• Regan

    DIY Communications: When is It Time to Pull Out the Toolbox?

    Guest Post: Regan Gruber Moffitt

    After many months of talking about a major home remodel, my husband announced one April morning, “We’re starting today!” Those words still ring in my ears more than a year later. You see, I was eight months pregnant. The next five weeks would be some of the most memorable – and miserable – I’ve had. The story has a happy ending of completed tile, cabinets and paint at least a few days before the baby arrived, but its twists and turns brought on by the bad timing are a cautionary tale for those taking on do-it-yourself (DIY) projects of any kind.

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  • Flickr   Moses Namkung   The Crowd For DMB 1

    Wow, Part 2 (VIDEO)

    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!

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  • ATwitterwall

    Foundations Ask, How to Measure Social Media’s Contribution to Social Change?

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest funder of health programs in the U.S., recently hosted a roundtable on Social Media Measurement. Nearly a dozen foundations gathered with communication experts, evaluators and data analysts to share best practices and learn from one another. A version of the following post originally appeared on Knight Blog, the blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

    Guest Post: Mayur Patel

    As social media tools have become ubiquitous, foundations have used them in a variety of ways to expand their networks, gather insights and build new relationships. As a result, there’s a growing interest in developing better ways to measure the impact of their online efforts.

    At Knight, our approach to social media is based on using the tools to create opportunities for interaction and information exchange. As my colleagues Elizabeth Miller and Jon Sotsky recently wrote, we actively use social media to connect with our network, gather feedback, cultivate networks and promote our grantees and topics of interest. As a foundation, we’ve often used social media to disseminate publications and lessons learned, invite discussion on foundation topics, promote open contests and let people know about grant application deadlines. Our experience has demonstrated that social media tools have been powerful in pushing us to be more transparent. It’s opened up new channels for participation and feedback in our work.

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  • Bizcropped

    WBEZ’s Birther Controversy

    Guest Post:  Mitch Hurst

    In what’s been referred to by The New York Times as a “saucy” new marketing campaign, Chicago’s venerable NPR affiliate is pushing procreative sex. Advertisements plastered around the area, including on the sides of buses, are asking Chicagoans to “do it for the city” and “make babies today” in an effort to create a new generation of WBEZ listeners.

    Like much of old media public radio knows it desperately needs to appeal to a new generation of potential listeners who have a smorgasbord of options that were unavailable to their parents and grandparent. If you believe WBEZ’s marketing department, the campaign is satire, designed to be provocative and grab attention. That it did, in a “what the hell were they thinking” sort of way.

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  • Suzanne Features Copy

    An In-Kind Program That Reaps Its Own Rewards

    Guest Post: Suzanne Samuel

    When Kaiser Permanente Northern California created its In-Kind Communications Program, the intention was clear. By providing communications consulting, communications products (like videos, brochures, and websites) and capacity-building training to our grantees from within our own offices, we would contribute to the success and long-term stability of our grantees. The pleasant surprise was how the In-Kind Program improved our own communications practice, often in striking ways.

    A More Strategic Approach
    Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit Program is a direct extension of our organization’s 65-year-old mission: to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. Because we are both a health plan and a care provider, we are able to go beyond traditional corporate philanthropy to pair grant funding with shared expertise: medical research, clinical best practices—and communications products and consulting.

    For many years we had offered communications support to a handful of Northern California community organizations each year, using an ad hoc approach. Grantees would inquire about Kaiser Permanente’s ability to provide a specific product (like a brochure or video), and the requests were handled on a case-by-case basis.

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