Posts Tagged ‘Communications tips’

Beware the Ides of March— Communications Challenges You May Not See Coming

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like, Uncategorized

By Dan Cohen

Even the best laid communications plans are subject to forces seen and unseen. To that end, here are FCP’s ideas for managing surprises, trolls, traps, and friends who’ve turned on you:

The Question You Pray Doesn’t Get Asked:

All too often, it’s the fear of facing the question we hope we don’t have to answer that prevents us from speaking out or moving forward at all.  We have been called in to jump start marketing campaigns that were derailed because the clients could not or would not answer one key question.

Our counsel in that situation is to dig in. Identify the questions you dread. Find that answer to the most difficult question you face. One path forward is to convene five different colleagues who approach problems from unique perspectives and ask them to engage with the toughest questions an organization faces— eventually arriving at an answer all can live with. Share it across the organization, and create a fearless cadre of ambassadors. Don’t let a lack of preparedness or a fear of the worst case scenario keep you from raising your voice at all.

The Death of Caesar (1798) by Vincenzo Camuccini

What the Media Wants: An Opinion Editor’s Opinion on Op-eds

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

Op-eds are one of the most powerful and persuasive tools you can use to reach your audience. Opinion pages are widely read by community leaders, elected officials, and other key decision-makers. One of Dan’s professors, Renee Hobbs once said, “the editorial page is where civic leaders go to have a discussion.”

Furthermore, the opinion page is a forum for individuals to publish their opinions.  Contrary to what you might think, your local newspaper WANTS to hear from you.

That being said, opinion editors do receive a lot of submissions— sometimes thousands — in a single week. So, you want your piece to be unique.

Some tips are fairly straightforward: make sure your piece doesn’t have typos, always spell and grammar-check, and always present something thoughtful and professional. But opinion editors also look beyond these basics when considering a piece for publication that may be less obvious to the uninitiated op-ed author.

We conferred with a local opinion pages editor we have worked with over the years, and are sharing four key elements editors look for when reviewing pieces submitted by local voices, as well as links to example op-eds that embody each element.

10 Lessons from 12 Years in Philanthropic Communications

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like, Uncategorized

A Full Court Press former client and friend Marc Moorghen recently left his role as Communications Director at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. With the announcement of this news, Marc reflected upon his time at the Hilton Foundation, in the world of philanthropy, and beyond. FCP is sharing his lessons below, as they resonated with us and reflect a shared philosophy on communications and professional growth. Thank you, Marc, for sharing your wisdom!

by Marc Moorghen

Today was my last day at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. After more than a dozen years working to improve people’s lives around the world, I thought it would be fitting to share a few hard-earned lessons that I picked up along the way. Advice is easy to dispense, but I think these recommendations apply to both personal and professional situations.

Image result for moorghen hilton foundation

1) Do your homework: no matter the situation, do some research, so that you know what you’re dealing with. Expect the unexpected; plan as much as you can.

2) Know your audience: understand who you are addressing and why. Try to learn as much as you can about them, so you can appeal to both their heads and their hearts.

3) Put yourself in other people’s shoes: take the time to learn what makes people tick — their hopes, dreams, fears and desires. This will help you calibrate your message.

3×3: Three Experts Answer Three Questions on Writing

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

3×3: Three Experts Answer Three Questions on Writing

Working in the communications field, writing— of emails, press releases, reports, memos, and pitches— becomes your bread and butter. Full Court Press sought out different approaches to writing, from experts in three different fields, to consider how writing differs in different industries, how young people can up their game and prepare for career success by improving their writing, and how we can continue to stay fresh and creative in our own approach to writing.

3x3 writing 2

Thanks to our experts:

Matthias Gafni, @mgafni

Matthias Gafni is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Bay Area News Group. He has reported and edited for Bay Area newspapers since he graduated from UC Davis, covering courts, crime, environment, science, child abuse, education, county and city government, and corruption.

Akilah Monifa, @Kiki_Thinks

Akilah Monifa is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder/Co-Publisher of ARISE 2.0, a digital global publication with news, issues, and opinions impacting the LGBTQ of color community and allies. She also is a contributor for The Huffington Post, Progressive Media Project, and Divorced Moms. She has published two e-books, both collections of her essays.

Dan Cohen, @dcstpaul

Dan is a veteran public relations, political communications and media strategist.He founded Full Court Press Communications in 2001 with a vision of providing public relations, public affairs and crisis counsel to companies, foundations and nonprofits who wish to use strategic communications to make social change.

Reporter Confidential: “What it’s like reporting in rural America?”

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

Full Court Press’s Dan Cohen recently interviewed Caitlin Fillmore – a former reporter and current nonprofit communications professional about her experiences reporting in Northern Iowa. Below is a fascinating look into her job as a rural reporter.  Caitlin now serves as the Executive Director of Association and Brand Advancement for the Central Coast YMCA in California.

Rural blog

Photo from just another day on the job — inside a Chinook helicopter

What inspired you to become a reporter?

I am the baby of five, so the allure of knowing something first and having people say to me, “I didn’t realize that!” was irresistible. I’ve also always had a natural affinity and passion for writing and a deep belief that everyone has a meaningful story worth telling, especially in underserved and forgotten places.

What was special about covering small-towns in northern Iowa?

In small towns, it’s all about “who your people are”. Every time I would introduce myself to someone or set up an interview, the second question was almost always, “Where are you from?” “Are you related to so-and-so?” That sometimes made it challenging to get the job done because I did not share DNA with anyone I was interviewing, but a welcome challenge because it provided a great foundation for my future career in philanthropy: know who you are, always be authentic and genuinely curious and build relationships built on trust.