Networks Hold Summit With Conference Liaisons

The Pac-12 Networks are going to spend the next two days in a series of seminars and discussions with their liaisons from all 12 of the conference’s schools. But perhaps where the most important work will be done is when they all go out to dinner Monday night.

The networks are holding a Liaison Summit on Monday and Tuesday where senior staff will get together with representatives from all 12 schools to celebrate their first year, familiarize them with the studios in downtown San Francisco and prepare for even more content in 2013-14. The second day will primarily be a discussion about the network’s digital component, as each school has also sent a digital communications rep to San Francisco to discuss websites, digital content and social media.

But if nothing else, the summit’s principal purpose will be to allow Pac-12 Network staff to interact face-to-face with liaisons from each school, something that is hard to organize with the institutions spread out around the Western United States.

“We will do a lot of education and sharing of information, but maybe the most valuable time will be spent sitting around the table drinking coffee or going out for dinner Monday night,” Pac-12 Networks Vice President of University Relations Bob Keyser said. “The bonding time will be invaluable. I just think there is no substitute for having face-to-face interaction on a fairly frequent basis. I wish we could do it more often.”

One of the first measures the Pac-12 Networks took when it formed, well before it launched in August, was to ask each institution’s athletic director to appoint a liaison. The networks, led by Keyser, keep in constant communication with the liaisons so they are kept current on everything development in San Francisco and each of the 12 campuses.

Keyser holds a conference call with the liaisons every other Thursday but rarely are they all ever in the same room together.

“The communication we’ve had with the schools is one of the most critical success factors we’ve had in doing what we’ve done in the past year,” Keyser said. “I don’t think we could have come close to doing what we’ve done in the first year without the level of collaboration and cooperation from the schools. Frankly, it’s one of the things I’m personally most proud of and we as a company are proud of.”

Among Monday’s discussions are a marketing overview, production/operations update, philosophy and programming plans, a tour off the studios and a Q&A with anchor Mike Yam.

Tuesday’s program will include an overview of the schools’ websites and, digital content creation and social media.

“Every one of the liaisons has been absolutely critical in terms of getting the network up and running,” Keyser said. “I’ve seen a lot of these folks individually, but this is the first time we’ve brought all of them together in the studios. Giving them a chance to interact will benefit everyone.”


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