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December 14, 2017

Doug Vance

Shelly Poe

Jason Fein

Erik Christianson

CLARK TEUSCHER: Welcome to the the CoSIDA Continuing Education Series sponsored by Capital One. My name is Clark Teuscher, North Central College Sports Information Director, and the Chair of the CoSIDA Continuing Education Committee.

I'll be moderating today's webinar as we take a look at some of the advocacy efforts that are underway on behalf of CoSIDA's members and the athletic communications profession as a whole. We'll also talk about how you can take advantage of those efforts and become a better advocate for yourself.

Today's discussion is being recorded and will be made available, along with a full FastScript from CoSIDA official transcript provider, ASAP Sports for on-demand use at CoSIDA Connect.

Presenting on today's webinar are Doug Vance, Executive Director of CoSIDA; Erik Christianson, Managing Director of External Affairs for the NCAA; Jason Fein, Athletics Director at Bates College, and Shelly Poe, Assistant Athletic director for Communications at Auburn University.

Our first presenter today will be Doug Vance, who is here to speak about the importance of advocacy as one of CoSIDA's core values and some of the current initiatives being undertaken by the organization. Doug?

DOUG VANCE: Thank you, Clark, and hello to everyone.

Every morning to everyone when I wake up, I roll over like a lot of you and at that point into my Twitter feed. I find out what's going on in the world. This morning it occurred to me that my Twitter feed is one big convoluted advocacy jungle where I'm bombarded with messaging, about sports, and a lot of it's sports, but also media and health and food and travel and advertising. Most of all, politics.

I spent nine years as a registered lobbyist at one point in my career where my calling card was advocacy where I worked to try to influence them and some of them, and some of them are very stubborn.

I remember one of my fellow lobbyists telling me, if you can't convince them, confuse them. Well, this isn't a news flash, but there are a lot of con artists out there in the arena, in the political arena, about advocacy and they are on Twitter trying to twist our minds.

I don't have to confuse anybody anymore when it comes to vehicle. I believe strongly in my messaging and about this profession, and I get a lot of satisfaction when I have an opportunity to deliver it. I strongly believe at its core that advocacy is about developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders. It's about mobilizing forces to make a difference for a cause.

Advocacy is also about patience and perseverance, and about speaking up for yourself and others, and it's also about being a good communicator. My assignment today is to guide you down CoSIDA's road to advocacy and explaining briefly where we go and what tools we use to help develop those relationships and how we message our targets. That's the starting point for today's discussion.

My fellow presenters will open up their playbooks and go a bit deeper into the weeds into terms of approaches individually. I'm just touching on the surface of that big picture in terms of a broad advocacy strategy.

I'm going to stray slightly from my assignment and talk a little bit about a philosophy I hope all of our members adapt. I really can't take into the conversations I have with athletic directors or stakeholders and how much attention I focus or how I develop a relationship; a lot of that's just instinct and fairly basic at me being myself. There's an old fund-raising adage that says, to raise money, you have to raise friends, and that applies in advocacy. That's my basic approach in unlocking opportunities to preach to the CoSIDA gospel each and every day.

But let me be clear: There's no more important task on my plate as Executive Director than advocating for our members and for our profession. The message starts with a basic fact that I don't think can be debated. Our members are essential and critical to the mission of each athletic department in every university.

Without effective and strategic communications in play, the message, the story, probably doesn't get delivered or delivered effectively. And that impacts those fans, that interest, those ticket sales, and then financial support.

And not to be forgotten in today's society and today's world of communications, that next crisis is not a matter of if it's going to happen; it's when it's going to happen. It's our members who play a significant role in letting the athletic department navigate those muddy waters.

I believe it's critical that our members should feel empowered to speak up for themselves and our profession. To say nothing is to say something, otherwise, the message you're sending is that everything is okay.

No one is better equipped, has more credibility and more passion to stand and advocate for our profession and for themselves than each of our members, and I hope you take that message to heart, and always be an advocate for yourself and this profession.

On the screen, you'll see our CoSIDA vision and mission statements, and some of the principles of advocacy we developed when we were going through our strategic plan process. These statements and principles really form the basic blueprint of how we move forward with our advocacy pursuits as an organization. Obviously CoSIDA is not on the political landscape but we use some of the basic strategies when it comes down to advocacy.

It does come down to this: If you're not at the table, you're likely on the table; and I can say that after more than 30 years in this profession in different roles, we have never been in a stronger position in terms of strategic partnerships and the ability to deliver our message.

That's because of the great leadership of past Presidents, people like Shelly Poe and our former Executive Director, John Humenik. CoSIDA now has a front row seat at that table of influence.

I do want to stress one of the values of CoSIDA membership that you don't always think about in terms of advocacy ... advocacy efforts, essentially we are promoting the value of that variety, what we do to those public and many stakeholders. Those people include athletic directors, or any campus unit that oversees athletic communications.

Coaches in national organizations, national governing bodies such as the NCAA, NAFTA and NAI, conference office and commissioners, those represented in our list of corporate rarity partners, media organizations both local and national, student athletes, fellow athletic administrators and any athletic organization that has in fluence. Those are among our targets.

What are our causes? From a big picture standpoint, it's about the ongoing process that projects our value as a profession and what our individual members bring to the athletic departments each and every day.

And on occasion to, Congressional lawmakers when things like overtime laws are being challenge; where we act as an organization, where appropriate, where we see jobs eliminated and that list goes on and on.

Change the screen now. Briefly stated, as you will see on the screen, these are some of the events and resources that are common our advocacy strategy. And I'm just going to cover a few of these and talk about them briefly.

We partner with NAFTA in staging our national convention each year. 2018 CoSIDA convention will mark our sixth year we've been associated with the NAFTA convention week, and that current agreement goes through 2022.

The association with NAFTA being shoulder-to-shoulder with all those athletic administrators and organizations has been vital to our advocacy strategy. And as its involved, we've seen more and more opportunities to promote our membership to NAFTA membership.

Next month, CoSIDA officers, divisional leaders and staff will spend four days at the NCAA convention, again, to huddle with NCAA leaders, school administrators and even representatives of SAC (ph). Last year with the help of Erik Christianson, we met with NCAA president, Mark Emmert, and one of the ultimate ares of that discussion, was President Emmert determining that he wanted to help us find our next Academic All-America title sponsor, and that effort is moving forward in a very positive fashion.

CoSIDA also has representation at the NAIA convention each year with its president and executive director attending and we often meet with president Jim Carr. In addition, CoSIDA has been in the national offices over the past three years with each of our national governing bodies who are represented in our membership. Those relationships are really important to us as an organization, and to our many members.

One of the most meaningful examples of how the door has opened for CoSIDA over the years is the opportunity we have each year to meet with the governance leaders of the NCAA Division II and Division III. It's brought forward meaningful and powerful relationships that have been impactful in so many ways to our members, in addition to Erik, our friends in statistics and championships and those leaders at the top of NCAA Division II and Division III, we now have many champions on behalf of CoSIDA in Indianapolis helping us meet our goals.

We have representation at the NAFTA Midwinter Meeting, at the Women's Leaders and College Sports Convention and at the College Athletic Leadership Symposium and the NCAA Communications Summit. We have representation at many National Championship events, such as the College Football Playoff National Championship Bowl Games, NCAA Men's and Women's Final Four and some of the NCAA Division II and Division III championship events.

Down the road we travel, we have have two blocks of advocacy resource. We use CoSIDA 360, our magazine as both an information source and an advocacy tool to help enhance our profession as it's mailed to not only our members but also conference Commissioners and athletic directors.

We just completed our second CoSIDA Membership Recognition Week, which is supported by so many of our charitable stakeholders, and it does provide a very significant promotional value in bringing positive attention to the profession and our individual members.

Certainly not to be forgotten is our Academic All-America Program, which does put the national spotlight on CoSIDA with each team we announce and each individual honor we present.

It's also a catalyst for national attention when we introduce our Academic All-America Hall of Fame and Enberg Award winner.

We help remind athletic directors each year of our membership and its leadership services by sending letters of appreciation for allowing their SIDs to participate in CoSIDA.

Diversity and inclusion is it a priority for this organization and it has continued to grow over the past couple of years. We have formed a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, drafted a new value statement, and we will continue to push this forward as an initiative of CoSIDA as we grow involvement in the organization.

Finally going forward, we are going to develop a plan to have a working group connect with coaches groups around the country so we can have a stronger voice of influence when they meet and when rules are formed. Currently CoSIDA is involved in a lobbying effort with the NCAA Volleyball Rules Committee to change a rule that dictates our stats providers don't get lineups until one minute prior to the start of competition.

With that I'll stop, wishing everybody happy holidays. Back to you, Clark.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Thank you very much, Doug.

Erik Christianson joins us today to share his perspective on how advocacy functions as a bit of a two-way street and discuss some of the most important tools SIDs have to support their efforts and too improve their intuitions.

ERIK CHRISTIANSON: Thanks, Clark. Good morning, good afternoon to everyone on the call.

I want to thank CoSIDA for its ongoing efforts with these kind of opportunities and learnings for its members and overall what it's doing to support its members and support higher education and intercollegiate athletics.

Clark, let's go to the next slide. I want to briefly talk about two things today, to build on what Doug had talked about related to advocacy at the personal level, and then also advocacy at an organizational level.

So I'm going to dive right in. We're limited on time and everybody's time is important. So the points that I want to present to everyone today, thinking about kind of advocacy first at the personal level; that it's important to remember, and you'll see on the slide there, that it doesn't matter what your title is, it doesn't matter what your specific duties might be; it doesn't even matter kind of where you're at in your career. This notion of advocacy is so -- so important regardless of what level you're at there.

But let's talk about that, so why, why is that important to look at advocacy. It's not about self-promotion. It's really about other promotion. It's about promoting your work. It's about promoting your organization. It's about promoting student athletes most of all.

And so one of the ways to do that then that I have found to be very helpful and that we talk about here, is think about how do you determine your priorities then at that personal level, as you're moving forward in your particular role, whether you're more of an entry level communicator, whether you're someone that's mid-career, maybe you're someone in a senior leadership position.

How do you determine those priorities? A very simple rule I've found that works fairly well is to really figure out, well, what are your priorities of your boss, what are your priorities of your organization, and then make them yours, plain and simple. Make those priorities yours.

That will then help direct your efforts in your particular role and move from being someone who either does social media or handles sports information for a particular team or sport, to really becoming that person of influence; that when you begin to look at yourself as an advocate rather than a technician, that's when that starts to flow in that particular way, to move from someone who is just an employee to somebody that is that person of influence.

It's the person of influence and people of influence that get to that table that Doug talked about, and that's really what we are talking about here as well.

So let's move to the next slide and we'll talk about it at an organizational level and try to bring this kind of more to the forefront there.

So when we think about, then, being an advocate, first of all, for yourself and the work that you're doing, and moving on to that bigger why, that organizational level, why are we doing what we're doing. It's important to remember a couple things.

One is the current landscape in which we're working in higher education in college sports. We know that there's a lot of challenges right now in this space. We also know that there's still a great amount of interest and confidence in higher education in college sports, particularly compared to other kind of large organizations in society, if you will. You know, higher education in college sports still stands up fairly well. But there are concerns at the higher education level. There's big, big concerns about cost. There's no doubt about that.

At the college sports level, there's a lot of concerns, as well, about how do we best take care of our student athletes, and do it in an environment where they are not considered employees; that that completely transforms that student campus relationship into an employee, employee relationship, and no one is advocating for that within higher education in college sports. So important to remember that as a backdrop.

Then to move forward and think about what's the current landscape in communications, and we all know that this is a landscape and an environment that changes as fast as ever, as quickly as I've seen in the arc of my career that things change so quickly. It's easy to get distracted then because of those changes, and it's really easy to want to focus on the latest thing rather than the most important thing.

So how do you do that, then, to not have that happen, and the main way to do that, as I put on the slide there is, don't confuse tactics with strategy. That happens so often, and oftentimes we'll work with others who will say, I need a Twitter feed, or I need this press release or I need this or I need that, rather than stepping back and starting more at that strategic level: What are you trying to accomplish, who are you trying to reach, what end result are you seeking. That's very helpful.

I want to dive a little bit more because that's still fairly kind of theoretical, and give you an example that helps us and may help all of you as well.

I understand that there's a lot of pressure to do things the same way because we've always done them a certain way and maybe an administrator wants something done a certain way or maybe a coach wants something done a certain way.

One of the things that we do is, you know, let data be your friend, let data be our friend, and make data-driven decisions rather than look at, well, we've done this because that's the way we've always done that.

So if there's that particular release that you're working on, and somebody wants that done, maybe Coach wants that done, you can go back and say, well, Coach, we had a very limited engagement on this, let's try something different this year. Let's think about developing an infographic that we can then promote on a variety of platforms and then perhaps look at some targeted interviews rather than just write a thousand-word press release and call it a day and move on.

So using those tools and those options that are available to us now in that current communications landscape to help you advocate at that locational level.

As Doug talked about, the big why, of course, is that we are promoting student athletes. We are promoting the incredible opportunities that come to students through college sports, whether they are getting a scholarship, whether they are getting academics aid, to do that, those opportunities are incredible. They are life-changing. They helped change my life and many other people.

Those are the things I would like you to take away from this time and again I want to thank CoSIDA for its own advocacy over the years, and how it has really transformed itself as a front-leaning, forward-looking organization, looking out for those working in college sports and higher education and as a whole.

Clark, I'll stop there.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Jason Fein started as an SID and has been a webinar presenter with us in the past. He was named Division III Athletic Director of the Year and ECAC Division III Administrator of the year in 2016. He joins us once again to speak about the importance of communication in an athletic department and how SIDs can distinguish themselves.

Jason, welcome back.

JASON FEIN: Thanks, Clark. Good to be back. Hello, everybody. Thank you to CoSIDA for having me. I know I was not the first choice, I'm used to that, that's okay. I got the call-up from AAA yesterday. Thought I was hiding out here in Maine in witness protection but Barb found me, so I'm really happy to be here to talk a little bit with you all.

I do not have a presentation being that I was a little bit late in getting the call, so I will be happy to put anything here that I discuss with you down for folks in a supplemental document and send it to you.

What Barb asked me to focus on is how can SIDs distinguish themselves in the work environment and make ADs and those on their staff realize the importance of what you all do.

As Clark mentioned, I was an SID and I still consider myself an SID at heart; and as my SIDs here will tell you, because I drive them crazy on a daily basis, I still have plenty of ideas on the communications side.

So one of the things that I've worked on during my career while I was active as an SID and since that is kind of helping our profession advocate for themselves, get noticed, do the things that are going to put you at that table that everyone has been talking about. And I think that Doug hit it on the head when he said that if you're not at the table, you're likely on the table. I think that's a good little tidbit there.

So what can you do to advocate for yourself and get noticed. So a few tactics that I used during my time and when I talk with folks, whether it be SIDs or other people in the profession, the first thing, and Erik kind of alluded to this, is really taking initiative and coming up with a strategy for yourself of how you're going to approach this entire topic. I think the difference between tactics and strategy as Erik said is very, very important.

My approach is slightly different than the data-driven approach, and my approach is meant to kind of being complimentary to that approach -- for those fans of the evil empire, the New York Yankees out there, I kind of call it the Joe Torre versus the Joe Girardi. Joe Girardi was a big book buy and a big sabermetrics guy and went always by the data, I think Joe Torre back when he was the manager of the Yankees was data-informed maybe not data-driven all the time, but kind of also went with a look and feel, and I think you have to do that on your individual campus.

We have Division I, Division II, Division III, different size schools. Some of you may have quicker access to your AD and be able to just knock on the door and talk to your AD. Some of you may not. So I think taking initiative in any kind of way that you can is going to be really important.

Now, SIDs in many, many ways take initiative to promote the achievements of our student athletes. They are so good at promoting the achievements of others.

I think sometimes where we fall short is promoting our own achievement. So if you look at areas where SIDs have been the leaders, you could say Webcasting, social media, digital networks, taking on game management, sponsorships, marketing, promotions, things like that.

I think that Erik touched on a great point about keeping up on how fast our profession changes; I think that's an in for us with our administration. ADs are doing a hundred different things just like you all are, but the SID, the communications department is one area of that.

So anyone who is giving me good information in forms, in little bits that I can take it in that I need to know, that's someone that I want on my team. So I think keeping track with how fast things do change, whether it be a new social media thing that's popping up or a new kind of way that we can do video better and bring something to our fans and our parents and student athletes and our alums, that's also going to help not only drive admissions and recruitment, but also fund-raising. That's stuff that I want to hear about. So I think taking that initiative and trying to get that information to your supervisors, your ADs is super important.

The next thing I think is really important is building your network from within our organization. So having people within your team that already know what a contributor you are, and I think that is important to kind of be an influencer of folks, not necessarily looking at taking recognition, like not a recognition hog but more of a silent influencer.

For those Seinfeld fans out there, if you remember the episode about the saddler, the guy who would saddle up to the person doing the work and then get credit for it; that's not what you necessarily want, but you want to be the opposite of that, right. You want to be the person who is silencing influencing that people want in on a conversation and go, oh, whoever that person is, has great ideas, always is looking to help the organization, that's a person that I want on my team and at my table.

So how do you do that? You work from within your group, whether it within the communications office or working across campus. It might be promoting games on campus, things that student athletes are doing on campus and working with those different departments, and that builds up your network on campus where people know you as a go-to person. That will trickle back in your meetings and staff meetings on campus and with the presidents with other folks on campus, so they know, oh, our communications folks, oh, yeah, they are involved in this area. So I think building your network from within is super important.

Another thing I think is really important is participating in things outside of your particular area. Whether you call it extracurricular activities, other things going on in the department, even just social gatherings.

SIDs especially are known as being the first ones there for an event, the last ones to leave, working the hardest, maybe being able to grab a quick bite in between, but not being able to kind of step out from the table or the desk to be a part of everything that's going on. I think people need to get to know you on a personal level. I know you want to be known on a personal level in order to help, as well.

One final thing I think that is important as far as being a team player and getting noticed is that we all have frustrations. I think that in the communications area, that's an area where it just seems that we never, ever take anything off the table, but we continue to add new things to the job descriptions.

Only thing that I can think of in the last ten years that's come off an SID's plate is probably faxing. If you're still faxing, by the way, we should talk after the session.

I think other than that, we continue to add things, add things, add things. It's real easy to get caught up and to be bogged down and want to complain. I think that we all kind of have those moments. Find your person that you can event to but definitely don't be known around your office, around the department, as someone who is talking smack about somebody, about what someone else isn't doing in the department or how hard you all have to work as opposed to other folks. I think that stuff permeates in a similar way a coach wouldn't want a team member doing that, a student athlete doing that. I think that's very important, as well. Try to be a positive influence. If you're always a positive influence on your student athletes, it should be the same way on your colleagues.

So those are some tips and things that I would suggest. I always think that if you can get in front of your AD and your administration and just strike up a chat, especially about new things that are going on in your profession and your world, that would really help, and try to be creative and think a little bit outside the box.

It's really easy to get bogged down in all the duties, checking the boxes and things you have to do. I think bringing new creative things is really important.

And I'll just finish up on something Erik said that I think is really important, as well. Sometimes those priorities between your bosses and what you think is important, may not be 100 percent in alignment. I think you need to remember that, sometimes you need to, we all need to kind of make our supervisors priorities our priorities. Whether you're an AD, whether you're the president of the board of trustees, the AD to the president or the SID to the athletic department, we have to kind of remember that we all have bosses and a lot of us get reminded of that more often than we would like.

So when it comes to priorities, I would keep that in mind, as well. So I know we're on a time crunch, so I'll end it there but I'll definitely be sticking around for some questions. Clark, I'll shoot it back to you.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Before we move on to Shelly we had a question come in. We've asked Erik to come back on so we can address it.

Erik, one of the reasons we asked you to be on the call with us today is because of part of CoSIDA efforts in advocacy have been with the NCAA leadership in Indianapolis. If you could join us again and talk a little bit about, you know, how that's helped grow CoSIDA as an organization and the impact that that working relationship with the NCAA leadership has had on both sides of it.

ERIK CHRISTIANSON: Thanks, Clark. Be happy to talk about that. It's been a real passion area for us here.

When I started here at the NCAA almost 14 years ago, having come from a large campus and a large university system, I knew that you really didn't make progress and you couldn't get things done effectively until you worked with others, you worked with your members.

So I started just asking, how are we working with our members, and those of you who have been around for a while know that there was always a strong relationship with our statistics and media coordination staff with CoSIDA, there weren't some of those other connections, though, that I felt were really important. We started down that road and literally just started calling people.

I went to a CoSIDA Convention and just started talking with people and really starting to explore how we can build a bridge, a better bridge, between the NCAA and CoSIDA. And then we invited the leadership in for its first-ever meeting at the national office. President Myles Brand at the time was very eager to come and was very supportive, and was more than willing to come when I asked him to come and speak to the group, and that really started that process.

And so we then over the years have just kept looking for how can we work together and how can the NCAA continue to support CoSIDA and all of its members in this all-important task of telling the story of the student athlete, because that is the story of college sports about the opportunities that are available to them.

You all know the talking points that hardly any are going to play professionally; most then are going to get a degree and move on in life and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them and so that has been the process more recently over the last several years.

We've seen engagement with CoSIDA leadership and it's board at our convention. We host an Annual Summer Meeting which has become a very important meeting for both CoSIDA and the NCAA where the staff and leadership come to the national office in Indianapolis for a couple days of meetings and really looking for those continued opportunities to work together.

So very simply, we're all in. As Doug mentioned at the beginning, President Emmert has been a strong supporter, as well. He makes time every year at convention to meet with CoSIDA and he's been very strong in encouraging us to really think about how can we continue to work with CoSIDA, and in particular, how can we continue to advance and support and lift up the Academic All-America Program, which is just one of the most tremendous programs that's out there today.

As Doug mentioned we feel like we're making some good progress to help others then realize the tremendous asset and value that that program brings. It's got 60 years or so, somebody can correct me on that date, of brands equity. It just is such a strong program and it so supports everything that we all do here at the NCAA and within CoSIDA and all of it's members.

And so again, we are really pleased to continue to work with CoSIDA. It's very much a partnership and we are going to continue to look for ways to move things forward within the space to support student athletes.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Thank you very much for that, Erik.

Shelly Poe is a CoSIDA Hall of Famer and past president. She's here with us today to discuss the various resources for continuing education and professional development that SIDs can take advantage of which the organization has developed as part of it's advocacy efforts for the profession. Shelly, welcome.

SHELLY POE: Thank you, Clark. I want to start by saying a lot of our members are probably like, advocacy, that's sort of out of my comfort zone, that's probably not I didn't want to be, it's not -- I'm a behind the scenes person, I do the work; I get a lot done.

But our members are advocating every day. We are experts on advocacy. We are advocating for the teams, advocating for four coaches, our programs, our schools. Everything you do is putting forward someone in a better light.

So I just want to think of it as broadening that and putting yourself, your colleagues, your colleagues on campus, your colleagues in your conference, throughout the profession, kind of giving them a leg up, too. The same thing you would do for an athlete that had a really good game, tell the media, tell the other influencers in your sport, he did this or she did that; let's think about that in terms of the people we work with every day.

One really important thing you can do is to nominate people for CoSIDA awards, people that you feel are outstanding, have had an impact on your career or have done something really terrific to promote the profession, do really good work. There are awards throughout CoSIDA that they can be recognized for. I'm sure there are awards on your campus and in your conference for people that are doing something above and beyond.

You know, these are the type of things we promote our athletes for and try to get recognition for. Certainly we could write up somebody in our office or somebody in our conference that's going something terrific, over a long-term period or over somebody who has had a really exceptional communications challenge throughout this past year and met the challenge and rose above it.

So I think awards are always a great way to recognize people that maybe wouldn't get the first recognition. Certainly people are not going to nominate themselves. So think about that. Think about the people you work with, locally and across your conference, and throughout CoSIDA when the awards time nomination goes into effect.

At Auburn, we have for all employees of the athletic department, we have little pins they give out every month to stars, which means you sent in that somebody did something to help that you was kind of above their job description or went the extra mile.

You know, the more you can do that for other people on your campus, the more you can say thank you, the more you can recognize their expertise and say, really appreciate that you did this for us; really we couldn't have done this without you because you knew how to make it work. I think the more that's going to come back to you, too. Like.

Jason said, get to know other people on your campus. Get to show them that you are part of the bigger picture of making the campus go. Sometimes athletics gets a reputation for being their own little silo and they are only interested in athletics. Try to get out and be a part of the big campus fabric and also recognize people for their expertise for what they are doing. Let them know you have their back and you are appreciative of what they do, and I think that will come back around to you, as well.

I had the good fortune during the past year to work as an off-shoot of developing CoSIDA strategic plan with task force members across all divisions working on advocacy and things that we can do as an organization to move that forward, resources we can put into effect. Some we already have, that will help our members when they have needs, different situations, something easy as our job seekers program.

We have a committee that works with that section on the website that does it, and you know, whether you're looking for a job, whether you're looking for a new employee, you know, these are opportunities that people can take advantage of resources that are in place to help find the best fits.

Also, that committee is busy. They help people do practice interviews and look at resumés and help get them up-to-date and stuff like that. I think if you look down the list of all our CoSIDA committees, there are so many opportunities that people can take advantage of for professional development, for continuing education, anything that's going to get you up to speed on something that -- you know, we are all busy. Can't be experts on everything. So sometimes things pop up that we are not able to be an expert on right away, and then CoSIDA through the website, through the committees, has a lot of great opportunities for you to quickly get up to speed, best practices, trends, in any area that you would be interested in.

I think also, with the CoSIDA website, with a lot of the information that gets sent out through social media through CoSIDA, I think we are ahead of the curves in athletics as far as we get articles, we get trends, we get things that are going on currently. I think it's great if you can share those with other people in your department or throughout your conference.

Just you being on this webinar today, say, maybe I picked up this tip, heard this quote, kind of reminded me of you, thought it was something interesting to other people, throughout your department, throughout campus, anywhere.

One, it shows that you are the person out getting information and wanting to stay up to speed on things and wanting to go the extra mile and better yourself professionally, but also -- it also connects them with some of the things CoSIDA is doing. It, again, emphasizes us as a resource location for all areas of athletics. And also, it just connects you more with people that are not right in your office that you are going to see every day, but let's them know that, hey, we are all in professional athletics together, and here are some things that maybe will help you in your area, too. So that's something you could do.

I think any time you can recognize people, any time you can say thanks; maybe you played a basketball game and were in a hurry to get out of there and the opposing SID really went above and beyond to help you get your stuff or whatever, just shoot them an e-mail back and say thank you and maybe copy their supervisor on that.

The more you can just say thanks to people; there's so much work that our members are doing every day and we all rely on each other to get our jobs done. So the more you can say thanks and let people know that above them that you appreciate it and that they really are doing a good job, I think that's the strongest advocacy that we can do.

In the next few months and through the spring, you will be seeing some more things come out of CoSIDA, some survey items, and also some different small committees and efforts that are going to be developed for different areas of advocacy.

People may be in job transition. Again, Doug talked about diversity and some of those efforts that are already underway. Better ways that we can make our members more visible and more involved in the overall fabric of athletic decision-making on our campuses, conferences, nationally.

But CoSIDA is really moving forward on all these things. It's only as good as the member input will be. But any time you have ideas or suggestions, any time you have areas of concern that you think CoSIDA could be addressing, we'll have a great staff and board of directors that that's really what they want to do. They want to take the pulse of the membership and help us the best way we can.

I hope everybody will get involved, go out of your way, every day, try to say thank you to somebody, try to build up somebody else in the profession.

Just recognize that, recognize it to others and rely on CoSIDA to keep bringing you resources that you can share in athletics.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Shelly, thank you very much. While we still have you here, we do have a question and I think it would be appropriate for you to answer.

There are SIDs who may feel some concern about appropriately managing communication regarding trying to advocate themselves within their organizations, trying to advocate that they are ready to take on additional responsibilities, seeking a promotion, those kind of things, without -- they are concerned about there being a balance between advocacy and chain of command. And so, what do you have to recommend for people in situations like that?

SHELLY POE: I think one, even though we're busy, we can all see areas where, maybe, oh, we can do a little bit more. Go ahead and do it. Go ahead and do it and then show, hey, this wasn't really part of our plan or this wasn't something we've always done, but I thought this might be effective so went ahead and did it.

Sometimes you can just show that it's going to work, that you're thinking outside the box or beyond the actual, what Erik said, the task sheet. I think go ahead and do that.

I think, too, everybody in your athletic department, everybody is trying to get ahead, as well. So maybe you talk to the trainer or the equipment person or the person in the business office, the people that you interact with a lot and just say, are there ways that you think I could be better used in the department and I will say the same for you.

It is hard, it is hard to go in and say, I should do this or I want more of this. But I think the more you can get others to speak on your behalf, and also you're speaking on their behalf, so it's kind of a help each other situation, I think that would be good, too.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Thank you very much, Shelly, for that. We'd like to thank all of our presenters for giving their time today.

We appreciate Capital One's ongoing sponsorship of the Continuing Education Series. The recording of today's webinar and ASAP Sports FastScript and the presentations you saw today will be available for on-demand use exclusively on CoSIDA Connect later today.

We invite all attendees to submit any additional questions for further discussion at CoSIDA Connect, which is where all of the continuing education and resource library and materials are now available. Mobile users can download the CoSIDA Connect app on iTune or Google Play and there's more information available at CoSIDA.com.

Our next webinar will be on Wednesday, January 24, when we will be joined by representatives from the NCAA's Sports Science Institute for a discussion on health and wellness. Thanks to everyone for participating. Have a great day and safe and joyful holiday season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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