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.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kitty Wooley: Recap of 9/18/12 Senior Fellows and Friends Event, "The Business of Community"

Dear Senior Fellows and Friends,

Last week we had a stimulating discussion with Rachel Happe, co-founder of The Community Roundtable, and Ayelet Baron, a 2012 addition to The CR’s leadership team.  They traveled to the DC area from Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area to establish new relationships and further a new Social Executive Study.
Rachel hit my radar last year through her seminal post entitled Communities - The New Strategic Imperative.  If you’re grappling with information overload, read that post.  A remarkable statement made last week was, “Relationships and people are becoming the weak link” – we have a choice between adopting Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen’s race (Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place) and realizing that we are now in an environment of abundance rather than of scarcity.  I’ve read that Rachel actually prefers the label “networked” to “social.”  In my opinion, neither quite conveys the usefulness of the work this group doing, or the promise that such work holds for government.

Some of you probably wondered why we focused on “the business of community.”  After all, most of us work ingovernment.  Government and business are different – right?  Well, the Pew Internet & American Life Project says that two-thirds of American internet users are now on social networking sites.  (Are Mommy Bloggers on your radar?)  In light of the precipitous decline of public perception of government, is it too much of a stretch to think that some citizens may have begun comparing the responsiveness of business icons that converse fluently with them with the responsiveness of government agencies that don’t? 

“Social” anything is a relatively new phenomenon; many organizations in every sector aren’t even in the game yet.  But when I read an April 27th Federal Times finding that 66% of Americans surveyed do not believe the federal government addresses people's needs, I began to wonder if government were being compared along this dimension of relationship and found wanting.  Conversation enables people to feel heard, understood and valued, even when it doesn’t solve their problems.  Some agencies have been making headway (my current ED faves are @FAFSA and Arne Duncan Gave Me Homework!), but there’s a ways to go if we are to remain in good standing as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. 

Encouraging words by participants that night:

“It’s about understanding people, not just knowing millions of people.”

“My Library Science background taught me to do question negotiation: What’s the real question?  What are you really looking for, and what does success look like?”

“We have to have the comfort level to say, I don’t yet know.”

Alex Tremble, an original thinker we’ll be hearing more from, later said:

This session was one of the most informative discussions I have had the pleasure to be a part of.  I can undoubtedly state that the discussion was made even more beneficial by the extremely diverse group in attendance. The session began with participants sharing what they would do with social media, what benefits their organization would realize, and what challenges they might face incorporating social media into their organizations. The group identified a number of positive outcomes to incorporating social media (e.g., creating a positive perception for  the organization, increasing usage and new hire diversity, and engaging the community) and a number of the challenges that might be encountered (e.g., political issues within the government, and lack of resources).
Rachel’s final point of the evening was that social technologies allow community management teams to scale relationships, even in heavily regulated environments.  Discovering how to do that well in government – how to talk constructively with each other on a large scale – is worthy of our attention.

This discussion attracted two seasoned government community managers and a university professor who is in DC for a year to research cloud-based assistive technologies for people who have cognitive disabilities, as well as the GovDelivery/GovLoop engagement services team.  Each helped make the discussion even more relevant and productive, and we hope to see them again.

Participant affiliations were as follows:

Consultant, IT Workforce Issues
Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
Defense Security Service
Department of Education
Department of Homeland Security (TSA and FEMA)
Department of State
Department of the Interior
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Management and Budget
Partnership for Public Service
The Community Roundtable
Pastry Cook
University of Colorado

A generous spirit of learning and collegiality was fostered and enjoyed by all.  Please consider joining us in the future.

Kitty Wooley

Rachel Happe can be reached at this email address. If you’re interested in attending future Senior Fellows and Friends events, click here for more information, then email your request to Kitty Wooley.

Thanks to Kitty Wooley for her guest post. If you'd like to contribute please contact us

Posted by Dannielle Blumenthal, Chair, FCN

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Federal Employees: Do You Expect Privacy At Work?

Posted by Dannielle Blumenthal, Chair, FCN

"Most employees know their work activities are subject to monitoring within reasonable limits and that their employer has legitimate needs to ensure they handle sensitive information properly. But it's critical that agencies apply a clear, consistent approach to monitoring." (Full Editorial: Federal Times) What are the rules about employee monitoring where you work? Do you find them clear and consistent?

Friday, September 21, 2012

South Eastern Europe Is Taking Open Government Seriously

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

The times in which public policies were created away from the public eye remain far behind us,” said Prime Minister Igor Lukšić of Montenegro at the opening of the first South Eastern European Communicators (SEECOM) conference on Friday, September 14. “Nowadays, government transparency, accountability and public dialogue are the key elements of good governance. They are also prerequisites for successful communication,” he said. 

When the Prime Minister opened the SEECOM conference in Budva, Montenegro with these remarks, the energy level and enthusiasm of the attendees was evident in their mutual cordiality, courtesy and eagerness. You would never know the 60 or so participants were from nearly a dozen different nations. 

That positive energy and camaraderie persisted throughout the conference. Unlike here in the United States, where it is common for the last day of a conference to be lightly attended as people begin early departures for home, the final event was just as full and the energy as high they were at the opening.  

On Sunday morning, September 16, representatives from the governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia came together to adopt the Declaration of the Founding Values of the South Eastern European Government Communications Forum, heretofore to be known as the Budva Declaration. In only two pages, this amazing document sums of the “duty of government communicators to “provide the public with comprehensive, timely and accurate information about government policies and projects.” 

The participating nations committed to the principles of transparency and openness; inclusiveness and participation; integrity, impartiality and public interest; internal communications; professional exchange and cooperation; and an innovative approach to establishing open government policies and programs. 

The people of this region are enthusiastic, highly energetic and committed to overcoming any obstacles put in their way to doing open government right. 

The government communicators were joined by representatives from Cyprus, Estonia, the United Nations, the United States Embassy to Montenegro, the Club of Venice, the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Commission, the U. S. National Association of Government Communicators and the global political policy foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. 

Prime Minister Lukšić noted, “It is no longer possible to dictate communication. Communication is now about getting involved in conversation, about dialogue with individuals and the networks they build that can increasingly act on stage directly, unmediated by the institutions and traditional channels of communication. This challenge is big and one that will make us more realistic and better representatives of our citizens.” 

You can listen to and download the Prime Minister’s speech, listen to all of the keynote speeches (including mine) and view some photos from the event on the Government of Montenegro Opening of the SEECOM conference.  

I was tremendously honored to take part in this historic event and look forward to NAGC’s continued partnership with our counterparts in this region. I believe many of them will be joining our organization, reaching out to our members to share ideas and best practices, and hopefully taking part in our 2013 Communications School in Washington, DC next April. 


Originally posted at NAGC's Adventures in Government Communications,

Monday, September 17, 2012

FCN Update: The Only Constant Is Change

They say the only thing constant is change, though change in the government is usually at a glacial pace.  FCN has been experiencing change of late, and being communications professionals, we want to keep you informed.

  • First, our board is taking a hard look at where we are, and where we would like to go as an organization.  
  • We have embraced social media through our presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and our blog.  
  • Now we are taking some time to assess our successful and not so successful approaches on new media.

We are also taking a look at our past webinars and how they were received by the communications community, so we can continue to provide interesting and relevant material to network members.

Our September program was pushed back until our evaluation is completed, and it will be rescheduled for October or November.  More information on that program will follow.

Finally, the newsletter will be undergoing some change as well.  I will be leaving the Washington, DC area and relocating to Boise, ID.  The slower pace and a change in perspective will be a welcomed change.

I have been thinking of ways to expand the newsletter’s appeal, and perhaps a move to a less metropolitan area will ignite my creativity. Look for the next issue in October.

Our goal is to create an organization where federal communicators can come together to network, share ideas, receive training and address issues of concern.  As always we welcome your input and participation. Together we can achieve that goal.

Sign up for a complimentary subscription to our newsletter here.

-  Kathleen Taylor, Editor
Federal Communicators Network