As admissions officers from around the country ship up to Boston (the parrot in this video welcomes you, too) for the annual National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) National Conference, public relations folks are eagerly awaiting to hear the new ideas, initiatives and trends that will emerge from this gathering.

From the latest innovations in college recruiting to issues counselors face such as access and affordability, admissions officers, journalists and other campus representatives will be presenting lessons learned and best practices, but some of the best parts of a conference are the conversations you get to have with your peers.  While the conference is geared toward admissions, it is important for your campus colleagues in marketing and communications, development, finance and financial aid to understand realities in admissions.

Media relations professionals keep a close eye on this conference. We want to know what’s working in college admissions, what needs change and what keeps our colleagues up at night. This helps to inform our pitches and allows us to identify trends and unique story ideas. We also like to pitch our admissions directors to meet with reporters covering the conference. While a meeting with a reporter doesn’t always lead to a direct placement, it starts a dialogue and opens the door for future opportunities and pitches from your institution.

And while it might not be feasible to send administrators from other departments on your campus to NACAC, it is easy to keep an eye on the stories and updates coming out of Bean Town through media and social media. Also, grab a coffee or schedule a meeting with your admissions director when he or she returns to hear all the highlights and news that may impact your work going forward.

While there will be lots of journalists in attendance, some good Twitter accounts to follow for the latest news (and jokes!) coming out of NACAC are the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Eric Hoover and Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik, and follow the official hashtag #NACAC17.

Yours truly will also be making an appearance on Friday — it’s practically in my backyard. If you are at NACAC and want to get a coffee or eat chocolate, I’m your girl! Feel free to connect with me or follow me on Twitter.