As many of you know, this year we took a little different approach to programming our annual Fall Conference. We turned a lion’s share of the decision-making to you–”the crowd.”
From start to finish, to say the results were spectacular would be something of an understatement. We received an unprecedented number of proposals for our October event in New Orleans–or as Minna Jung, the Network’s vice chair commented in an earlier post: “Wow“–and the numbers of you who voted on which sessions to put on the agenda was beyond anything we imagined. So, Wow, again!
We’re already drawing a large crowd to our New Orleans conference, Oct. 2-4. No surprise considering our jam-packed line-up that features outstanding plenary speakers, a dynamic mix of breakout sessions–hand-picked by you–and a terrific selection of pre-conference training workshops.
Check the list to see who’s coming. If yours isn’t on it, add it today.
A Quick Word With… is our ongoing series in which Communications Network members from a range of organizations tell us about themselves, their work and where they draw their inspiration. This installment features Erin Kelly, social media manager at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
A recent communications success you are particularly proud of?
I’ll share one recent success from National Public Health Week. This campaign, run by the American Public Health Association (APHA) during April each year, enabled Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) staff to continue with fast-paced, real-time conversation. RWJF was not a partner in this campaign, but we considered what the focus of this week meant for our target audiences and outlined an engagement plan that included regular tweets with the campaign hashtag #NPHW and positioning a program officer to participate in the Twitter chat on April 3, 2013. The Twitter chat was particularly fun, and at the end of the day helped us learn a few things about organizing around a live, virtual event. You can check out the chat recap on Storify or the full transcript on Symplur.
It’s Sandria Clark who holds your interest from the very first minute of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation’s video, “Community Works: The NOVA Model of Workforce Development.“ It’s not just Clark’s deeply contented smile that hooks you, it’s the joy in her voice. “I’ll tell it from the rooftops” she says, “this is the place to start.” She’s talking about the employment program that is the nominal topic of the video, and it’s an interesting program demonstrating impressive success, but it’s Clark’s emotions that stay with you. The video is storytelling done beautifully, evoking empathy that inspires action. Whether the video will be used to convey MRBF’s mission, to pitch to a corporation, or as a marketing piece that increases a grantee program’s visibility, it will deliver a powerfully emotional message.
“Community Works” is one of several that comprise the foundation’s Story Bank, which MRBF created in 2012 to share grantee successes. The Story Bank’s design and implementation is itself a foundation success story, but of another kind: a first-rate program and communications collaboration.