• Fall Conference-Oct. 2-4, New Orleans

    Sign up today — Only a few seats remain

    See who is coming

    Conference schedule

    Our Fall 2013 conference will be held in New Orleans, Oct. 2-4.  Our event kicks off with a reception Wednesday and concludes at noon on Friday.  As you’ll see, once again we’ve put together a packed program that features a group of stellar speakers, a collection of breakout sessions that you and the “crowd” picked, and for those of you who want to go deep on some topics, a selection of optional four-hour training workshops.

    The fee for the conference is $600 for members and $700 for non-members.   

    This link will take you to the conference registration page.  We’re getting close to selling out,  so we urge you to sign up as soon as possible.

    Here’s more on what we have planned for you this year:

    A stellar line up of plenary speakers for Thursday and Friday.

    simon_caaspeakers_photo_web David Simon is the executive producer, writer and creator of the HBO series “Treme,” which is set in New Orleans, and previously he was the creator, show runner, executive producer and head writer of the other HBO hit series, “The Wire.”

    mhinojosa-11-1-150x150Maria Hinojosa is the anchor and executive producer of her own long-running weekly NPR show, Latino USA, and anchor of the Emmy Award-winning talk show Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One. In April 2010, she launched The Futuro Media Group with the mission to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism.sullivan2

    Andrew Sullivan, a Newsweek and Daily Beast contributor, was one of the first journalists to experiment with blogging. He now writes 250 to 300 posts per week for The Dish.

    Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 9.14.40 AMJunot Diaz is the author of the critically acclaimed DrownThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist.

    Fifteen breakout sessions.
    Breakouts cover a range of topics–everything from how to work effectively with your program colleagues, to tips on making better use of video, to advice on building a winning communications strategy, to new insights on branding.

    (See session list here.)

    A series of pre-conference training workshops, taught by experts in the Communications Network.
    The sessions listed below are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. They will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2.  There is an additional $100 fee for members and $150 for non-members.

    • Brains, Behavior Change, and Social Good: A Practitioner’s Guide
    • Data-Driven Communications: Analytics/Tools for Strategic Planning, Message Development & Evaluation
    • Visual Storytelling
    • Getting Going with Mobile (aka What Your Users Really Want!)
    • Keeping it Fresh: A Baker’s Dozen Tips for Today’s Media Relations

    (See full training descriptions here.)

    In addition to all that, there will be plenty of time to meet and network with friends and colleagues throughout the event, starting with our traditional opening night reception.

    The conference will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. which is offering us rooms at $235 a night, plus tax.  Once you fill out and submit your conference registration online, you’ll be taken to a confirmation page that will have a link for the hotel’s reservation system. Use it to book your rooms.  We also have a backup hotel–the nearby Hyatt French Quarter New Orleans.  The confirmation page will also provide a registration link to that hotel.

    So, with a set of crowd-sourced breakout sessions, excellent training workshops, a terrific lineup of plenary speakers, the perfect city to hold a conference in October and some great people to spend a few days with, New Orleans is the place to be in the Fall. If the past is a reliable predictor of the future, we’ll have another great turnout and probably sell out like we always do. So, sign up today. 

    If you have questions, please email info@comnetwork.org or call (212) 731-2268.

    See you in New Orleans in October.

    Junot Diaz Photo: Nina Subin

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    Foundation Funds Bank With Success Stories

    It’s Sandria Clark who holds your interest from the very first minute of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation’s video, “Community Works: The NOVA Model of Workforce Development.” It’s not just Clark’s deeply contented smile that hooks you, it’s the joy in her voice. “I’ll tell it from the rooftops” she says, “this is the place to start.”  She’s talking about the employment program that is the nominal topic of the video, and it’s an interesting program demonstrating impressive success, but it’s Clark’s emotions that stay with you.  The video is storytelling done beautifully, evoking empathy that inspires action.  Whether the video will be used to convey MRBF’s mission, to pitch to a corporation, or as a marketing piece that increases a grantee program’s visibility, it will deliver a powerfully emotional message.

    “Community Works” is one of several that comprise the foundation’s Story Bank, which MRBF created in 2012 to share grantee successes. The Story Bank’s design and implementation is itself a foundation success story, but of another kind: a first-rate program and communications collaboration.

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    The Crowd Has Spoken!

    Congratulations to the 12 teams whose breakout sessions will be presented at the Fall 2013 Conference in New Orleans.

    Judging from the thousands of votes cast and the jockeying for position up until the very end, it was a spirited competition.

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    Floodlight Uses Stories and Data to Advance Community Change

    The following is a version of a post that originally appeared on the blog of the Knight Foundation.

    Guest Post: Rebecca Arno

    This time of year in Denver, gardeners know that deep freezes and spring snow are behind us and it’s finally safe to plant. It’s also when the residents of the Whittier neighborhood will begin putting in their community garden – on a site formerly used by gangs to hide drugs and guns.  They’ll need to recruit volunteers, but that shouldn’t be a problem, because they’ve already started telling their story and connecting their neighbors to the vision, through a new tool called Floodlight.

    Floodlight is a partnership of The Piton Foundation, a private operating foundation created by energy entrepreneur and philanthropist Sam Gary, and The Denver Foundation, the oldest and largest community foundation in the Rockies, with generous support through the Knight Community Information Challenge. Both Piton and The Denver Foundation have longstanding commitments to helping people in low-income communities make change by using the power of data and storytelling. 

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    Plenty of Choices. Plenty of Time

    When we launched voting last week to pick the 12 sessions that will make it on to the agenda for our New Orleans conference, we knew it wouldn’t be easy for you to make your picks from the 66 proposals.

    That said, none of us at the Communications Network realized it would be so tough.  Sorry about that

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