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    A Communicator in the Room: In Conversation PJ Crowley


    • Although the imperative to communicate exists for many organizations, a culture of communication can be lacking. To improve, find the balance between the need and the desire to communicate.
    • Communicators always deserve a seat at the table when big decisions are made. To prevent problems from becoming crises, a communicator should be present in day-to-day decisions, so that they have the background information necessary to mitigate a crisis.
    • Trust that your organization has a receptive audience, and use communication tools to further your mission.

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    The Value of (Digital) Tools

    When I was working at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation several years ago, my colleagues noticed that I was developing a growing sensitivity to the words “tool” or “toolbox.” I had a reason for my somewhat irrational dislike; at the time, my job involved reviewing tons of funding proposals. In answering the question, “How do you plan to communicate the results of this project?” applicant organizations were predictably anxious to demonstrate that they had evolved beyond the, “We’ll publish a research article or white paper” phase. Instead, they said things like: “We’ll gather the ideas from this project to develop a tool/toolbox for others to use” phase.

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    WEBINAR — Lessons from The Atlantic: Bridging the Curiosity Gap

    The Atlantic has been a long-admired and influential magazine, but with the advent of the internet and the arrival of social media, it has had to adapt. In doing so, it has thrived, and its website has become one of the most-visited sites on the web.

    Lessons from The Atlantic: Closing the Curiosity Gap is a Communications Network members-only webinar that will explore the data-based lessons learned by The Atlantic’s team, and their application to nonprofit communications professionals.

    The Atlantic learned that much of its online traffic was coming through the “side door.” that is, prompted by email or social media. In order to maximize a reader’s interest and prompt them to click on a link in an email or a tweet, they have mastered the art of “bridging the curiosity gap,” or turning interest into clicks — a skill everyone can use.

    This webinar will teach you how The Atlantic and its sister brands craft headlines that attract reader attention, without falling into the pitfalls of disappointing “click-bait.”

    DATE: Wednesday, February 11, 2015
    TIME: 2pm-3pm EST

    With today’s content traveling so prominently on social media and email, a robust headline strategy is critical to building curiosity and cultivating reader interest, whether you’re a magazine publisher or a social sector leader.

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    Know Your Frame


    • Changing public opinion can be a long, uphill climb. 
    • The first step to securing a policy victory is identifying the one point you want to change the public’s mind on. Then, ask yourself if changing opinion on that point will make it easier to enact a policy change.
    • Embrace your cause and don’t be afraid to address it directly — the public will respond to authentic campaigns.

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    Making Ideas Move

    The Communications Network is partnering with The Stanford Social Innovation Review to present Making Ideas Move, a series featuring some of the most influential and consequential leaders and organizations in the social sector sharing their ideas and insights on the power and potential of strategic communications to improve lives and spark change.

    In this day and age, oftentimes communications IS the work. – from Communication Matters ,www.com-matters.org

    Join your Network colleagues for discussions prompted by the series on Twitter or Facebook (we’ll be hosting conversations around the hashtag: #MoveIdeas) or on The Network’s members-only listserv (simply email DISCUSSIONS@ComNetwork.org to post a question or reaction). You can also post a comment below.

    You can read more about the series in the introductory piece by The Network’s Executive Director Sean Gibbons here.

    Check back on this page in the coming weeks for links to pieces from The Rockefeller Foundation, Freedom to Marry, The Knight Foundation and others.


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