Monday, May 9, 2016

Upcoming In-Person Training on 5/18/16 - Telling Your Agency's Story Through Visual Content

Picture This:
Telling Your Agency's Story Through Visual Content

Every agency has a great story to tell. By integrating visual aids into their marketing tactics, federal communicators can produce compelling and effective content that will add value to their agency's brand.

Please join the Federal Communicators Network and the Partnership for Public Service on Wednesday, May 18 for a conversation on how visual content can enhance your agency's story. By using photos, videos, infographics and more, agencies can cut through the noise and demonstrate the full scope of their work. During this event, attendees will hear from a panel of communicators from both the public and private sector who have come up with effective ways to tell their organization’s or client’s story.

Please contact Katie Koziara at or (202) 464-3094 if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you at this event.

Confirmed Panelists 

Stephanie Bluma
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs, USAID

Anthony Calabrese
Senior Advisor
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Amy DeLouise
Independent Digital Storyteller and Brand Strategist

Event Details

The Partnership for Public Service
1100 New York Ave NW
Suite 200 East
Washington, DC 20005

Wednesday, May 18
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Registration and Networking Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Panel Discussion
10:00 - 10:30 a.m. Q & A

Monday, March 21, 2016

FCN Spring Happy Hour/Networking Event in DC!

by Lisa Chesnel, Community Programs Specialist, USDA

Please join FCN for a Spring happy hour/networking event on Wednesday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m.:

Buffalo Wild Wings 
1220 Half Street Southeast
Washington, DC  20003

Please click here to register.

Thanks and we hope to see you there!!

--FCN Leadership Team

Friday, March 4, 2016

FCN National Happy Hour on March 23, 2016 -- We need your help!


We’ve got an exciting event planned on March 23, 2016 and we need your help!

As you know, this year the FCN leadership team has expanded outside of the DC metro area. John Donovan is our blogger and works for the CDC in Atlanta. We’re very excited to have John as part of the team this year and we’re planning an outreach activity that involves all our members, not just the ones here in the DC metro area.

So, we’re planning something we haven’t done before…a nationwide happy hour!

If you’re a member and live somewhere other than DC we need your help!  We need you to coordinate and promote a happy hour in your area on March 23. We’re hoping the happy hours will help spread the word about FCN and increase our membership across the country. If you’re interested, please send a personal email to: 

We’re excited about these happy hours and they’ll take place during March Madness so hopefully you can catch a game as well.

We will keep you posted on the times and locations soon.

We look forward to planning with you!

--Lisa Chesnel
Outreach Coordinator, FCN Leadership Team

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Survey of Federal Communicators Reveals Challenges, Opportunities

First-ever Survey “by Feds, for Feds,” Shows How Communication Professionals View Current State of Their Profession

Innovation in communication methods should be the number one priority for federal agencies today, according to the newly released results of a Federal Communicators Network (FCN) poll. It is the first survey ever to be commissioned “by federal, career communicators for federal communicators” to assess the state of the federal communications field.

For this research project, FCN polled its 800+ members as well as the nearly 1,000+ members of the Federal Social Media Community of Practice (SM-COP), between February 14-29, 2016. A total of 167 employees responded to the survey. 

A Range of Critical Issues
Asked to rank the theme areas covered in the survey specifically, respondents (n=147) prioritized the “critically” or “somewhat” important issues as follows:

  • “Being more innovative” - 86.9%
  • “Moving to a more proactive role” - 85.7%
  • “Securing more resources for communication” - 81.0%
  • “Developing a more rigorous communication program” - 81.0%
  • “Sharing best practices and other resources between agencies” - 75.3%

The concepts for these top five theme areas crystallized over a period of approximately three months, based on several informal brainstorming sessions sponsored by the FCN and attended by hundreds of career, non-partisan employees across the spectrum of government. (All opinions expressed by members are those of employees themselves, and did not represent those of their agencies.)

Engagement by the Partnership for Public Service

At a meeting held in Washington, D.C. on February 26 to discuss the study’s findings, the Partnership for Public Service’s Director of the Center for Presidential Transition David Eagles praised the FCN for its excellent work, highlighting its national security aspects.

“Transition is a period of vulnerability for the country,” said Eagles. “When you’re exiting the White House on Inauguration Day, who do you talk to?”

Eagles noted that federal communication is vital for public service “in a way that’s not political.” He emphasized: “It’s just smart planning to make the transition process more standardized (rather than having)...a very reactive conversation.”

High-Level Solutions

Attendees at the FCN meeting engaged in a brainstorming exercise to discuss the results of the FCN Survey. The job for each group was to offer solutions to the problem and at least three ways of implementing the solution.

Although it is too soon to offer a comprehensive view of these suggestions, one factor stood out: “data.”  As one participant put it: “Get a seat at the table, offer hard data, connect activities to the mission, and show the value of what you do.”

Next Steps

For the remainder of this spring, FCN writers and graphic designers will be working together to summarize the survey’s findings as well as recommendations from federal communicators themselves, in a white paper planned for release in the fall. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Slide Deck and Recording Posted for "Developing a Communication Plan for the Year Ahead"

Developing a Communication Plan for the Year Ahead

A big thank you to Jeff Brooke of The MITRE Corporation and The Partnership for Public Service for contributing to the training "Developing a Communication Plan for the Year Ahead" on Friday, February 5.

For your reference, you can access the video of the panel discussion, notes from the breakout sessions and additional resources below:

Questions? Please contact Katie Koziara at or (202) 464-3094.

Friday, January 22, 2016

FCN Free Training: Developing a Communications Plan for the Year Ahead

Developing a Communications Plan for the Year Ahead

Please join the Federal Communicators Network and the Partnership for Public Service on Friday, February 5 for a conversation on how to develop a strategic communications plan for your agency.
In addition to external communications, agencies must effectively convey messages internally. By planning for this in advance, agencies can distribute content to their employees and demonstrate the value of their work and input. The session will begin with a thorough overview of an evidence-based communication planning model. Participants will then divide into a breakout group of their choice to draft a high-level communication plan for one of two topics that affect all agencies. Discover how to solve communications challenges within your agency and start 2016 with a strong communications strategy.

Please contact Katie Koziara at or (202) 464-3094 if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you at this event.


Jeff Brooke
Principal, Organizational Communication & Change Management
The MITRE Corporation

Event Details

The Partnership for Public Service
1100 New York Ave NW
Suite 200 East
Washington, DC 20005

Friday, February 5
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Registration and Networking Breakfast
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Presentation and Discussion
10:00 - 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 - 11:30 a.m. Planning session for an internal communications challenge 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Welcome FCN 2016 Leadership Team!

by Debra Harris (HHS) and Cori Bassett (ICE), FCN 2015 co-chairs


As we ring in a new year, please join me in thanking the 2015 FCN leadership team for their service. They have put forth a great deal of effort on your behalf last year, and we’ve all benefited from their work. Thank you, Britt, Lisa, Aubrey, Suki, Bernetta, and Latasha!

We welcomed 123 people to the list-serv, bringing us to 848 members. Hundreds attended FCN training events in the form of webinars we hosted with the help of GSA’s DigitalGov University and in-person events at the Partnership for Public Service. We co-hosted and international webinar with our partners in UK’s Government Communication Service, Canada’s Communications Community Office. At three social events throughout the year more than 120 came out to meet fellow communicators. The FCN blog published several stories from members and our LinkedIn and Twitter accounts welcomed new followers throughout the year. Many thanks for asking good questions, attending our events and supporting the gov community of communicators. We look forward to your continued interest in 2016. And, the big news to share…

Welcome to your 2016 Leadership Team!

  • Aubrey McMahan, U.S. Geological Survey -- FCN Chair
  • Ethan Alpern, Department of Energy -- Vice-chair
  • Tamara Blount, Department of Homeland Security -- Secretary/Administrative Coordinator
  • Monique Roberts, National Institutes of Health -- Social Media Coordinator
  • John Donovan, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- Blog/Website Coordinator
  • Jeannine Hunter, General Services Administration/18F -- Membership Development Coordinator (pending agency approval)
  • Christine Stevenson, Department of Health and Human Services -- Training/Workshop Coordinator
  • Lisa Chesnel, Department of Agriculture -- External Relations and Outreach Coordinator

Be on the lookout for open registration to the 1st training event coming up on Feb 5th. Keep abreast of all FCN activity by checking our website frequently.

Happy new year!