• Katie Butterfield Sept 2012

    I Need a Bigger Suitcase For All of These Takeaways

    Guest Post:  Katie Butterfield

    At The Atlantic Philanthropies, we talk about legacy a lot. With only four more years of active grantmaking left, what we leave behind is becoming one of the biggest and most important questions we ask ourselves.

    How we are remembered after we’re gone will depend a lot on how we communicate while we’re still here, and thanks to the time I spent at the Fall Communications Network conference in Seattle, I am going back to New York with lots of things to think about and incorporate into our communications strategy for our final years.

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  • Humke Profile

    Breaking It Down: Smart Tech for Smart Communicators

    Guest Post: Jennifer Humke

    Much like Sherman Alexie, I have to admit that I am often perplexed by the Internet and its vast reach and power.  There are so many tools out there designed to make it less intimidating, but they come online at a pace I can’t seem to manage. And that depresses and scares me.

    But, fortunately, there are organizations out there like the Sunlight Foundation who make it their business to stay on the bleeding edge of web/mobile tools that help them do their work better. In their session, Smart Tech for Smart Communicators, Gabi Schneider and Liz Bartolomeo shared with us some of the tools that they use in their communications shop.

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  • Chris Palmedo1

    Brands: What’s Yours?

    Guest Post: Chris Palmedo

    As my organization begins to ask how it can achieve the most positive impact on the health of its region, I found the Communications Network workshop, Brand Strategy: Moment of Truth to be timely and helpful.

    A few takeaways from the session, before I get to the title of this post:

    1. According to facilitators Sally Bock and Ann Bradford, “branding is not a communications process, it’s a strategic process with communications outcomes.”

    2. Some people, especially in the nonprofit and foundation world, wince at the term “branding.” For these folks, “identity” can be a useful alternative.

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  • 075 Photo G IMG 8313 1

    Data Viz, Data Whiz: Storytelling with Data

    Guest Post: Liz Banse

    There was nary a seat available in the packed room at the Thursday afternoon breakout session on Seeing is Believing: Data Visualization for Philanthropy. The first data visualization exercise was performed by the Hyatt hotel staff who eyeballed all the people standing or sitting on the floor and made a guesstimate at how many additional chairs were needed and would fit in the room.

    Lisa Philp, William Hanson, Christine Haran and Diane DiGiacomo shared their own experiences with taking their data and making it visual…and much easier to consume. As Diane said, “We get more reaction from people like the mayor of Denver from our (data) maps than anything else. They see it and say, ‘Wow, I get it.’”

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  • Nora Casual

    Sherman Alexie Sets the Tone

    Guest Post: Nora Ferrell

    The Communications Network 2012 conference kicked off this morning with speaker Sherman Alexie, an author named one of the 21st century’s 20 top writers by The New Yorker, and what a way to start the day. Amongst hilarious personal anecdotes, biting political observations and insightful social commentary, Alexie told us (and showed us) some important tips for being good communicators in our day-to-day lives and work.

    • Know your audience. On knowing the Communications Network audience, Alexie shared, “I’m used to making rich people cry but not talking to the people who want me to make rich people cry.”

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