August 7-10, 2022 

Swissotel Chicago
323 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601 

Sunday, August 7th

*Registration table open 1-4 p.m., Alpine 1 & 2

9:00 a.m.

AMP board breakfast, Currents, lower level

10:00 a.m. - Noon

AMP board meeting, Currents

6-8 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Athletic Club Game Room, 12 S. Michigan Ave.
Join us for a fun evening of shuffleboard, foosball, bocce, billiards, checkers, chess, and more at the Chicago Athletic Association. Hors d’Oeuvres and drinks served.
Sponsored by Arkansas Living
Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.

Monday, August 8th

*Registration/information table will be just inside Alpine 1

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast and Task Force meeting

Breakfast Buffet
Sponsored by AMP

8:30 – 10 a.m.

SEA Membership Meeting – Alpine Room 1 & 2

10 – 10:15 a.m.


Sponsored by Cooperative Living and Safe Electricity
Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association  

10:15 a.m. – Noon

AMP Business Meeting – Alpine Room 1 & 2

Afternoon is free, no lunch provided.

Ticketed activity:

Cubs vs. Nationals, Wrigley Field – 7:05 p.m. Game

Dinner on your own
Reservations recommended for most places

Tuesday, August 9th

*Registration/information table will be just inside Alpine 1

7-8 a.m.

Breakfast – Alpine 1 & 2

Sponsored by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

8 a.m.

Alpine 1 & 2

  • Institute staff introductions 
  • Welcome by Craig Sondgeroth, General Counsel, Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

8:30-9:15 a.m.

Joint Session

Molly McPherson, M.S., APR

Is the monthly magazine format dying? Far from it.

There is no doubt that many members still prefer to read articles in print, but there’s also no denying the cost of traditional media is increasing as digital media becomes more competitive. 

We will breathe new life into the magazine format by showing managers and directors the value of continuing to invest in your monthly publication. 

By the end of this session, editors will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate how magazines, despite the increase in demand for digital media, are still essential for associations
  • Identify creative ways print publishing and social media can work together
  • Understand how advertising and the pandemic help the argument for keeping the magazine 
  • Learn strategies for reaching a new generation of members

9:15 – 9:30 a.m.

Break – Alpine 1 & 2

Sponsored by Alabama Living and Royle Printing
Alabama Rural Electric Association

9:30-10:30 a.m.

Editorial – Alpine Room 1

Molly McPherson continued.

9:30-10:30 a.m.

Advertising – Alpine Room 2
Prospecting \ Finding the Decision-maker

Marie Moffat, Media Radar

This hands-on training session will explain how to use MediaRadar to uncover advertising prospects and the people who decide how to spend the budget to support those campaigns.  MediaRadar is much more than just a database of names: it provides creative insights, advertising strategies, planning cycles and more.

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Joint Session, Alpine 1 & 2
Knowing Your Audience

Paul Sammon, vice president, MRI

With the 2022 MRI AMP reader survey complete, Paul will review the results from a networkwide perspective (i.e., who is the AMP reader), and then drill down to some of the individual publication results. In light of the fact that publications had 2 pages for custom questions, it will be enlightening to see the breadth of questions that were asked across the participating publications that could lend nuance to local sales efforts. In addition, one publication did both a mail survey and an online survey. It will be worthwhile to see how the results compared in both surveys and to see if there are notable differences in the results.

11:30 – 1 p.m.

Lunch - Joint Session, Alpine 1 & 2
Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow

Michael Perry, New York Times bestselling author

Lunch sponsored by Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association
Lunch speaker sponsored by Pioneer Utility Resources

Drawing on his experiences as a Wisconsin dairy farm kid, Wyoming ranch hand, and bestselling author who still lives in rural Wisconsin, Michael Perry has entertained hundreds of audiences with his hilarious and heartfelt stories of country life. Whether it’s the one about the sneezing cow, the one about poison ivy, or a simple observation about the quiet comforts of the countryside, Perry will leave you laughing and reconnected (or introduced) to rural life.

1 – 2 p.m

Editorial – Alpine Room 1
Writing from the Middle of Nowhere

Michael Perry, New York Times bestselling author

Sponsored by Pioneer Utility Resources

New York Times bestselling author and longtime freelance writer Michael Perry shares humorous, frank, and real-world insights about writing and storytelling in rural America, and how many times “the middle of nowhere” is the perfect place. Whether describing his revision technique (“I can’t recommend it”), the secret to a writer’s survival (“always say yes–you can figure out how to climb Mt. Rainier later”), how to save your unsold books from the dreaded “pulping” machine (do you have a tractor with a front end loader?), to where he gets his ideas (inside a crushed car?), Perry speaks above all to the pure joy that draws us to reading and writing in the first place. In this session he will focus especially on story gathering and construction.

1 – 2 p.m

Advertising - Alpine Room 2
Building Your Story

Debbie Kaplan, president, Diamond Media Research

Kaplan will share how the new reader research impacts the MRI prototype and how local salespeople can use the prototype to paint a picture of who their reader is, whether the publication had a reader survey done or not.  After she does a top-level discussion of the new prototype, Debbie will build a story for one of the publications in our network in real time using sales prospects and target information.



Sponsored by LSC Communications

2:15- 3:45 p.m.

Editorial – Alpine Room 1
Increasing diverse representation in content

Zuraidah Hoffman, Storyteller, producer, communicator

Does your content and messaging reflect who your members are? This interactive session will cover what diversity means, why it is important, and how to produce genuine diverse content year-round.

2:15- 3:45 p.m.

Advertising – Alpine Room 2
Policies and Prospects Discussion
Building Your Story, part 2 - Research

3:45-4:45 p.m.

Joint -Advertising – Alpine 2 Selling Local Advertising

Joe Spector, publisher/CEO, The Local Palate Magazine

Joe publishes a magazine built on successfully selling and marketing to local Mom and Pops in the South. He will share insights on how he is selling in the post-COVID-19 magazine world, and share some of the programs that have resonated with his clients as they return to serving the hospitality industry. 

Evening activity – 8 p.m.

Second City

1616 N. Wells Street
Doors open 45 minutes before showtime

Wednesday, August 10th

*Registration/information table will be just inside Alpine 1

8-9 a.m.

Breakfast – Alpine 1 & 2

Sponsored by Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and Ohio Cooperative Living

9-10 a.m.

Editorial - Alpine 1
Bridging the digital divide: connecting and growing your audience

Christopher Walljasper, Food and Agriculture Reporter, Thomson Reuters 

In a media world where audiences are inundated with news and entertainment at every turn, attracting and retaining your audience has never been more daunting. Print publications struggle to find dedicated audiences online through digital stories, newsletters, e-editions, and apps, while radio and TV stations attempt to shoehorn broadcast content into a website and hope it translates.  

There’s not a silver bullet for connecting with and retaining online audiences, but this session will help you understand the considerations needed when considering, planning, and executing your digital presence and interactions with your audience, as well as ways in which to measure success along the way.

9-10 a.m.

Advertising - Alpine 1 & 2
Using the Right Tools

Various AMP staff

This session will consist of discussing AMP tools available to everyone to build a proposal from start to finish, including customizable presentation templates, proposal templates, the Optimizer pricing tool, added value templates on programs, and a review of the Pipeline for projections.

10:15- 11:30 a.m.

Joint Session
What does that say? Translating a production invoice and managing costs.*

Geri Miller

The monthly invoice for producing the magazine is complex and written in print speak. It is further complicated by the common errors in supplier billing systems costing thousands of dollars a month. We will take a deep dive in how to read an invoice and check for accuracy. You will learn what documents you need from your supplier, how to easily document your costs for budgeting, understand the full cost of a page, how to extract extra billing to cooperatives and all the components to consider when making production decisions. (*No print personnel allowed due to propriety nature of material).


11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Joint Session - Lunch, Alpine 1 & 2
Sponsored by Quad

Words of Wisdom

1-2:30 p.m.

Joint Session, Alpine 1
Video Storytelling: It’s Important and Not as Hard (or Expensive) as You Think

Zuraidah Hoffman, Storyteller, producer, communicator

A good photo can tell an entire story. A short video can draw an audience into a story like no other medium. Let’s discuss why producing short videos to promote the written word is a great way to attract readers, and how it’s not as hard (or expensive) as you think. Share your own ideas on how you do it, view some fun examples of what can be done, and enjoy a home-made music video featuring a familiar face.


2:30-2:45 Break

Sponsored by NISC & Kansas Electric Cooperatives

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Joint Session, Alpine 1
Your Magazine Roadtrip through the USPS and how it Impacts your Postage

Mark Schneider, Postal Affairs Manager, Quad Inc.

Postal Affairs Manager Mark Schneider will outline the structure of the USPS and take a deeper dive into the factors that determine the cost of postage. Learn more about what to expect in 2022-2023 and how optimization solutions help to reduce postage. Schneider has been in the postal industry for 33+ years assisting mailers with a better understanding of the USPS. He has held positions in Customer Service, Post Press Analytics & Strategy, Estimating & Pricing and Technical Sales. He currently ensures that mailers are kept up to date on postal affairs and postal rate changes.

3:45-4:30 p.m.

Editorial, Alpine 1

Roundtable-Lessons learned from printing challenges

3:45-4:30 p.m.

Advertising, Alpine 2

Advertising Roundtable, Mark Adeszko, moderator

4:30 p.m.

Closing Comments\Q & A

See you at:
Willie Awards Dinner 6-8 p.m.
theWit Hotel, Gateway Room, 201 N. State St.
Sponsored by CFC
Payments are made to the
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives/2021 SEA Institute.