSU Shreveport.

Robert Campbell, a director and writer at 808 Inc., will deliver the luncheon keynote address. His company is a creative production studio specializing in live-action and animation. Based in Houston, 808 Inc. creates premium branded content, entertainment, marketing, commercials and web content. Clients include ARtic coolers, Reebok and Harley-Davidson Motorcycles.

Campbell’s presentation, “Revision 101: Evolving Tactics in the World’s Weirdest Industry,” will examine the ever-changing demands that new technology and new audiences place on content creation and production.

“Robert Campbell brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this year’s CommNEXT conference,” said Allen Garcie, education chair for AAFSB and a design professor at LSUS. “As a recipient of the Cannes Lion whose work has been featured in AdAge, Creativity, and TBS’s Funniest Commercials on Television, his wit and humor will entertain and inform both students and professionals alike. We’re excited to have him as this year’s keynote and to add him to our already exciting list of speakers for this year’s event.”

The conference also features presentations from area industry leaders. Brandy Evans, vice president of communications with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau, will discuss the increasing role of social media influencers. Dustin Lincoln, creative director for Johnny’s Pizza, will present design tips and future marketing strategies. Jane Ruben, news director at KSLA, will moderate a panel of local journalists and public relations professionals discussing the “Citizen Journalists” emerging with the explosion of social media.

“We are thrilled to again co-host a CommNEXT conference,” Mary Jarzabek, president of the Shreveport Journalism Foundation and director of general studies at LSUS, said. “Helping support this kind of opportunity for students and professionals furthers one part of the Foundation’s mission to promote excellence in journalism-related education. It is critical to know what’s ahead for them and how the distinction is blurring between well educated communication professionals and self-proclaimed communicators.”

Other speakers include Tom Futrell, chair of graphic design at the Louisiana Tech School of Design; Vikki Hrody, associate professor in the LSUS Digital Arts Program and owner of Melonhead Studios; and Cameron King, owner and creative director at King’s Collab.

CommNEXT also will include a panel for new and upcoming college graduates and young professionals.

“Many professional conferences for designers, marketers, advertising and communication professionals, can easily cost $200 or more,” Garcie said. “And that’s not including travel as well as other expenses. Those events are completely out of reach for students in our region. CommNEXT brings a premier professional conference experience to students throughout northwest Louisiana and east Texas at a price that’s accessible for everyone. This year’s event features a number of industry professionals who are ready to share their knowledge with our educational and professional communities.”

Amy Jones, AAFSB president, said she is proud to bring this event to local students.

“I can’t wait to bring this unique event back to the local advertising community,” she said. “It’s so rewarding to give the students an opportunity to gain real-world knowledge and skills that you don’t typically have access to in the classroom setting. I love that we can open those doors for them.”

Registration beings at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the LSUS University Center. Lunch will follow in the University Center Ballroom. Tickets are $25 for students, SJF and AAFSB members, and $30 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit