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When and How to Communicate Key Messages


3:20–4:10 p.m.

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Office of Communications and Marketing


What are the university’s key messages? How and when should I use them? Key messages are a platform from which we can tell great stories across many disciplines. Recent university examples will show how key messages can be brought to life by infusing them into conversations, presentations, talking points, media interviews, and other formats.


Tyra Haag
Director of News and Information
Office of Communications and Marketing

Tyra Haag leads a department that shares impactful news about the university, mitigates and responds to issues, and provides key internal communications to students, faculty, and staff. She is a trusted public relations professional with 19 years of experience in higher education, agencies, news organizations, and nonprofits. She a member of the 2023–24 Chancellor’s Leadership Academy and has degrees from UT in communication studies and Spanish.

Megan Boehnke
Director of Executive Communications
Office of Communications and Marketing

Megan Boehnke manages communications and messaging for the chancellor, including written messages, remarks, speeches, op-eds, presentations, and videos. She has been at UT for over five years and has spent most of that time supporting the chancellor. Before joining the university, she spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter, including seven years at the Knoxville News Sentinel, where she covered several beats including UT and higher education. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky.

Kerry Gardner
Assistant Director, News and Information
Office of Communications and Marketing

Kerry Gardner has more than a decade of communications and public relations experience. Before coming to UT she worked as a content strategist for Pilot Company, where she assisted in internal communication to 28,000 employees, crisis communication, executive thought leadership, and corporate social media. She earlier served as vice president of operations for a lifestyle and entertainment public relations firm. She started her career at Jarrard Inc., working in mergers and acquisitions and crisis communication for hospital systems.