Sunday, December 16, 2012

FCN Election Results: Please Welcome The 2013 Board of Directors

Posted by: Dannielle Blumenthal, Dec. 16, 2012

Friends,


Please join me in welcoming the new Board of the Federal Communicators Network for 2013.


  • Chair: (N/A)
  • Co-Chair: Britt Ehrhardt, NIH (functional Chair for now)
  • Task Force Members:
    • Linda Austin, NOAA
    • Rachel Flagg, GSA
    • David Hebert, USGS
    • Yvette Grimes, IRS
    • Larry Orluskie, DHS
    • Sharon Randle, FSIS/USDA
    • Moniqua L. Roberts, NIH
The 2012 Board and I are helping the new team to make the transition. To that end, a Guide to FCN Activities is now posted to Slideshare.

Some people applied a little late, or were not FCN members at the time they self-nominated; I'm encouraging the new Board to reach out to them. If you would like to help in any way, please let me know until Dec. 31, and I will forward your name along. 

In the movie Red Dawn one of the characters says: "Marines don't die. They just regroup."

That's a pretty accurate statement about the FCN Board. Old members never really go away - we just hang back until we're needed again.

Please join me in thanking Ellen Crown, Jeri Richardson, Kathleen Taylor, John Verrico, and Rachel White, as well as Bill Brantley, Jay Krasnow, Todd Solomon, David Starck, Maggie McGuire, and Melanie Solomon. In addition I would like to thank Camilla Stroud, and former FCN lead Jeff Brooke for keeping the group alive for many years, virtually on his own. You will never know how hard each of these people worked to make FCN real, but I do and they deserve tremendous kudos.

A special thanks to the National Association of Government Communicators for sponsoring several of our webinars and looking actively to partner with and support our efforts. 

One of my role models is the legendary Pat Wood, who was the heart and soul of FCN from the start. This blog post is dedicated to her. 

All the best,

Dannielle Blumenthal



Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Guide to FCN Activities Now Available On Slideshare

This guide is intended to help FCN's 2013 Board make the transition successfully, by introducing them to our activities in 2012. It may also be useful to people seeking to form an online educational or networking group.


FCN Board 2013: Announcement Coming

Sunday, December 2, 2012

FCN Members: The 2013 Board of Directors Nomination Form Has Been Emailed To You

Posted by Dannielle Blumenthal, December 2, 2012

The 2013 Board of Directors nomination form has gone out to all members. 

It is coming from an email list service (MailChimp). 

You may wish to check your spam filter in case it got stuck. 

Any problems, let me know

Thursday, November 29, 2012

FCN Election 2013: What's It Like To Serve On The Board?


Posted by: Dannielle Blumenthal, November 29, 2012

OK, so in the next day or so the call for nominations for the FCN Board will be going out to our mailing list. (Click here to join it - if you're a federal employee this automatically makes you a member.)

Please note that FCN membership is restricted to federal employees, and therefore only federal employees on our mailing list can nominate people for the Board (including themselves).

Someone sent me a note asking what's involved in the Advisory Board role and it seemed like a good opportunity to share some info on the Board of Directors' role generally.

One way to think of it is in terms of time & responsibility:
  • The Chair is the public face of FCN and harnesses the skills of the Board members to make major decisions about FCN's direction as a group
  • The Co-Chair offers support, advice and guidance and in our case moderated all the webinars (thank you Jeri Richardson!)
  • The Task Force members take responsibilities in areas of their choosing, normally "owning" a particular role. Examples: Kathleen Taylor is the Voice of FCN through our newsletter. Ellen Crown is our "mastermind" social media strategist. John Verrico established a partnership with the National Association of Government Communicators to sponsor some events. Rachel White wrote the charter with Kathleen. Bill Brantley offered to set up a Drupal site and fund it with his own money. Jay Krasnow set up our events in EventBrite. Todd Solomon set up live meeting space. 


When you join FCN you also join a community and our little SWAT team did our share of backing each other up, calming each other down (isn't it fun when the webinar ECHOES), and being supportive through life's little transitions.

Our Advisory Board members have included Camilla Stroud and David J. Starck. Basically, these are "on-call" positions where you offer advice and expertise when you have the chance, and it's up to the Board to offer them.

Of course you can always volunteer to help. Maggie McGuire set up Twitter guidelines. Melanie Solomon helped us think through the Drupal site (and her sage advice was one reason I felt we should prioritize other things.)

If I am forgetting anyone, please forgive me.

In any case, as far as Board membership goes, I asked everyone to share their experiences, and here's a word-for-word from the responses received:

#1

Collaborate on new media/ social media initiatives
Buzz marketing (promote FCN events within smaller circles of professional communicators)
Communication planning and strategy implementation

#2  

In my agency, being assigned public affairs duties means you’re alive and breathing.  I’ve learned a great deal about communications serving as an FCN board member.  Working with communications professionals from other agencies taught me a lot, and the networking opportunities are invaluable.  And if that’s not enough, did I mention the people I’ve worked with are just genuinely nice people?
 
#3 

Participated in conference calls, helped draft the charter, contacted potential speakers and coordinated with the rest of the group to schedule speaking events, posted event information on Govloop and other outlets, promoted FCN among colleagues.

#4 
  • Participated in conference calls and planning meeting
  • Reviewed/edited FCN charter and other guiding documents
  • Contributed to FCN newsletter
  • Posted blogs and facilitated discussions on FCN's Linked-In group
  • Cross-posted social media discussions between FCN and other government communications related organizations, such as the National Association of Government Communicators, U.S. Navy Public Affairs and others
  • Coordinated joint events between FCN and NAGC, including leading a Webinar on media relations.
  • Promoted FCN among colleagues.


Please watch for the nomination survey this weekend, and we welcome any questions or comments.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sometimes You've Got To Pass The Baton

Posted by Dannielle Blumenthal, November 27, 2012

This Thanksgiving vacation I spent a lot of time being grateful but also thinking about what matters to me as a human being. One of those priorities, though I never exactly said it flat out, is  helping other people find empowerment and personal growth.
This is one of the aspects of the Federal Communicators Network (FCN) that is most enjoyable to me. Holding events that help other feds to learn a new skill for free. And over the past year, working with feds to run the network together.
During the holidays it hit me that 2013 is upon us soon. Meaning, it's time for the first-ever election of the Federal Communicators Network (FCN) Board.
This is a pretty big deal for us. We're not run by a single person anymore, and there is no automatic renewal of responsibilities.
This comes after a heck of a year in terms of accomplishments (check out the blog for links etc.):
  • We now have an official charter and a Board.
  • We launched our social media presence on GovLoop, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and now a blog.
  • We have our first-ever strategy - which led us to close the Facebook group and focus on building our network mostly on LinkedIn.
  • We held Board meetings live and on the phone.
  • We started to partner with the NAGC for some events.
  • We continued to hold training events, initiating teleseminars and webinars to reach those only able to attend remotely. This led us to rack up three times the number of attendees, on average, than in the past - sometimes 100+.
  • We also introduced a new format for our email newsletter.
All of this is due to our amazing Board of Directors working together. 
And now it's time to pass the baton.
I've said to the Board many times that I don't want FCN to be "the Dannielle show" and I mean it.
So while I'm going to continue helping out in 2013, for sure, I'm not running for the Board, either as Chair, Co-Chair or as a Task Force Member. It's time to give other people a chance to run things.
Right now the Board is reviewing the first part of the election process, which is a survey I'll be sending to FCN members to see who they want to nominate.
But in the meantime I wanted to make sure federal employees are aware of this opportunity. 
If you are interested in taking on a meaty, challenging leadership role that is guaranteed to grow you professionally and personally, consider joining FCN and nominating yourself for a place on the Board.
Or maybe you know someone who would be interested - make them aware of the opportunity.
All you have to do is click here to subscribe to the FCN Newsletter, which also serves as our mailing list.
When the nomination survey goes out, it will go to the FCN Newsletter mailing list.
At that time you will have the opportunity to input your name or the name of someone you think might be interested. (Just make sure they consent first!)
The following spots are available:
1) Chair (1 spot)
2) Co-Chair (1 spot)
3) Task Force Member (6 spots)
Process:
1) The names of the nominees will be collected until December 9.
2) There will be another week during which the nominees can make their interest in FCN known.
3) A second survey will contain all the names of the nominees and allow FCN members to make their elections.
We also have space for Advisory Board members but that is not an elected position and you would need to contact the FCN Chair separately if interested.
Click below for the FCN charter, which is also available on SlideShare:
You can also check out our blog at www.fedcommnetwork.org. 
Please note: FCN is an independent group of volunteers and is not affiliated with, or sponsored by, any organization or government agency.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Want to Join FCN's Board In 2013?

The Federal Communicators Network's charter calls for elections every calendar year. More information to follow on a great opportunity to build your professional network and help others at the same time.

Slides From Our Last Lunch & Learn

If you missed it: Check out the slides from FCN's Nov. presentation on metrics. http://www.slideshare.net/FCN-Presentations/fcn-presentation-measuring-communication-nov-2012

What We're Talking About Lately, Thanksgiving Weekend 2012

Here's what we're talking about this week, among other things:

  • "I’d like to let go of the details, but my boss is always asking for them. How do I handle it?” Original article here.
  • Third-party validation is so important to your career, as Lily Whiteman points out in Federal Times. It's basic PR. What are some ways to go about obtaining this? What credentials impress you? Original article here.
  • Does it seem to anyone else like more feds are joining LinkedIn?
  • What is the origin of giving people "59 minutes" of Administrative Leave before a holiday rather than simply an hour? Secondly, around what time do you get the announcement, and who sends it? Third - do you expect this, or is it always a "surprise"?
  • Would you trade your desk to telework at will? See blog post here.

If you're a current or federal employee or contractor, you're welcome to join the conversation at LinkedIn. (The FCN group at GovLoop is open to all.)  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Nominate an Outstanding Federal Employee for the 2013 Service to America Medals!

Via Samantha Donaldson at the Partnership for Public Service. Posted by Dannielle Blumenthal:
"Today’s federal employees are addressing the needs of our veterans, finding cures for cancer, and tackling climate change. 
Do you know an outstanding federal employee whose work deserves national attention? Nominate them for a 2013 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal
The Sammies are the most prestigious awards honoring our nation’s public servants and pay tribute to America's dedicated federal workforce. 
Honorees are chosen based on their commitment and innovation, as well as the impact of their work on addressing the needs of the nation. 
Award winners receive national recognition and cash prizes up to $10,000! 
Submit your nomination here! Nominations close January 4, 2013. 
Visit servicetoamericamedals.org for more information."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Free! Plain Language Training for Federal Employees

Did you know that when it comes to government communication, clarity is the law?

Fortunately, Federal communicators have free training available in this area.

From PlainLanguage.gov:

"We offer free, half day plain language and writing for the web training classes for all federal agencies. All of our classes are based on the Federal Plain Language Guidelines and involve interactive writing exercises. For training outside the DC area, you must pay the trainer's expenses. We'll come to your managers as well."
  • More information here
  • Request training here
See also: Resources for plain language trainers

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

75% Sold Out, A Few Free Tickets Remain: "Measuring Communication - Simple Approaches That Can Change Your Image"



This event will be held Nov. 9, from 12-1 p.m. EST, via webinar. Click here to register. Note: Limited to government employees and contractors. Access information will be provided a week in advance.
About This Event
“Measuring communication” seems like an abstract concept to many. Jeff will offer a framework for how to think about measurement in your everyday communication planning. He’ll demonstrate:
  • How to ask questions that frame what to measure.
  • How discussions of measurement can produce better messages.
  • Examples of what to measure and how to measure.
  • How measuring communication can change leaders’ view of your role.
The session will include examples and time for Q&A.

About Our Speaker
Jeffrey Brooke has managed internal communication and change-related programs for over 20 years.
He is a principal consultant with the MITRE Corporation, where he advises government executives in transformational communication and organizational change management. MITRE is a large not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers for sponsoring federal agencies.
Before joining MITRE, Jeff held various internal communication roles with the IRS, Customs and Border Protection, and most recently the Government Printing Office where he was director of internal communication. While in government, Jeff co-founded and chaired the Federal Communicators Network which shares communication best practices across Federal communication offices.
He currently serves on the board of the International Association of Business Communicators/DC Metro and is a senior lecturer in the corporate and organizational communications master’s degree program at Northeastern University in Boston.

Public Information Officers: What's It Like To Deal With Journalists?

Posted by: Dannielle Blumenthal, FCN Chair

Currently, the Society of Professional Journalists is undertaking a study on the subject of how public information officers in government agencies perceive their interactions with journalists. It is being conducted by Carolyn Carlson of Kennesaw State University, a former SPJ president.

Part of the study consists of a short questionnaire prepared in conjunction with the NAGC. It will ask you about your experiences dealing with journalists. Your participation is completely voluntary and you can opt out of any question that you do not wish to answer. All of your responses will be kept confidential and all responses will be aggregated to provide a snapshot.

It is estimated that the survey will take no more than 10 minutes to finish. The deadline to submit it is Oct. 31, 2012. Click here to access.

Questions may be directed to Carolyn Carlson. For questions about your rights as a participant in this study, contact the Kennesaw State University IRB.

We thank John Verrico, a member of both the FCN and NAGC Board of Directors, for sharing this opportunity.

FEW HAPPY HOUR! Help Celebrate The 2nd Anniversary of The Cherry Blossom Chapter In DC


"Federally Employed Women (FEW) is a private membership organization working as an advocacy group to improve the status of women employed by the federal government and by the District of Columbia government."

Please join Federally Employed Women:

  • When? Thursday, October 25
  • What time? 5-9 p.m.
  • Why? To celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of the Cherry Blossom Chapter
  • Where? 21st Amendment Grill at the Holiday Inn Express, 500 C Street SW (Metro: L'Enfant)
You can learn more about FEW's metro DC chapters here or visit their website to find a local chapter near you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

At the NAGC Blog: "Cleaning up our language – a never-ending campaign"

"Only a few generations ago, many causes and movements set out to clean up the environment. Do any of you remember the “Keep America Beautiful” campaign? Over time, most of us have learned the habit of throwing trash in a trashcan—not on the street. We changed our behavior thanks to research, education and laws, and creative messaging about pollution, litter, and pride in our surroundings."

Read more about plain language at the National Association of Government Communicators blog.

Posted by Dannielle Blumenthal, Chair, FCN

FCN News: Happy New Year?

The following was written by Kathleen Taylor, Editor, FCN News and is reprinted from our newsletter, FCN News, Nov./Dec. 2012

The beginning of the new fiscal year goes unnoticed by most federal employees.  Having moved to the administrative side of the house, I can tell you October is a welcome relief from the frenzied atmosphere found in most admin offices at the end of September.  But this year the expected wave of relief was replaced by what can only be described as a sigh of resignation.  I asked the employees in my office why the change, and they all said they were discouraged because no one seemed to notice, or appreciate, the work they do.

Their comments reminded me of the importance of internal communications.  Until now, I always equated internal communications as a means of informing employees about changes coming down the pike from headquarters, or other agency news that would, or could, “affect” them.  Clearly my office wasn’t doing a very good job of letting non-admin employees know about all of the good work the admin staff does. In fact, the more efficient an admin office is, the less likely it will be noticed.  I suspect this is true of other offices as well.   

My FY New Year’s resolution is to use the skills I have acquired in the communications field to create an internal communications plan for my admin office.  I encourage each of you to look inside of your agencies to find those offices that are doing great things, but getting little or no recognition.  In today’s climate of government bashing, showing appreciation to the hard work being done within your agency will help boost morale, and you might even get a story for your external communications plan as well.  For those of you that already have great internal communications program, use FCN’s web resources to share your best practices with others.  Start a discussion on LinkedIn, write a guest blog, or share your expertise by conducting a webinar. Whatever you decide to do, get involved – that’s what good communications is all about.        

Regards to all,
Kathleen Taylor, Editor
The Federal Communicators Network
(Received this from a friend? Sign up for your own copy)
 

Featured Event: FCN Lunch & Learn  

Measuring Communication – Simple Approaches That Can Change Your Image

With Jeff Brooke
Friday, November 9, 2012
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Eastern
Free; Limited to Government Employees & Contractors; Click here to register

Measuring communication can be tricky.  Jeff Brooke will help you get the information you need to accurately measure your communications program.  A well-defined program can assist leadership in understanding the critical role communications plays in your agency, and how communications professionals are an integral part of his or her management team.  Through the use of examples you will learn how to frame questions that capture what you want to measure, and how discussions of measurement can produce 
better messages. 

Dial in/Webinars

PRNews

Facebook Timeline Tactics to Boost Engagement & Followers
Thursday, October 18, 2012
1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET 

Cost: $359
 
·  Develop a strategy to produce original, visual content to add to your Timeline
·  Tell your brand’s story visually
·  Use Instagram to feed images to your Timeline profile
·  Determine which kinds of posts are most likely to increase engagement with your audience on 
Facebook 
·  Use Timeline to leverage your organization's heritage and share milestone stories
·  Pin posts to drive traffic 
·  Highlight content to prevent it from being pushed down on your page
·  Determine how Timeline affects the news feed
For more information or to register:
http://ow.ly/erYhA
  

Face-to-Face Training 

Capitol.net

Media Relations for Public Affairs Professionals
Media Relations 101
October 18, 2012
Washington, DC
Cost – $495

 
This course is designed to help newer public or government affairs professionals. Our media training explores essential skills to help maximize your message in the Washington media environment. Instruction includes hands-on exercises, an overview of key media players, basic message development, and effective press release and media kit preparation.
For more information, or to register:
http://ow.ly/erYlQ
 

PRNews

Media Relations – Next Practices Conference
November 30, 2012
Washington DC
Conference early bird registration - $795

 
Join us on Nov. 30 for PR News' Media Relations Next Practices Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and get the latest best practices on resource allocation for your media relations initiatives, media training, message crafting, crisis management and measurement, as well as tips on using popular and emerging social media networks to engage with members of the media. You'll get checklists, case studies and practical tips from media relations and digital PR experts. Even more important, you'll walk away with a greater understanding of how media relations best practices now encompass brand storytelling, audience engagement and real-time crisis management.
For more information or to register:
http://ow.ly/erYrR
  

Ragan.com

Social Media Boot Camp for Corporate Communicators
October 26 in Austin, TX
November 16 in Chicago, IL
Cost - $745

·  Use Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to reach reporters who ignore your traditional pitches
·  Launch an internal social network for employees for less than a few thousand dollars
·  Strategies for responding to the "thiscompanysucks.com" phenomenon
·  Build credibility between leadership and employees with a CEO blog
For more information, or to register:
http://ow.ly/ehh3l
  
 
The Advanced Learning Institute (A.L.I.) Presents
 
Telework in Government Training:
Meeting Telework Requirements While Unleashing Employee Productivity,
Cutting Costs And Adding Value
November 6-9, 2012
Washington, DC

 
For more information:
Email: melissa@aliconferences.com
Call: (888) 362-7400 -or- (773) 695-9400
Mention “FCN” to receive a $200 registration discount!
http://bit.ly/JmbtFb

 
Social Media for Government Communications Training:
How To Engage Citizens & Increase Transparency Using The Latest Web 2.0 Technologies
December 10-12, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA

 
For more information:
Email: melissa@aliconferences.com
Call: (888) 362-7400 -or- (773) 695-9400
Mention “FCN” to receive a $200 registration discount!
http://ow.ly/erXYC
 
Strategic Internal Communications in Government Training:
How To Use Social Media & Traditional Communications To Engage Employees, Drive Performance & Add Value
January 28-31, 2013 in Washington, DC

 
For more information:
Email: melissa@aliconferences.com
Call: (888) 362-7400 -or- (773) 695-9400
Mention “SUPPORTER” to receive a $200 registration discount
http://ow.ly/erY1X


Online/Self-Paced

Udemy online courses



Announcements

Mark your calendars –
2013 NAGC Communications School
Government Communicators: Engaging Citizens in Democracy 
April 16 – 19, 2013
Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel
Arlington, VA

The NAGC Communications School is the only event of its kind that provides invaluable networking opportunities and practical educational sessions to help government communicators increase their skills.

2013 Call for speakers – Deadline for submitting applications is October 15, 2012, 5:00 pm Eastern

Reminder: Make sure to subscribe to FCN News today! 
It's free and open to the public, and if you're a federal employee, this automatically makes you a member.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Refreshing Enthusiasm

By John Verrico, Director of Professional Development for the National Association of Government Communicators & Member, FCN Board of Directors.

Imagine bringing together representatives from multiple divisions in your organization and getting them to agree to work together. 

That could be quite a challenge just for any workaday decision.

Now imagine that what they must agree upon would completely change the way they have always done things. They would have to, as a group, establish new policies and procedures, and put aside their individual priorities, preferences and differences in order to help each other be successful.

Have them come up with an agreement committing them to work together toward achieving mutual success.

You can see this happening, right?

So, let’s ramp it up a bit. Instead of representatives from multiple divisions of the same agency, what if they were all from different agencies?

What if they were all from different governments?  Governments with such differences that they had separated from each other to form independent nation states?

Sound impossible?

I would once have agreed with you, until just a couple of weeks ago when I witnessed it happen.

In the beautiful Balkan nation of Montenegro, I had the honor of participating in the South Eastern European Communicators Conference last month. The event was attended by about 60 government public affairs professionals from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia.

Participants in the SEECOM eagerly, enthusiastically, and unanimously committed to establish open and transparent government policies and practices in their respective nation states. Together, they came up with a simple two-page declaration outlining the principles of transparency, openness, inclusiveness, integrity, impartiality and professional cooperation.

Some of these principles sound pretty familiar, don’t they? We’ve been kicking these terms around here in the United States for a few years. As government communicators, we’ve had an uphill battle trying to implement effective open government practices, trying to teach our leaders to be transparent, and convincing the public that we’re not hiding things.

If you think that it’s been challenging here, imagine what they face trying to do this for the first time in governments that have not been open at all in the past. 

Yet, as difficult and as challenging as the work ahead of them is, the government communicators in South Eastern Europe have a refreshingly positive attitude about it. They are dedicated and enthusiastically determined to work together to be successful.   

Open government is becoming a global objective and the nations in the South Eastern European region are among the latest to sign on to global Open Government Partnership initiative which kicked off in September 2011 by the United Nations. What started as a partnership with eight countries has grown to include nearly 60 in just over a year.

If the government communicators in the other participating nations are as eager and enthusiastic as those I met in Montenegro, the world may soon be a very different place.

I was delighted to be part of the kick-off of the SEECOM and one of the greatest honors of my career was to have been made an honorary member of the forum. I look forward to continuing to work with these extraordinary communications professionals in South Eastern Europe. As they begin to implement changes in their own governments, I think there will be much to learn from their experiences.

Plus, it really puts perspective on the petty interoffice politics we deal with on a daily basis.

Monday, October 8, 2012

What's Your Favorite Government PSA?

By Dannielle Blumenthal, Chair, FCN

Video sites like YouTube are a promising method of government communication in that they reach and engage with citizens where they are, speaking in a human voice, rather than the citizen having to visit a government website.

And they are popular. A quick look at statistics from YouTube alone:

  • 800 million unique viewers each month
  • 4 billion hours watched each month
  • Last year (2011) about 140 views for every person in the world
Pew has also reported on the importance of YouTube to citizens in terms of receiving news information. Reuters is now offering news video directly there. And this will likely only increase with the growth of mobile as 65% of tablet owners reportedly use YouTube to watch "short clips."


Further, research from IDC indicates that the Internet is a preferred medium of interaction with the government, and 36% of survey respondents would rather contact the government through the Internet than any other way.

So public service announcements (PSAs) are important. How do you do them well? Are there any in particular that you like?

As an exercise I chose two at random and made some brief notes:

EPA - "Pollution Prevention"

I liked that the tips were relatable and that there were real people in the video as opposed to officials. Maybe the title could have been different, as it didn't limit itself to pollution prevention, but overall I thought it was pretty appealing and useful. It also seemed professional without being extravagant, keeping in mind the issue of taxpayers' money being used.



HHS - "When Is The Right Time To Get A Flu Shot?"

This one I don't know about. It was clear and comprehensible, and relevant (I guess), but I wasn't sure what kind of official this person was. Should I take her more seriously than a regular person? Maybe there should've been a sign that said "Doctor X" nearby? 

Also, generally officials sitting in a chair are a little boring. Remember, you're in the context of pretty crazy stuff. Maybe a different format could have worked, like asking people randomly in the park whether they knew the answer to this question, and then giving them the correct one ("surprise, surprise.") Definitely a good question, but a jazzier approach and some subtitles would have helped.



If you know of a good PSA (or a bad one), please let us know in the comments section.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

How To Post to a LinkedIn Professional Group in 10 Simple Steps

By Dannielle Blumenthal, Chair, FCN


These days your resume is more comprehensive than a simple listing of experience and education. It can include anything related to your achievements - such as a published case study, a conference presentation, a portfolio of writing or graphic design samples, and even your comments in online professional groups.

Many people find the LinkedIn user interface daunting, so I wrote up this short “cheat sheet” to posting to a professional group there. In this example, the Federal Communicators Network (FCN) group is used, but it is usable with any professional group. 


Click here to download from Slideshare or see below.




1. Visit the Group on LinkedIn (click here for the FCN group; federal employees and contractors eligible to join).

2. Click inside the "Start Discussion" box at the top.




3. Type the subject of the discussion.

  • Example 1 - Plain discussion: "Are Federal Employees Overworked?"
  • Example 2 - You're linking to an article or FCN blog post: "(Name of publication): Are Federal Employees Overworked?")

4. Add more details if desired.


This is usually done if NOT linking to an article because you have to explain what you're talking about.
  • Sample text: "An article in ___ cites a study showing that Federal employees are overworked. However, other studies demonstrate the opposite. What do you think?"

5. Click "Attach a link" to add the URL of the article or blog you're referring to.


Cut and paste the URL in, then click "Attach."


6. Once the article is attached, click "Share." 


You'll see the item appear in the center carousel (it will rotate so you might have to wait a minute).

7. When the article appears, click "More," then "Share Link" on the lower right of the box.




8. Another box, "Post to Updates," will appear.


You can leave that checked if you want it to post to your update feed. You can add a comment (such as "I just posted this discussion in the FCN Group), or leave the box blank.

9. Click the Twitter icon if you want the discussion to post to your personal Twitter account.





10. Click "Post to Groups" if you want to post the discussion to any other groups, or "Send to Individuals" if you want to share it with a contact.