Happy New Year!

From The Network (or: Shameless Plugs)

In our most popular webinar ever, award-winning journalist Ben Feller, former chief White House correspondent for the Associated Press, shared how to be a better writer. Get the presentation deck and watch the full replay here.

One of Ben's most important lessons? DO NOT USE JARGON. Revisit Tony Proscio's "plea for plain speaking."

Do you have an idea for a ComNet16 breakout session? We'll start accepting proposals February 16. Stay tuned here.

What's that sound? The 3,000 marketing messages the average American is exposed to every day. Communicating effectively starts with listening.

Making Ideas Move shared the wisdom of leaders from Ford Foundation, Freedom to Marry, Rockefeller Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and more. We're renewing our partnership with Stanford Social Innovation Review in 2016. The Case for Communications, our new online series featuring case studies of strategic communications delivering impact, launches February 22.

Upcoming Events
Our next webinar, Be Human: Breathing Life Into Your Social Media, is February 24 with Science Friday's Brandon Echter. Brandon will teach you what a social media persona is, how to create one, and how to use it to further your organization's goals.

ComNetworkLA invites you to gather February 4 with Naomi Seligman, Director of Communications at the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, followed by a networking happy hour with philanthropy and nonprofit communications professionals from across Los Angeles. 

On February 10, ComNetworkDenver rides again, gathering at The Colorado Trust. Join for food, drinks, and camaraderie with your local peers and learn how the Gill Foundation's smart investments in communications research led to huge breakthroughs for marriage equality.

Surveying the Field
Almost half of nonprofit communications directors plan to leave their jobs in the next two years. Think that's startling? Check out the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trend Report, which presents data and insights from 1,613 nonprofit comms teams. You'll learn where and how often nonprofits communicate, what other comms teams look like, where conflicts arise between leaders, and more.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation's 2015 annual report, Racial Healing and Racial Equity, is a visually stunning, interactive report "devoted to exploring and illuminating some of the dimensions of the foundation's history, work, and overall commitment in racial equity and racial healing."

Your nonprofit has a new profile on GuideStar. The site's first significant redesign since 2009 offers a better user experience and access to more information about your organization.

Hatch for Good relaunched its site, with improvements designed to make it easier for social impact organizations to become effective storytelling organizations. You can now explore over 120 articles, case studies, tips, guidebooks, and interactive tools from experts in storytelling. 

Tamara Copeland, CEO of Washington Regional Grantmakers, says, "there is no post-racial America...Does philanthropy know?" in a new opinion piece in The Chronicle of Philanthropy

At the World Economic Forum, The Rockefeller Foundation announced a $130 million initiative to reduce food waste around the world.

Speaking of Davos, here are five themes for communicators from the gathering, as observed by communications executives in attendance. They include diversity, tech disruption, and Donald Trump.

Ira Hirschfield, President and Trustee of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, will be stepping down after 28 years of leadership.

Joanne Krell is leaving her post as Vice President of Communications at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation this month. Joanne will next be Executive Director of Corporate Communications at General Motors. She has served as a Network board member since 2010, most recently as Vice Chair, and her dedication, deep thinking, and leadership will be missed. Those of you coming to ComNet16 will likely have a chance to see her in Detroit. AJ Jones II, Chief Policy and Communications Officer, will replace Joanne at Kellogg.

And Now, a Word from Our Sponsor
Are the experiences audiences have with your brand aligned with your mission? We’re a strategic branding & design partner that helps nonprofits increase cohesion, capacity, and impact.

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

Communications Strategy 101: Get Your GAME On | Huffington Post
While developing a complete communications strategy takes research and in-depth planning, one can make the first moves fairly easily and can quickly point the ship in the right direction. This process, which can take a few hours for a cursory approach or several weeks for a deep dive, focuses on four areas: Goals, Audiences, Messaging (and tactics) and Evaluation. 

Why People Fly From Facts | Scientific American 
When people’s beliefs are threatened, they often take flight to a land where facts do not matter. In scientific terms, their beliefs become less “falsifiable” because they can no longer be tested scientifically for verification or refutation.

A Cheat Sheet for Public Speaking |
A series of infographics on preparation, delivery, and stage presence for those of us who just can't picture the audience members in their underwear.

Take Your Twitter Game to the Next Level | Nonprofit Quarterly
Tweets that travel well tend to have a personal voice, contain interactive media, cover breaking news from a distinct perspective, have a strong theory of change, and inspire the reader...

Podcasting Is Getting Huge. Here's Why |
About 17 % of Americans 12 or older, about 46 million people, listened to a podcast in the past month...Listeners connect with a host's voice and personality in a deeper and more intimate way than, say, the readers of newspapers or magazines or their web equivalents.

Why Should You Care About Typography? | Fast Company
Want people to take action? Go for an italic sans-serif. Going for user-friendly? Rounded. 95% of graphic design is actually typography...

How To Use Facebook's 5 New Reactions | New York Magazine
Users will soon have the option to select from a menu that also includes angry, sad, wow, haha, and love. (“Yay” was scrapped because it was not universal enough.)

Why GIFs Are The Future of Communications | Fast Company 
The genesis of a new type of visual language—the GIF—and how it's evolving.

Culture Report
In the Time of Trump, Philanthropy Must Find Its Voice | Chronicle of Philanthropy
Pittsburgh Foundation's Maxwell King: Our job in building the strength of the communities we serve is to develop the understanding and trust needed to enable the various factions in our regions to find solutions for the most pressing problems we face. In a political environment in which those important qualities — understanding, trust, respect — are mocked and denigrated, it is far less likely that we will be able to advance the power of community.

New Koch: Rebranding the Koch Brothers | The New Yorker 
...the Kochs are following a template established by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the tycoon for whom modern corporate P.R. was invented.

Economic Matchmaker Revs Up Next Phase of Philanthropy in Detroit | Chronicle of Philanthropy
One of the main criticisms of Detroit’s recovery plan was that it put too much power into the hands of philanthropists. Is there a danger in asking philanthropy to address problems that are traditionally handled by government?

Tristan's Three Things for Fun 

  1. Snowzilla buried us here in DC. Tian Tian, one of the national zoo's giant pandas, didn't mind. (This NatGeo video is also amazing.)
  2. Elle photoshopped men out of history to show how lonely it is for women at the top.
  3. There's probably another planet in our solar system. No, it's not Pluto...

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Interested in sponsoring the newsletter? Have feedback, upcoming events or news, Snowzilla pics, or a spare giant panda? Email


Copyright © 2015 The Communications Network. All rights reserved.
Follow on Twitter   Friend on Facebook   Forward to Friend 
Copyright © 2016 The Communications Network, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences