Training at the Workshop

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Building a Better Communications Plan              $95

With Gordon Mayer, Gamaliel Community-Organizing Network

October 9, 2014: 9:00am – 12:00pm

Room 311, Columbia College Chicago, 33 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL

Did you know that having a communications plan for your organization is the first step in developing a solid media relations campaign for your cause? This workshop will walk you through developing a communications plan using exercises to establish goals, target audiences and develop messages that move people to action. We’ll introduce the tools you need to achieve your communications goals, through social and traditional media outlets. A strategic communications plan will help your organization or campaign engage donors, advocates, volunteers and clients.


Dig into Data: Using Numbers to Tell your Story             $95

With Michael Spikes, Center for News Literacy

October 22, 2014

Room TBD, Columbia College Chicago, 33 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL

How do we tell our story with numbers? Quantifying our issues and work is powerful but doesn’t have to be difficult. In this workshop, you will learn about the types of data used in journalism, advertising, and PR. Find out the difference between “hacking” and “programming” in this intensive, guide workshop. 


Creating a Fierce Facebook Page               $95
With Susy Schultz, Community Media Workshop

November 5, 2014

Room TBD, Columbia College Chicago, 33 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL

Your organization’s Facebook page is like a second website and is often the first contact your audience has with your brand. Are you ready to meet new “friends”? Unsure how to get people to “like” you? If you’ve set up a Facebook organization page and don’t know what to do next, or are just beginning your Facebook marketing plan, this intensive workshop will help you understand the basics of how to use Facebook as an extension of your brand and elevate your organization’s presence online.

 In this hands-on, basic workshop participants will learn:

  • Basic Facebook management and tools
  • How to use the Facebook Timeline format and why it is effective in audience engagement
  • How to analyze Facebook insights and adapt your messages accordingly
  • How to create an appealing Facebook page
  • Tips and tricks of engaging your Facebook fans 


Mobile Storytelling         $95

With Charlie Meyerson, Rivet Radio

November 19, 2014

Room TBD, Columbia College Chicago, 33 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago, IL

The phone in your pocket can power a media outreach more powerful than the biggest printing presses or the largest broadcasting antennas. You have the world’s most powerful distribution platform right in your pocket or purse. We’ll show you how to use it to tell and distribute your story, cheaply and easily. 


There are no scheduled webinars at this time. 


Experts share insights on the latest communication trends in traditional and social media. Brown bag workshops are free but registration is required.

There are no Brown Bag Sessions scheduled at this time. Check back regularly to see future free information sessions!

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Learn to tell your stories better, using all the tools of communications, advocacy, outreach, and marketing, such as: media relations, using new media/technology, developing print materials, planning strategy, holding events, and other types of public relations. We are known for:

  • Hands-on, practical training
  • Emphasis on how to create compelling stories to increase visibility among media,funders and other audiences
  • Providing tools to integrate Web 2.0 and social media into your communications and fundraising efforts
  • Leading workshops that honor the ways adults learn, are interactive, and engaging
  • Providing handouts you can use, not put on a shelf

Learn more about real people’s successes using what they learned from us by viewing some recent success stories

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Our workshops are for nonprofit communicators–staff and volunteers responsible for telling their organizations’ stories. They come from grassroots and community organizations, arts groups, hospitals and universities, social-service agencies, philanthropy, and other types of nonprofit.

While we do not turn for-profit communicators away, for popular workshops we may wait-list them to make sure there are seats for all the nonprofit communicators who wish to attend. If you are in corporate communications or at a for-profit PR firm, we encourage you to visit the sites of  our colleagues in PR, such as Ragan Communications, the Publicity Club of Chicago, PRNewswire, or the Public Relations Society of America.

To learn more about our participants, you can download a list of groups who accessed our services last year.

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We are half grant-funded and the rest of our revenue comes from selling workshops, trainings, and our Chicago-market media guide, Getting On Air, On-line, & Into Print to other nonprofits.

This allows us to keep the costs of our workshops at a fraction of the price of equivalent sessions in the private sector. Workshop prices take into account fees for our trainers (typically much-reduced from what they typically charge as a service to the nonprofit community), other fixed costs such as serving coffee, water, and meals during workshops.

Scholarships are always available to organizations with budgets under $100,000—please view our Scholarship Policy. You may also want to check the details of our Cancellation Policy.

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We are happy to provide custom sessions that respond to specific needs or to reinforce core messages at your organization.

Organizations we have worked with recently include ACCESS, Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University, Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Latinos Progresando, Local Initiatives Support Corp., Michigan Nonprofit Association, National Association of Charter School Authorizers, Progressive Technology Project, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

To learn more about our custom training view our services and contact Maggie Walker (, or call us: 312-369-6400.

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Unless noted elsewhere, our trainings take place at Columbia College Chicago at 33 East Congress Parkway.

Walk-in Location:

Community Media Workshop

at Columbia College

33 E. Congress Parkway, Suite 610H

Chicago, IL 60605

Tel: 312-369-6400

Fax: 312-369-6404



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