Making Media Connections, Midwest Nonprofit Communications Conference, Set for June 10-11

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Nonprofit volunteer and staff communicators will study a new equation this June, "Advocate plus Communicate equals Change," as they empower themselves with new skills and build relationships with journalists and social media experts at Community Media Workshop's Making Media Connections Conference June 10-11 at Columbia College Chicago. Information and conference registration information are at http://www.communitymediaworkshop.org/mmc09.

Nonprofit volunteer and staff communicators will study a new equation this June, "Advocate plus Communicate equals Change," as they empower themselves with new skills and build relationships with journalists and social media experts at Community Media Workshop's Making Media Connections Conference June 10-11 at Columbia College Chicago. Information and conference registration information are at http://www.communitymediaworkshop.org/mmc09.

"The conference helped me discover the power behind social media tools," says Mariko Drouin of Chicago Metropolitan Association for Education of Young Children, who reports that after attending the conference in 2008 she went on to write a social media strategy, launch a Facebook fan page and online community, purchase a Flip video camera for testimonials, and implement Twitter at her group's annual conference. "It was a great place to share ideas and connect with others who are challenged with the same nonprofit marketing issues."

Along with hands-on coaching and introduction nonprofit communications for those new to the field, changes and trends in social media, the news, and what it all means for nonprofits will be the special focus of this year's Making Media Connections conference.

Less traditional news puts the burden on nonprofits to do more communicating, according to Community Media Workshop President Thom Clark: "Changes in the news business put the burden on our sector to communicate more effectively as part of our mission," he says. "Organizers need to tell stories of the neighborhoods and people they serve, agencies that serve the homeless need to take on a greater role in educating the public on how to prevent homelessness, and arts organizations need to articulate how their work connects to communities' greater good. It's all part of the trend toward using our expertise and knowledge to help society at large to understand how to solve social problems."

Keynoters Monica Davey of The New York Times and Colonel Tribune, The Chicago Tribune's online avatar, will help make sense of changes in the news business. Blogger maven Beth Kanter, Arif Mamdani of Progressive Technology Project will offer workshops on social media and tech strategy. Traditional communications for nonprofit groups will be covered by Sue O'Halloran, Laurie Glenn, and the SPIN Project. Panelists will include some of Chicago's most prominent journalists as well as nonprofit communicators who are leaders in the field.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, Community Media Workshop invites all attendees and current and past trainees to come together to toast the Chicago nonprofit's 20th anniversary of working to "promote news that matters."

The Making Media Connections Conference includes a discussion of social media in partnership with NetTuesday Tuesday, June 9, training for nonprofits on Wednesday, June 10 and panel discussions Thursday, June 11. The conference is supported by Chicago Tribune Charities, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and exhibitors Emma, Newsclip, and Lumity. Media sponsors include Chicago Public Radio and Philanthropy Journal. Full details and registration are at http://www.communitymediaworkshop.org/mmc09 or for more information call 312-369-6400.

Some 2,000 nonprofit volunteers and staff around the Midwest access Community Media Workshop's services annually; another 1,000 journalists use its Newstips service for story and sourcing ideas from Chicago's neighborhoods. For more on the Community Media Workshop log on to home page http://www.newstips.org.

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