/writing/ Creating Shared Understandings

YOU MAKE A product. You put it out for feedback. The potential responses simplified: feedback on it is good, bad, or your product doesn’t make sense. It’s easy to jump to the positive feedback. It gives us immediate validation. But let’s wait. Let’s look at a more pressing need. Your product is bad, here’s why.... Continue Reading →

/writing/ A Morning Dip

THE ROGUE TURTLE continued swimming against the current. I have no idea, he thought, where this is all headed. Genuinely confounded. The struggles, the learning, the awkwardness, it seemed to him he should know. Why do I do what I do? But the turtle knew the answer in an abstract and meaningful way. He stiffened... Continue Reading →

/writing/ Starting Your Strategy

WE THROW AROUND the concept of communications strategy often. Let’s look at a practical approach to beginning the strategy development process for your organization. MAPPING. Identify all groups / stakeholder that your organization is working with or should be working with. Examples: Donors, government, partners, members, media, partners / sub-contractors, internal staff, board members. Don’t... Continue Reading →

/writing/ Communications And Accountability

IN OUR ON-GOING effort to collectively build the value of our work, let’s look at communications as a means to build accountability within an organization. Reporting is an unquestionable, external accountability mechanism: we spend the client’s money, so we show how the resources are used. But what about other communications products? Isn’t the design, production,... Continue Reading →

/writing/ A Blank Intimidation

FACED WITH IMPENDING deadlines, demanding clients, and public scrutiny, it seems a blank screen is the most intimidating. Produce something. The desire from within is there, or perhaps it’s pressure from an outside source. But the cursor blinks back at us, alone, with no prospects of company. Self-doubt and desperation become dangerous bedfellows. It was... Continue Reading →

/writing/ The Mighty Monthly

IN THE MOST mundane, boring moments of your communications work, you might ask yourself questions like: what’s the most important donor reporting document? Since apparently I’m in a similarly slow period of my work, I’ll go ahead and offer an answer: It’s the monthly report. The monthly report is the bridge between weekly implementation of... Continue Reading →

/writing/ Let’s Do Better

DESIGNING AND MANAGING communications strategies in the development setting is hard. It’s a process loaded with challenges. There are the technical elements like editing a documentary, or writing a radio drama script, or drafting a legislative brief. As well the more abstract considerations, like different cultures, languages, and security that impact the work. But no... Continue Reading →

/writing/ Watching It Send

I SIT, WATCHING an email being processed. Attached is a large donor report that’s worth a substantial amount of money. A slow connection offers me time to reflect. It’s been a typical reporting process: intermittent, often unreliable information from the program teams; an ever-changing structure that can’t find its legs; last minute data corrections that... Continue Reading →

/writing/ Working Through It

WE ARE A few months into the experiment that is intuitiveBLU and intuitive Civil Society. No, our servers aren’t overloaded with traffic. No, clients aren’t flooding our inboxes with opportunities. We haven’t made any money yet. Our analytics page is searching for other opportunities. It’s…been a slow process. But that’s fine. We always knew it... Continue Reading →

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