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Get inspired! Meet your S4SCON keynote speakers.

Aug 27, 2020

Are you ready to get to know your Social for Safety Conference keynote speakers more? These four industry experts can’t wait to e-meet you & strike your socialgov inspiration at this year’s conference, happening virtually Sept. 22-23, where they’re creating sessions specific to government social media professionals handling crises.

Being a keynote isn’t something you apply for at our conferences; it’s something we reach out to specific people to carefully craft. Will they have the right tone? Understand what you, the audience, really need to hear? What mood will they bring to the conference? What value will they bring to participants? These are just some of the questions we ask ourselves, and we can confidently tell you, all of these keynotes deliver.

Before we get started, make sure to register for the conference today to hear these speakers & many others in nearly 20 sessions. Even though we’re virtual this year, we’re guaranteeing a fully interactive experience with meet-ups, expo hours and more.

Now, let’s give a warm welcome to our first keynote speakers from Facebook!


Janelle Watson, Facebook
Jannelle Watson works on Facebook’s Politics and Government outreach team where she focuses on helping state and local elected officials, political candidates and government agencies build a best in class presence on Facebook and across the family of apps. Part of her role involves working closely with Secretaries of State and Elections Authorities across the country to increase voter participation, fight misinformation, and ensure the integrity of the 2020 Elections. Prior to Facebook, Jannelle worked for the National League of Cities overseeing the Young Elected Officials Network and served as a Small Business Advisor for Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

As part of the Social Impact Partnerships Team at Facebook, Kaitlyn Janowski works directly with nonprofit partners to build strategies around how to use Facebook’s Family of Apps, including Charitable Giving tools, to advance their missions. Prior to Facebook, Kaitlyn lead marketing at media, start-up, theSkimm and spent a number of years working at the nonprofit organization, charity: water, on both their digital fundraising and marketing efforts.

Jannelle loves to answer socialgov questions (you might remember her from the professional association webinar), and we’re looking forward to inviting Kaitlyn to the virtual stage for the first time! As the opening keynote session for S4SCON, “Crisis Response at Facebook,” they’ll share insights to help you effectively use Facebook to build community resilience during these times.

After choosing the breakout sessions you want to attend, checking the expo area and virtually meeting up with other participants during meet-ups (available to All Access Pass holders), we’ll close out day one hearing from Melissa Agnes. She’s a guest lecturer around the world, sits on multiple panels (including one tasked with the International Standard for Crisis Management) is a speaker, editor, host, contributor, and, especially, the founder and CEO of the Crisis Ready Institute.

Melissa Agnes, Founder and CEO of the Crisis Ready Institute
Melissa Agnes is a recognized leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is the creator of the Crisis Ready Model and author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World. She is a coveted speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today's leading organizations faced with the greatest risks.

As a strategic advisor and keynote speaker, Melissa Agnes has worked with NATO, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, financial firms, technology companies, healthcare organizations, cities and municipalities, law enforcement agencies, global non-profits, and many others, helping them understand risk and build invincible brands that can withstand even the most devastating of events.

Melissa most recently joined us to present the “Best Use of Social Media in an Emergency” category at the virtual Golden Post Awards, and we can’t wait to have her at S4SCON. 

Head on over to the end-of-day networking/meetups (completely optional), and meet back Wednesday, Sept. 23 for the last day of S4SCON where you’ll hear from two exceptional keynote speakers.


First up is Tom Tarantino from Twitter! You might remember him from last year’s S4SCON in Reno, and he’s back with even more helpful Twitter info to share with you as the lead of their global crisis response program.

Tom Tarantino, Twitter
Tom leads Twitter's global crisis response program, is responsible for U.S. state and city government relations at Twitter, and manages the Political Action Committee (#PAC). Prior to joining Twitter, Tom was the Chief Policy Officer of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) in Washington D.C. where he oversaw IAVA’s legislative, research and political departments. Tom spent 10 years in the United States Army serving as both an enlisted Civil Affairs Specialist and a Cavalry Officer deploying to both Bosnia in 2000 and Baghdad in 2005.

After another day filled with useful breakout sessions, peer meet-ups, virtual exhibitor space and, of course, some helpful breaks in between, it’s (sadly) almost the end of this year’s S4SCON. But, first, hear from GSM Council President and Mountain View Police Department’s Chris Hsiung in his keynote, “Our Call to Service: Adapting, Surviving, and Thriving in the Midst of Crisis.”

Chris Hsiung, Mountain View Police Department
Chris serves as a Deputy Chief of the Mountain View Police Department, managing day to day operations and leading efforts in leadership development, succession planning, and maintaining MVPD’s role as a progressive law enforcement organization in the 21st century. Chris is passionate about helping government and communities connect and engage with each other. He is a digital media influencer, conference speaker, and innovator on the topic of government social media, crisis communications, community engagement, and digital strategy. 

Chris will close out the conference with some thoughts on why we do what we do, how we can support each other, and how to stay strong, be resilient, and adaptable to the challenging times.

Virtually get social media training to protect your agency, keep public trust & strengthen your outreach at the second annual Social for Safety Conference, happening online Sept. 22 & 23. Register for the All Access Ticket today to participate live with your peers, meaningfully connect with each other and attend special invite-only sessions. We’ll see you at S4SCON!

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Best communicate with the public you serve by becoming a part of the free Government Social Media network — only available to full/part-time employees of government or educational institutions. Get access to socialgov-specific resources, like the COVID-19 SocialGov Hub group, and other organized content. Virtually collaborate with each other, share advice, get input, tips & more by joining the Government Social Media network today. 

We support the largest network of government social media professionals in the U.S. by guiding government agencies through complex social media issues. Government Social Media helps you successfully communicate with the public you serve, protect your agency and keep public trust while finding your support community. 


Interested in submitting a blog for your socialgov community? Just reach out to Sarah with your topic idea!

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