UCDSU CommsCon 2019

When: Thursday 17 October, 2019 

Where: UCD Student Centre

Day Events:
Cost: FREE (Registration is Compulsory)
For who: All Students

Register here: HERE

UCDSU CommsCon is bringing in experts in the areas of communications and media to provide high level training to SU Officers (Full and Part Time), Class Reps, SU Volunteers and Student Journalists and students with an interest in the field. For a list of all workshops please see the timetable below.

09:15 - 09:45 - Registration and Breakfast

10:00 - 12:00 - Session 1 Workshops

 Media Training (Radio and Television) with Barry McLoughlin, Communications Clinic

 Social Media for Activists with Craig Dwyer, ForaChange 

 Making and FOI Request with Ken Foxe, Journal.ie    

 Presentation and PowerPoint Skills, with Nadia Di Battista, EY

12:00 - 13:00 - Networking Lunch 

13:00 - 15:00 - Session 2 Workshops 

Investigative Journalism with Jack Power, Irish Times 

Professional Life and Communication in the Workplace with Nadia Di Battista, EY

Prototyping - Design Thinking with Jacinta Owens, Alan Morgan, UCD Innovation Academy

Public Speaking for Student Leaders, with Laura Harmon, Former USI President     

15:15-16:00     Panel Discussion and Wine and Cheese Reception 

Evening Event:
Cost: €15 per ticket
For who: All Students


18:00-20:00 - UCDSU Presents Blindboy Live Podcast

Tickets for €15 on sale HERE

CommsCon Day Attendees who register by Wednesday 9 October will be entered into a draw to win one of 30 free tickets to the Evening Event with VIP seats. All Day Attendees who purchase a ticket will be entitled to VIP seats with their CommsCon lanyard.  


Workshop Descriptions

Media Training for Radio and Television with Barry McLoughlin, Communications Clinic

More information to follow. 

  Session 1: Social Media for Activists with Craig Dwyer, ForaChange

Workshop Summary:

The objective of the workshop is to educate and empower activists/campaigners with the skills and knowledge to communicate with target audiences, cultivate relationships and convert observers to supporters through social media. This will include how to build, organise and mobilise your support base, enable and encourage meaningful engagement and how to empower people to take action.

Trainer Bio:

Craig Dwyer is the Founder of ForaChange and works with campaigns and organisations to harness digital and social media as a driver of communication, mobilisation and engagement. He was the Social Media Director for Yes Equality during the Irish marriage equality referendum in 2015 and travelled to Australia in 2017 to work on their marriage equality campaign. Craig is also a part-time lecturer at Dublin City University, teaching on the MSc in Public Relations and Strategic Communications.

Session 1: Making and FOI Request with Ken Foxe, Journal.ie  

Workshop Summary:

An introduction to Freedom of Information law in Ireland. This will cover the history of the Act and also provide advice and guidance on making requests. Those attending will be asked to find an FOI log for a public body they are interested in to see what type of requests are being made and what information is being made public. They will then submit their own FOI request to a public body.

Trainer Bio:

Currently working as editor of an investigative journalism project called Noteworthy by Journal Media. Am on absence of leave from my job as a lecturer at TU Dublin where I teach in the School of Media. Also work as a freelance journalist and consultant specialising in Freedom of Information, data journalism, and investigative reporting. I worked for two years with the RTÉ Investigations Unit, where I helped establish the unit’s website and also worked on long-term television projects and major online data projects: (www.rte.ie/investigations). Author of two books, Snouts in the Trough: Politicians and their expenses and Revenge, a true crime book. Winner of TV3 Story of the Year Award for 2009 following a series of stories in the Sunday Tribune, which led to the resignation of Ceann Comhairle John O’Donoghue. A long-running series of articles that same year on expenses led to major changes in the way politicians were paid allowances.

Session 1: Presentation and PowerPoint Skills, with Nadia Di Battista, EY

Workshop Summary:

Our Presentation and PowerPoint Skills Workshop aims to provide the student with in-depth knowledge and skills that they can use to successfully present on any topic to an audience. In addition, we will also include tips and tricks on how to improve a PowerPoint presentation.

Trainer Bio:

Student Recruiter at EY, focusing on successfully recruiting for our Summer Internship, Work Placement and Graduate programmes in the following areas- Assurance, Advisory, Transactions, Tax and Data Analytics.

Session 2: Investigative Journalism with Jack Power, Irish Times

Workshop Summary:

The investigative journalism workshop will go through the average working day of a reporter, advice on how to make the leap from student journalism into the national media - or even just how to start off writing for a college newspaper, and tips on how to investigate issues or potential stories, or scandals, on campus. 

The session will take attendees through how reporters learn to spot what makes a good story, and some skills reporters then use to investigate those potential stories, particularly where people or organisations may not want the issues or controversies exposed. 

Trainer Bio:

Jack Power is a news reporter with The Irish Times, whose work focuses on investigative journalism. He was previously editor of the College Tribune, before he was hired by The Irish Times in April 2017. 

Last year his work investigating Scouting Ireland led to revelations of a major child sex abuse scandal, which saw him shortlisted for Investigative Journalist, and Young Journalist of the Year, at the national media awards. 

His work has also often covered the housing crisis, governance controversies in various charities, and child protection failures in Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

Session 2: Professional Life and Communication in the Workplace with with Nadia Di Battista, EY

Workshop Summary:

This workshop will focus on what it is really like to work in a Professional Services firm and the skills you will need to succeed. 

The workshop will touch on self-image, self- awareness and branding yourself in the workplace, meetings, business writing skills, communication styles- formal/informal and dress code.

Trainer Bio:

Student Recruiter at EY, focusing on successfully recruiting for our Summer Internship, Work Placement and Graduate programmes in the following areas- Assurance, Advisory, Transactions, Tax and Data Analytics.

Session 2: Prototyping - Design Thinking with Alan Morgan and Jacinta Owens, UCD Innovation Academy

Workshop Summary:

This workshop will focus on the Prototyping stage of the Design Thinking Process and will involve using a number of innovative tools to help and encourage the students in their communication skills.

Trainer Bios:

Jacinta Owens:

Jacinta Owens is an enthusiastic, talented writer with a distinctive voice and a wonderful turn of phrase. Her style is naturally comic and observant. One of the most striking aspects of her work is her personal association with the material. She writes close to home, and from her heart, which means every beat is utterly truthful. Jacinta focuses on developing empathy and creativity in students whilst helping them craft their own unique story.

Alan Morgan: 

Alan Morgan in an Entrepreneurial Specialist at UCD Innovation Academy. Alan has been working in academia since 2012, lecturing in a number of Irish business colleges before planting his roots at Dublin Business School. His last role as Course Director for Marketing at DBS formed an integral part of the academic leadership of the College, working in an integrated and cohesive way with Head of Academic Programmes, Registrar, Head of Faculty and School Operations and others. Prior to moving into academia, Alan has accumulated over 20 years’ entrepreneurial & intrapreneurship experience across the services and distribution industry. He has held senior manager and ‘head of’ roles in the Pharmaceutical, DIY, Toy and Homewares retail sector.

Session 2: Public Speaking for Student Leaders, with Laura Harmon, Former USI President   


Workshop Summary:

This workshop will explore the qualities of good public speakers; the key components of creating an effective speech; tips on how to calm your nerves before public speaking and will include some practical exercises on writing a short speech and delivering it in front of the group.

Trainer Bio:

Laura Harmon was the president of the Union of Students in Ireland in 2014/2015 during the marriage equality referendum. Before that she served as Equality and Citizenship Officer with USI. Laura was the Mobilisation Team Lead for Together for Yes. She extensive public speaking experience on radio, TV, at rallies and in election hustings.

Register here: HERE 

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