Posts Tagged ‘training’

Your summer to-do list

Monday, July 4th, 2016

Photo of a pier and a sunny beach

AKA What I did on my summer (when everyone else was on) vacation

If you’re in the office there will be days over the summer where the number of email bounce-back notifications will dwarf the number of times your phone rings. At some point you might find yourself getting a bit lonely. At NOW we call this breathing room.

Here are some things you can do to take advantage of the (relative) calm:

  • Make a plan of attacktion – Review your strategic communications plan. And if you don’t have one – write one! Having a plan will help you to hit the ground running with focus when things ramp up in September and shiny objects start threatening to pull everyone off in directions that don’t align with your long-term strategic goals.
  • Refresh your message – And if you don’t have one write one! Write one now! And then share it. It’s not really a message if it stays on your hard drive.
  • Leadership training – Your leaders and spokespeople might have bit more time on their hands as well this summer. This is a good time to start building on their communications skills, or do a few refresher sessions while they’re more relaxed and not consumed with emergencies and meetings.
  • Refresh your online profile – Do an inventory of your website and social media profiles. Do they need a refresh? Are they up-to-date? Could they use some new photos? You can also use this time to generate content for events and special days you know are coming up to have in the can.
  • Plan for campaigns – Review your campaign plans. Do you foresee needing to buy media in the next six months? Then the time is now. Making a paid media plan in advance gets you better bang for your buck with cheaper rates and a better selection.
  • Take stock (photography) – Too often the only photos we have of union leadership involve a megaphone and picket signs. Summer offers a multitude of opportunities to build and refresh your photography library. BBQs, parades, community events are great places to get photos of your leadership and members out in the community. (See NOW’s Tips for Building Your Stock Photography Library).

Welcoming our summer students…and building a future for progressive communications

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Photo of NOW entrance

School’s out for colleges and universities, and that’s great news for us at NOW — because it means some wonderful, talented young women are joining us for the summer. Welcome aboard, Jebet O’Reilly and Delaney Steel, and welcome back, Kayla Meadows and Christine Logan!

I’ve written a guest post this week on the Function Point blog that describes how we work with our summer students. It’s an approach that differs sharply from the experience that, frankly, too many summer employers offer:

…earning little to no pay fetching coffee, collating photocopies or doing digital drudge work until the wee hours. But this shortchanges both students and agencies.

NOW recognizes our summer students as the next generation of communications professionals: for the unions, governments and political and advocacy organizations that make up our clientele, but also for agencies like ours.

Our summer students are talented, passionate up-and-comers who share our values. So we pay them a living wage, and we ensure they get practical experience in the nuts and bolts of communication.

Have a look at the post, which describes how training our students in the apps we use doesn’t just give them software skills; in the case of Function Point, it actually gives them a picture of how our agency operates and how we do great, strategic work. (Full disclosure: Function Point has generously given us complimentary licenses for our summer students.)

A little accountability for your Facebook Page

Friday, February 28th, 2014

A screen capture of a really bad Facebook postOne big challenge when you have a team managing a social media presence is accountability. Someone accidentally posted a photo of yesterday’s lunch to your Facebook Page. One of the people with the keys to your Twitter account just responded to an innocent question with an offensive tirade. But how do you know who?

If you’re paying for team collaboration features with a tool like HootSuite, you may well be able to answer those questions. But otherwise, unless someone owns up, you won’t be able to have the conversations that can prevent future misfires. (And conversely, you won’t be able to give the real author of a great post the recognition they’re due.)

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