Posts Tagged ‘storytelling’

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.

FCP Celebrates National Read a Book Day: What We’re Reading Now

Written by FCP Communications on . Posted in Stuff We Like

This year, September 6th is National Read a Book Day which, for us at FCP, begs the question: Isn’t every day “Read a Book Day”? As an office of voracious readers, book recommendations and article links fly between desks often. In honor of National Read a Book Day, the FCP team is sharing some of their favorite recent reads, ranging from memoirs, to collected essays, to nonfiction. Pick up one of these books to celebrate “Read a Book Day”, every day, because the time is always ripe to learn more, pique curiosity, expand horizons, and share perspectives.  

 

Erin is Reading: A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

In A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit defines the state of being lost as “when the world becomes larger than your knowledge of it.” With this, she strips the stigma from a word so easily characterized by a lack of direction and loss of control. Instead, she replaces it with connotations of empowered curiosity and actively wandering— “you’re going to get lost, and you’re going to be better for it. Go on … ”

It’s Solnit’s exploration of what it means to get lost on purpose that took me by the hand and pulled me deeper in. In her collection of essays, Solnit weaves together stories from her own personal history and relationships to tales of other “wanderers.” The narratives are as diverse in perspective as they are in their definition of disorientation. There are so many ways, beyond the physical sense, for a person to lose their way— and Solnit builds community in that.

A Bright Future for East Bay Students: Peralta Community College District Passes Torch for Career Pathways Consortium

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

 

The challenge: How can we communicate the efforts of multiple educational institutions working together to create pathways for students to college and career in one coherent story?

The lesson: sometimes people tell their own story best. When a project like East Bay Career Pathways is rooted in establishing relationships, building a community, and serving others, its narrative should reflect that by shining a spotlight on the people who made it possible.

 

Peralta Brochure 2

 

In 2014, the East Bay Career Pathways (EBCP) consortium, led by the Peralta Community College District, was awarded a $15 million grant from California Department of Education to develop a network of K-12, community college, and workforce intermediary organizations. The work aimed to connect the groups to build ‘career pathways’ that would link high school and college-aged students with the skills, resources, and training needed to take advantage of opportunities to work in in-demand fields in their community. This work is particularly needed in the Bay Area, where growing prosperity has not been shared by all, and often overlooks local communities. As their grant work drew to a close, EBCP partnered with Full Court Press to find a way to tell this story and share their successes.

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.