• Webinar: Lessons from the Front Lines of the LGBT Movement Oct. 29th at 2pm EST

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    Next Wednesday, October 29th at 2pm EST, Doug Hattaway and Alex Cole of Hattaway Communications will join The Communications Network for a WEBINAR on the impact of strategic communications on one of our country’s most successful social change struggles – the fight for marriage equality for LGBT Americans – and how to apply the lessons learned to other social change movements.

    What: Webinar: Lessons from the Front Lines of the LGBT Movement
    When: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 2pm EST
    Register: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=82i8jw2cna9f
    Note: This exclusive online event is open to Communications Network members only

    Background:

    From The Atlantic: “On May 9, 2012, President Obama sat for an interview in the White House with the ABC News anchor Robin Roberts. Both of them knew what she’d been summoned there to discuss, and Roberts didn’t waste any time. “So, Mr. President,” she said, “are you still opposed to same-sex marriage?”

    Obama was ready for the question. A few days before, Vice President Biden had said on Meet the Press that he was “comfortable” with men marrying men and women marrying women. The surprise statement went against the president’s own ambiguous stance, which was that he was against gay marriage but in the process of “evolving.” At the same time, evidence of the political risk inherent in the issue was abundant. The day before, May 8, voters in North Carolina — a key swing state Obama narrowly won in 2008 — had overwhelmingly voted to ban gay unions, making it the 31st state to take such a step.

    Obama sat back in his leather chair, his legs crossed, his hands in his lap, composed and a bit detached. “Well, you know, I have to tell you, as I’ve said, I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue,” he began, in his usual roundabout way. “I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally.” He pointed to his administration’s repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and its refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. He’d hesitated to embrace gay marriage, he said, out of respect for tradition and a belief that civil unions offered enough protection to same-sex partnerships.

    But now the president had changed his mind. “I’ve just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” he said.

    The reasons for Obama’s about-face, as he explained them, seemed perfectly normal. His thoughts, he said, had gone to his own staffers “who are in incredibly committed, monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together.” He’d thought about the troops, fighting on his behalf, yet still facing the constraint of not being “able to commit themselves in a marriage.” He talked about the values he wanted to pass on to his own children and the emphasis his own faith placed on the Golden Rule.

    As natural as Obama’s statement may have sounded, his words were as carefully chosen as the interview. The testimonial to the gay men and women in his life; the discussion of values and the Golden Rule; the remarkable fact that America’s first black president, discussing an issue many see as a modern civil-rights struggle (with a black interviewer, no less), made no reference to civil rights — these were all talking points straight out of the new playbook of the gay-rights movement.”

  • Webinar: Open Data for the Social Sector (Replay)

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    KEY TAKEAWAYS:

    • Open Data is empowering.
    • Sharing data publicly helps organizations make better-informed decisions and build on top of existing information.
    • Open Data fosters cooperation and opportunity and can prompt others to offer new approaches to problems you’re trying to solve.

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    Infographics took over the Internet in 2013. Indeed, they are a great way to crystallize the findings from a lengthy report into a single clear visual with just the top highlights of data, comparisons, etc. But, too often organizations spend money hiring designers to do infographics that are too complex, get lost in the data, miss the forest for the trees, or because of other misguided approaches, lower trust in infographics across the board.

    During a recent Communications Network webinar, Resource Media’s Liz Banse and Nicole Lampe shared seven best practices around the use of infographics, They also presented two case studies of successful infographic releases.

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    Changing the Dialogue on Your Issue: Data Makes It Doable (Video)

    Grantees and advocates often say that the public dialogue about their issue hampers their ability to advance social change. In a recent Communications Network webinar, we explored analytical tools you can use to map the current dialogue about your issue, engage policymakers and influentials to change the dialogue, and evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts.

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    In this replay of a recent–and lively–Communications Network webinar, Sink or Swim: Part 2, communications gurus Minna Jung, Communications Director at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Kristen Grimm, Founder and President of Spitfire Strategies demystify what it’s like to be a nonprofit or foundation communicator.

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