LGBT+: Taking the Acrimony Out of the Ever-Growing Acronym

When I participate in Oakland Pride this weekend, I am announcing, “I am a proud member of the LGGBTQQIAAPPK community…” I’m sorry. What?? The long format LGBT acronym can be a challenge for communicators today, but a thoughtful engagement strategy

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Posted in *Insight, *Intention, marketing, messaging, public relations, storytelling, strategic communications

Messaging for More: The False Story of Scarcity

Earlier this week, Donald Trump made another in his series of misguided and cruel policy decisions when he banned transgender people from military service. One of the reasons he cited was the cost of their medical care. And now in

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Posted in *Illumination, *Impact, *Insight, *Intention, lessons, messaging, storytelling, strategic communications, Uncategorized

Change the Conversation

In these tumultuous times, I – like many others – have returned to the importance of conversations as an engine for social change. The fractured and polarized state of American public discourse is both disappointing and disturbing. And as much

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Posted in *Illumination, *Impact, *Insight, *Inspiration, *Intention, leadership, lessons, messaging, storytelling, strategic communications, Uncategorized

Apply now for the 19th Annual SPIN Academy!

Today, applications open for the 19th Annual SPIN Academy, a training program that brings together nonprofit professionals from across the country working on a diverse set of progressive issues. Over the four-day retreat, the SPIN Academy supports the development of nonprofit

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Posted in *Illumination, *Impact, *Insight, *Inspiration, leadership, strategic communications

Are Your Communications Tactics DULL Enough?

In honor of the April Fool’s Day just passed, we’re challenging you to achieve your SMART goals through DULL tactics; that is, tactics that are Deliberate, Unique, Lit and Loud.

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Posted in *Illumination, *Impact, Case Story, event planning, lessons, social media, strategic communications, Uncategorized

Communicating with Power, Not Panic

Keep your community safe, not by spreading social media rumors about ICE raids, but by sharing credible information and reporting what you observe.

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Posted in lessons, social media, Uncategorized

The Moonlight Debacle Highlights How White People Would Benefit from the End of Racism

At this point, everyone knows that Moonlight won the Academy Award for best picture, but only after the trophy was given to a team of white people who made a very white movie. The accounting firm responsible for tallying the

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Posted in leadership, lessons

It’s President’s Day. What’s Your Plan?

So however you’re observing President’s Day today— at a #NotMyPresident protest, #ResistanceRecess Town Hall, or retreating to a National Park (free today!), put making a strategic communications plan on your resistance to-do list.

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Posted in lessons, strategic communications, Uncategorized

Good Communication Starts with Listening: 7 Ways to Center and Support People of Color


When organizations are trying to figure out how to move from being passively non-racist to actively anti-racist, one of the things that they often say they will do is “center people of color.” As communicators, we need to be able to unpack jargon and help people take action. We are sharing this post from our friends at If/When/How, originally published here, because its a quick and straightforward guide for how to put the experiences and needs of people of color at the heart of your work.

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Posted in *Inspiration, *Intention, messaging, storytelling, strategic communications

Start Here: Top 10 Resources to Change the Conversation About Race

On Election Day, we resolved to dedicate our blog to the discussion of racism and the use of strategic communications as a lever to dismantle it. As our first Black president says goodbye and we brace for Donald Trump, this

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Posted in *Insight, leadership, lessons, messaging, strategic communications, Uncategorized