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Video Conference

Working with the Media and How to Develop Good Public Relation Practices

  • Apr 9, 2019 (10:00 - 12:00 pm CT; 9:00 - 11:00 am MT)
    Video Conference (designated rooms at DOT sites)


DEADLINE: Tuesday, April 2, 2019


Public projects are by nature disruptive and controversial. This presentation will discuss various public relations tactics that can support a Department of Transportation as well as local governments (counties, cities, and townships) throughout a complex project. These community interactions can either make or break your credibility as a professional. This presentation will share some learnings from past projects and how to achieve successful outcomes when working with key stakeholders, including members of the media, to gain positive public support.

Topics of discussion will include best practices and tips:

  • How to identify the right stakeholder list
  • Steps to become a project or department ambassador
  • Examples of how to humanize the communication process
  • Basics to build the right public engagement toolboxes

Whether you are heading to a public meeting, contractors meeting, working with the public, or are approached by a field reporter, these suggestions or tools will help you craft the best response and develop a good working relationship within your communities.


Melissa Reichert, Public Engagement Strategist, Flint Group, compares public relations and community engagement to a puzzle where the timing of putting the pieces together is as important as understanding the complete picture. Her greatest sense of accomplishment comes from seeing the puzzle pieces come together to support the client’s needs.

As the strategist guiding a full-service agency team, Melissa builds comprehensive and strategic communication plans for large complex transportation or public projects. The team builds the right public engagement toolbox to deliver an array of public relation tactics or innovative community engagement techniques to help engineer public support. Her industry expertise helps clients navigate the extensive media landscape, new and emerging media, challenging organization scenarios and event planning.

Despite time pressures, Melissa keeps a positive attitude while drawing on her thirteen years of experience working across government, healthcare, transportation, energy, finance, higher education, retail, and tourism industries.

Amy Acquard, Public Relations Specialist, joined Flint Group as a public relations intern in 2015, which allowed her to obtain hands-on experience in the ever-evolving public relations discipline and to provide support for public relations clients in a variety of industries. She accepted a full-time position as public relations coordinator with Flint Group in 2016 and quickly became an integral part of the agency’s collaborative PR and transportation teams. In 2017, she was promoted to the role of public relations specialist because of her increased knowledge of the region’s media climate, and ability to monitor and quickly analyze media coverage helps the team to react and adapt messages as needed in real time.

Through boots-on-the-ground experience, Amy has developed expertise in public event planning and plays a key role in successfully implementing Flint’s numerous public information coordinator services for complex transportation projects.

Kevin Gorder, PE, City of Fargo, serves as a Division Engineer within the City of Fargo Engineering Department. Kevin is currently responsible for oversight on federal aid infrastructure improvements projects along with right-a-way and utility management throughout the city limits. Gorder was formally the Assistant District Engineer for North Dakota Department of Transportation Fargo District.

With more than 25 years of working in the field on construction projects across Traill, Cass, Richland, Sargent, Ransom, and Steele counties in North Dakota, Gorder has spent the last 20 years focused on projects supporting metro growth in the cities of Fargo and West Fargo.

Gorder is frequently tapped to speak about the benefits and challenges surrounding preserving and building transportation systems at local service clubs, neighborhood groups, industry events and through media interviews. He understands the importance of communicating how projects impact adjacent property owners and community members from pre-completion to completion.

Kevin graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Civil Engineering and is a Professional Engineer in the state of North Dakota.

Target Audience

All staff.

More Info

The above resource and more can be accessed by visiting the TLN Learning Management System (LMS).

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050