Opt In: Communications Conference

2018 Breakout Sessions


Participants will select which breakout sessions they wish to attend on the day of the event. Sessions will be repeated so everyone will be able to attend two.

Don’t forget the Table Chats! Bring your specific questions about your organizations’ communications strategies to discuss with communications professionals who will be available for informal Table Chats that will run concurrently with the breakout sessions.

Interactive Data Visualization: How to Make Your Message Resonate
Presenter: John McKenzie, Verity Data Strategies
Data is everywhere these days, but spreadsheets and databases on their own won’t help your communications strategy. In this session you will learn how raw data can be transformed into compelling visual stories that resonate with your audience. Through case studies and live demos, we’ll explore the power of using data to convey your organization’s message and discuss some of the tools available to create impactful data stories.

Find Your Brand Gold
Presenter: Kate Howe, Better Yet Studios
A strong brand is authentic to your organization, relevant and valued by your audiences, and in-sync with market dynamics and opportunities. When you have a clear idea of your brand, it helps guide all of your customer-facing offerings and communications, as well as your internal operations. It can be a guide for decision-making across your organization, eliminating decision cycles and synchronizing efforts, and resulting in better connections and greater impact with your audiences. But how do you get a brand like that? In this hands-on, brains-on session, participants will roll up their sleeves and tackle their organization’s brand and its expression in the world.

Crisis Communications Management 101
Presenters: Mark Benjamin + Ari Meil, Naretiv
All organizations will eventually face a crisis that threatens their brand or even their existence. If it is handled well, it may just be a bump in the road – even a PR opportunity. And if handled poorly, it may take years for the organization to recover, if ever. Success requires quick risk management, establishing proper messaging strategy and tactics, and prioritization of challenges. This session will be an exploration of what to do and what not to do when that day comes and will be accompanied by some lively case studies.

How to Make Social and Crowd Fundraising Fly
Presenter: Kara Larson, Powering Nonprofits
Don’t close your eyes and hope to go viral! Organizations can take concrete steps to ensure they have the foundations in place for a successful social media or crowdfunding campaign. In this session, participants will look at best practices and share their own examples to develop guidelines that can be put to use immediately.

How to Use Video Storytelling to Generate Publicity on a Budget
Presenter: Yury Nabokov, Machias Savings Bank
Not every item in an organization’s social media and digital marketing toolkit can fascinate and resonate with your community as much as a well-crafted video. Telling stories with video increases engagement, triggers social sharing, and gives people a reason to talk about your organization and mission both online and offline. Through this session, participants will learn about video production methods, how to increase awareness by producing their own video content, the tools and software available within a tight budget, and what the ROI for storytelling actually is.

Nonprofit Guide to Using Social Media
Presenters: Hannah Richards + Suzanne Madore, Ethos Marketing
Social media is here to stay but how it works and how we use is it is constantly evolving. In this session, attendees will be brought up-to-speed on the current best practices for social media’s top players, and given a number of strategies to maximize the value of their efforts without feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the social media-sphere. Attendees will have the opportunity to break out into brainstorming sessions as well as ask questions to help overcome their unique social media challenges.

Who Are You Talking To? Defining Your Audience
Presenter: Cathy Plourde, Powering Nonprofits
The better you understand your audiences, the better you can communicate with them. In this session, we’ll explore how you can easily segment your audience into groups based on their history, their interests and their motivations, and we’ll talk about simple ways to get the right message to the right people at the right time.

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