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
Guest Post: Liz Banse
A few years ago, I had a light bulb moment when talking with a branding expert about how the images that companies use – more than anything else – influenced how their products were perceived by their customers. The light bulb moment was not, however, the idea that good ads – in all their well-executed glory – get us to buy stuff we never thought we needed. Heck, even kids know that!
The a-ha moment came instead in thinking about whether the nonprofit community was adopting best practices from Madison Avenue and applying them to cause communications. Were there Mad Men amongst us? I compared notes with my colleagues. Our conclusion was that most nonprofits start their persuasion efforts in the opposite fashion from corporations – with words. Oh, my, we sweat over every word choice. But then we spend only a fraction of that time on finding a picture to go with our narrative, almost as an afterthought. This is the exact opposite way that our brains process information – the visual first, the verbal second.
Guest Post: Minna Jung
After years of throwing heart and soul into planning the program for the Network’s conference–one of the roles I play on the board–I reached a new level of zen this year; I suggested that we let others into the fun of conference planning this year. More specifically: you. And my motives for doing so may not have been exactly pure. On one hand, I’m genuinely interested and excited to see how the Network crowd will do in sourcing and picking sessions. On the other hand, after years of reading delightful and not-so-delightful comments from the conference feedback surveys, I admit, there’s an element of, “Let’s see how YOU do in saving us all from the suckitude of bad sessions.”
So this year, we solicited session proposals. THAT’S not the new part—we’ve done that before. But this year, we’ve put the session proposals up for a vote. Top vote-getters for a limited number of slots (12) get the green light.
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.
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.