• Dbrady E1381159137568

    Confronting the Coming World

    A special Philanthropy411 blogging team covered last week’s Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference in New Orleans. This is a guest post by Dan Brady, Communications Manager at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.  Follow along on Twitter – @givingforum.

    During his plenary, David Simon of “The Wire” and “Treme” told a story about working in the Baltimore Sun newsroom at the advent of the internet. He described an editor telling writers how kids would “surf the web” and upon finding the Baltimore Sun’s website, they’d discover that they loved newspapers and start buying them.

    The assumptions behind that business model for newspapers in the digital age were, of course, hopelessly flawed. Ken Auletta of The New Yorker echoed Simon’s take on the collapse of the newspaper industry saying, “Traditional media didn’t confront the coming world.” It failed to invest in engineers, web developers, and others who could provide the underpinning platform for the news outlets of the Twenty-first century.

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  • Betseyrussell

    Permission to Be Authentic

    A special Philanthropy411 blogging team covered last week’s Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference in New Orleans.  This is a guest post by Betsey Russell, Owner Last Word, LLC.   Follow Betsey on Twitter – @BetseyPR.

    Two of the overarching themes at the Communications Network conference just concluded in New Orleans were the elements of creating good stories and the importance of amplifying them.  It makes perfect sense. A beautiful, compelling story unshared is a wasted opportunity. And a poorly told or meaningless story that’s pushed out there to millions is a complete waste of time.

    Grantmaker conferences and articles over the past couple of years have been rich with advice and wisdom about how to craft a compelling narrative to further worthwhile causes. But some of the best advice I’ve heard recently came from two separate ComNet keynotes, David Simon and Maria Hinojosa — be authentic.

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  • Banse1

    The Luxury of Time

    A special Philanthropy411 blogging team covered last week’s Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference in New Orleans. This is a guest post by Liz Banse, Vice President at Resource Media.  Follow Liz on Twitter – @LizBanse.

    In a conversation with fellow conference attendee Kathleen Hennessy in the cab on the way to the airport on Friday, we had a good laugh over the similarities between her job as a professional photographer and my temporary gig as a blogger for the Communications Network conference. Quite simply, it is this: when Kathleen is on assignment, she is always alert, aware of her surroundings, looking for the “perfect moment.” So, too, for me, as I went into every session of the conference on the lookout for material for that ever elusive blog post.

    I dutifully took notes – hoping for inspiration to strike – during David Simon’s talk, during Maria Hinojosa’s talk and during Ken Auletlta’s talk. But it was Auletta who provided the spark for the recurring theme or some connection or connecting of the dots among the different speakers.

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  • Norris West1

    Tips on Framing your Messages to Change the World

    A special Philanthropy411 blogging team  is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference in New Orleans. This is a guest post by Norris West, Director of Strategic Communications at The Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Follow Norris on Twitter – @NorrisWest.

    This is my second Communications Network conference, and there is little doubt that I will return for a third. The plenary sessions, workshops and networking are feeding my appetite for the interactions that will send me back to Baltimore full of ideas.

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  • Liz Wainger1

    It’s the Story, Stupid!

    A special Philanthropy411 blogging team  is currently covering the Communications Network Fall 2013 Annual Conference conference in New Orleans. This is a guest post by Liz Wainger, President of The Wainger Group.  Follow Liz on Twitter – @lizwainger.

    In the days leading up to the Fall Communications Conference, I was looking forward to reconnecting with friends, checking the pulse of what my colleagues are wrestling with in their work, and learning a few new tricks.  And the conference did not disappoint.  But what I was  struck by most was the consistent theme in the plenaries and break outs that I attended: story matters.

    Despite all of the new and exciting, wiz bang platforms that allow us to communicate with more people, more rapidly across the globe, good old fashioned skills to build a narrative, develop characters and put our narrative within some broader context are at the core of getting our grantees, our politicians, and our philanthropic colleagues to engage in our struggle to bring about social change.

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