• Voting Ends Midnight Wednesday, May 22!

    Help Pick Our New Orleans Conference Sessions–Please Vote

    The “crowd” has until midnight PT, Wednesday, May 22, to choose the 12 breakout sessions for our Fall 2013 Conference in New Orleans, Oct. 2-4. We’ve set up a special site that lists 66 proposed sessions on one, long scrolling list. Below is some information on how voting works and how to make your choices. When ready, please vote.  (To help you keep track of the sessions up for a vote, we’ve created a pdf containing all the titles.)

    For conference updates,  including our stellar speakers and how to reserve a spot, go here.

    • Voting is open to everyone–Communications Network members as well as non-members (as is our conference).
    • The voting page lists the titles for each session and presenters. Click the link below each blurb to read the full description. If you like what you read, vote for that session. When you are ready, click the link at the top of the page to return to the list of submissions so you can keep voting. Keep making choices until you’re done.
    • You can pick as many sessions as you like. But once you vote for a session, you can’t change it. So think before you click yes. And you can’t vote more than once for a session–there’s no ballot stuffing.
    • The right-hand sidebar lists the sessions with the most votes, and that tally will be updated in real time throughout the process.
    • The list of sessions display in random order every time you visit the voting page.  This mixes things up and gives each session a fair chance to be considered.
    • You can post comments about proposals using the comment box as well as to ask questions about the proposers. (We’ll make sure they get back to you.) Also, check the sidebar to see what comments others are making about the sessions.
    • To help you choose among sessions that address similar topics — such as strategy, advocacy or evaluation — click any one of the tags listed on the right-hand side.

    Final note: As you go through the list, choose sessions that appeal to you, ones that you think you’d learn the most from and that will make the conference a must-attend event. In other words, choose wisely! For some guidance on how to evaluate session proposals, see this blog post from Minna Jung, vice chair of the Communications Network board and communications director, David and Lucile Packard Foundation.  We’ve also created this list you can download that contains the titles of all the proposed sessions.  Use it to keep track of the descriptions you’ve read, the sessions you’ve picked or the ones you’re still thinking about.

    Voting will run through May 22. The sessions that get the most votes will be selected for New Orleans. If you have questions, need assistance with voting, email info@comnetwork.org. In the meantime, don’t forget to vote!


  • Nytc3

    Do No Harm

    By Edith Asibey and Bruce Trachtenberg

    In what can only be described as a cautionary tale for people involved in public interest communications, a recent cover story in the New York Times Magazine  describes how the push to encourage women to be screened for breast cancer has done a great job raising awareness about the disease but little to save lives.

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  • Kevin Rafter

    Measuring the Impact of Social Media

    The following is a modified version of a post that appeared earlier on the James Irvine Foundation’s blog.

    Guest Post: Kevin Rafter

    As others have posted about on this blog, the meeting last week at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided an opportunity for a group of foundation staff, evaluation professionals and social media experts to talk about measurement and evaluation of social media. As someone who thinks about evaluating my foundation’s communications efforts and putting those evaluations in the context of our broader organizational goals, I found the meeting quite productive and helpful.

    Also, because I’m an evaluator and not a communications professional, it’s rare that I get to offer my thoughts on communications outside of my own foundation. So I’m grateful for this opportunity to share some observations — both from an evaluator’s point of view and as someone who believes communications are important to effective philanthropy — with a pretty big and important audience of communicators who work in philanthropy.

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  • Cozine

    Cozine Joins Communications Network Board

    Maureen Cozine, senior director, communications, for the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth), has joined the board of the Communications Network.

    Cozine oversees the New York City-based foundation’s communications activities and is responsible for developing NYSHealth’s overall communications strategy to advance its mission to improve the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. Before joining the foundation in January 2010, Cozine held a number of positions at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), most recently as senior communications officer and director of policy connections. In that role, she managed RWJF’s relationships with federal policymakers and worked with grantees to communicate effectively and build relationships with elected officials, the media and other key audiences.

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  • Bttn

    A Good Time to Ask Questions

    Are we finally getting serious and asking important questions about the role social media (or media in any form) can play in helping foundations achieve their goals?  Signs seem to be pointing that way.

    For instance, last week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) held a day-long conference focused on how foundations can determine if social media is moving their work forward.  Over the course of large group and small group discussions and presentations, the questions that kept communications professionals and evaluators engaged were “what do we measure and what will success look like from using social media?”

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