Happy Thanksgiving!
The Friendsgiving spread at Tristan's house

We're Thankful

In a year that has seen more than its share of tragedy and violence: Charleston, Paris, Syria, Mali, the list, sadly, goes on...we've also seen reasons for optimism and joy. Marriage for LGBT couples has become the law of the land in the United States. Global poverty numbers are experiencing a stark decline. And the world has become remarkably more transparent and somehow smaller. One BILLION people were online on Facebook in September, and many more have moved to embrace communications and new technological tools that are enabling us to connect, witness, learn, and share across the globe. These are good things.

We deeply appreciate that we get to do work that we love every day, helping people who are doing good do better.

We are thankful. Wishing you a happy and safe holiday.
-Sean, Tristan, and Maggie
From The Network (or: Shameless Plugs)

On your way to grandmother's house? Pull out your phone and pull down our CommsCast podcasts to hear Dr. Clarence B. Jones reflect on risk and race, social sector CEOs share why communication matters, Soledad O'Brien offer storytelling tips, and Elliott Kalan on how Jon Stewart, Spiderman, and Abraham Lincoln can help you improve your writing.
Need a quote for that year end memo? Check out our Making Ideas Move series from earlier this year with Stanford Social Innovation Review for gems like this: "Smart communications strategies make foundations relevant. If we are relevant, we create opportunities to influence others and build new partnerships. And by attracting new partnerships, we are more likely to contribute to pragmatic, powerful problem-solving across sectors."
— Darren Walker & Alfred Ironside, Ford Foundation

Upcoming Events
Webinar: How to Be Good at Medium: December 15th at 2pm. President Obama is on Medium. So is the Ford Foundation. Are you? Learn why everyone is high on Medium.

Surveying the Field
Ford Foundation has distilled its focus into one key goal: combatting inequality. Wonder how that might work on the web? See their simple and stunning new website for yourself.

Do you have an information sharing policy? MacArthur Foundation does.  

The Packard Foundation shares six cases where communications worked through Speaking of Change

And Now, a Word from Our Sponsor

What We're Reading (So You Can Use It)

President Obama Regrets Not Being a Better Communicator | GQ 
I would probably tell myself to communicate more effectively early on than I did...I think a certain arrogance crept in, in the sense of thinking as long as we get the policy ready, we didn’t have to sell it...You can’t separate good policy from the need to bring the American people along and make sure that they know why you’re doing what you’re doing. And that’s particularly true now in this new communications era.

Ezra Klein Feels Your Pain and Offers a Fix | Professor Chris Blattman's Ezra Klein (a ComNet14 keynoter) went to the World Bank to tell researchers why they're terrible communicators, and how they can get better: If you can explain important things to people in a way that they can understand, they're tremendously grateful. The question is, how can you meet them halfway?

Get Social with Gen Xers, Millennials, and Generation Z | Hootsuite
Vine and Instagram for Generation Z. Email for Millennials. Facebook and Pinterest for Gen Xers.

Do Visual Stories Make People Care? | NPR Research 
...making people care is about the quality of the story itself, not about the format in which we tell it. But I think that, with stories where text plays a large role, we are capable of making people read stories longer than they normally would because of how sequential visual storytelling allows us to pace the story.

A Content Strategy Cheat Sheet | Moz
This content strategy template walks you through researching and writing up the three key elements of a content strategy: what your content looks like now, what it should look like, and the ecosystem in which it is created.

Culture Report
Anxiety, Nostalgia, and Mistrust: 2015 American Values Survey | Public Religion Research Institute
When asked what issues are most important to them personally, Americans are more likely to cite health care (63%), terrorism (62%), and jobs and unemployment (60%) than any other issue. A majority (53%) of Americans report that crime is a critical issue to them personally. Slightly fewer say the cost of education (49%), economic inequality (48%), and immigration (46%) are critical issues. Fewer Americans say that race relations (39%), climate change (34%), abortion (34%), religious liberty (31%), and same-sex marriage (25%) are critical issues.

Tristan's Three Things for Fun 

  1. Bad Thanksgiving jokes: What kind of music did the pilgrims like? Plymouth Rock. 
  2. This is the only trace of human civilization that will exist one day.
  3. Ken M, the internet's greatest troll:

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Interested in sponsoring the newsletter? Have feedback, upcoming events or news, troll attempts, or bad holiday puns? Email


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