Google and Facebook: New tools to enhance storytelling, reach and engage local audiences

Both Google and Facebook have created – and continue to develop – tools to help journalists, including those in the smallest news organizations, do better work, improve workflow issues and track results.
Plan now to join your peers April 6 to 8 at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute on the beautiful campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia. During this latest edition of the Walter B. Potter Sr. Conferences you’ll learn how community news organizations – weeklies, small dailies and their websites – can reach deeper into their audiences, and grow their audience with new opportunities created with tools from Google and Facebook.

From Google you’ll learn how to use:
· Search for journalists.
· Public Data Explorer.
· Scholar for journalists.
· Google Maps for journalists.
· Street View 360 for journalists.
· Live streaming for journalists.
· And more.

From Facebook you’ll learn:
· How News Feed works
· Best practices for Facebook Live
· How to get access to Facebook's partner portal
· Where to find online resources to train others in your newsroom
· The pros and cons of pages and profiles
· More about what the Facebook Journalism Project is doing for local newsrooms
· And more.

All sessions take place at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. See the travel page for location details.

Thursday, April 6


Registration Opens

RJI Second Floor

Registration is open throughout the afternoon.

1 - 1:15 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions

Randy Picht, RJI executive director

Smith Forum 200

1:15 - 2:00 p.m.

Walt Potter, retired newspaper publisher

Mark Nienheuser, Missouri Press Service

Mike Wheeler, Westerly Partners, LLC and 2016-2017 RJI Fellow

David Danto

Smith Forum 200

Walt Potter, Jr. will share insights from his latest Listening Tour

Mark Nienheuser will provide an update on the digital services suite that was created during Missouri Press Service's 2015-2016 RJI Fellowship to help community newspaper publishers boost their relationships with ad clients while generating additional revenue.

Mike Wheeler of Westerly Partners will unveil his new low cost, scalable video recording and archiving systems for public community meetings and events

2 - 2:30 p.m.


Lambert 200A

2:30 - 3 p.m.

Google Session 1

Smith Forum 200

Learn what Search, Public Data Explorer and Scholar can do for journalists

3 - 3:30 p.m.

Google Session 2

Smith Forum 200

Learn how Google Maps can benefit your newsroom and readers

3:30 - 4 p.m.


Lambert 200A

4 - 4:30 p.m.

Google Session 3

Smith Forum 200

Learn about 360 video and Street View 360 for journalists

4:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Google Session 4

Smith Forum 200

See how journalists can use YouTube and live streaming

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Drinks and Dinner

The Industry at The Tiger Hotel

Available for those registered for dinner.

Friday, April 7

8 a.m.

Registration Open

RJI Second Floor

Coffee is available and the registration table is open throughout the morning.

8:30 - 9:15 a.m.

Facebook Session 1

Smith Forum 200

Overview of Facebook for publishers: How Newsfeed works, Partner Portal, Verification, Page Insights, Video Insights

9:15 - 9:30 a.m.


Lambert 200A

9:30 - 10:15 a.m.

Facebook Session 2

Smith Forum 200

Overview of Facebook tools for newsrooms: IA, Video, Groups

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.


Lambert 200A

10:30 - 11:15

Facebook Session 3

Smith Forum 200

Overview of Facebook tools for journalists: Mentions, Live, Search

11:15 a.m. - noon

Facebook Session 4

Smith Forum 200

Facebook research

noon - 1:30 p.m.


Palmer Room 100A

Lunch is available for those registered for lunch.

1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Google Hands On

Walter Williams 45 & 247

Learn how to use Search, maps, Public Data Explorer and live streaming

5 p.m.

Dinner on your own

Saturday, April 8

8 a.m.

Registration Open

Palmer Room 100A

Coffee is available and the registration table is open throughout the morning.

8:30 - 10:15 a.m.

Facebook Hands On

Walter Williams 45 & 247

Learn how to create Instant Articles

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.


Palmer Room 100A

10:30 a.m. - noon

Facebook Hands On

Walter Williams 45 & 247

Searching, Licensing, Ethics

noon - 1 p.m.

Box Lunches

Palmer Room 100A

Lunch is available for those registered for lunch.

1:15-2:45 p.m.

Breakout Training Sessions

You have the opportunity to attend one of these sessions during this time frame.

3 - 4:30 p.m.

One-on-One Training: Build a Social Media Account

You will receive an email with your individual location

This session requires pre-registration. We will have student trainers available for one-on-one sessions to help you build a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat account. The deadline to register for this hands-on social media training is March 15.

If you indicate that you are not interested in attending a group training session when you register, we will schedule your one-on-one training for 1:15 p.m.

If you indicate you are interested in attending a group training session from 1:15-2:45 p.m. when you register, we will schedule your one-on-one training for 3 p.m.


Our room block is now unavailable. Here is a list of hotels in Columbia. 

Getting to Columbia

Columbia is located in the heart of Missouri between St. Louis and Kansas City, about two hours from each city. It can be accessed by Highway 63 from the north/south and Interstate 70 from the east/west.
Columbia Regional Airport 
Columbia Regional Airport has a few flights a day from Dallas and Chicago. It is located about 20 minutes from downtown Columbia. Ground transportation options include taxis and car rental. It is advised to call and reserve a taxi when you get to your connecting airport (Taxi Terry's is a reliable option).
St. Louis International Airport
St. Louis International Airport is about two hours away from Columbia. This airport offers more flight options than the other two. Ground transportation options include Columbia's MoX shuttle service (door-to-door service available), or car rental. 
Kansas City International Airport
Kansas City International Airport is about two and a half hours away from Columbia. This airport is a little smaller than the St. Louis airport. Ground transportation options include Columbia's MoX shuttle service (door-to-door service available, although there are less frequent shuttles to Kansas City than St. Louis), or car rental. 


Campus parking 
Parking is available at the Hitt St. Garage on campus. You must request a parking permit when you register, or contact Event Coordinator Tricia Morgan at

About the area

This map includes pins showing a walking path between the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Tiger Hotel, and the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Hitt St. Garage.
The District
The Reynolds Journalism Institute is located at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in downtown Columbia, also known as The District. There is an abundance of restaurants, coffee shops, retails stores and more in downtown Columbia. To explore the area, visit

Cost and deadline

There is no cost to register for this event, but registration is required before March 31. 

What does registration include?

Admission to the event. 
Group training sessions Friday afternoon.
Hands-on social media training Saturday afternoon. Leave with a new Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat page for your organization. 
Dinner Thursday night.
Lunch Friday.
Box lunches Saturday. 

How to register

We are offering one hands-on social media training for up to 18 papers, so please decide who will sign up for that before you register if your organization is interested. Check out the schedule for training session details.
You will be asked at the time of registration if you want to participate in either or both of these training opportunities. This registration has closed. If you would like to be on the waiting list please e-mail Tricia at 

You can register everyone from your organization at the same time. Select the number of people you want to register and then the "Register" button. You can also visit the Eventbrite page to register. 

How to view your registration information after you register

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with your registration information. You can also visit Eventbrite and log in using the same email address you used to register. 


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