Training at the Workshop

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Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
* Content Marketing WorkshopContent Marketing Workshop

Time: 9:00 am

Does your organization already have a website or a blog, but is challenged with attracting the target audience online? Learn how to engage new audiences and increase your organization’s visibility with content marketing.

* Your Communications PlanYour Communications Plan

Time: 9:00 am

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. A strategic communications plan will help your organization or campaign engage donors, advocates, volunteers, and clients.



Storytelling with Impact
Wednesday, June 11, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
With Susy Schultz, Community Media Workshop
If you can tell your story — you can connect to others and that’s when you can create impact. Your story is the most powerful tool you have, if you are able to strip away the day-to-day noise to make an impact.  Learn how to make your story not just another spiel about your organization but something to captivate the media as well as potential funders and future members. In this training you will:

  • Understand what makes a story compelling.
  • Know what kinds of stories the news media is looking for.
  • Have the beginning of several story ideas for your organization to pitch to the media.




Strengthening your Twitter Literacy
Thursday, June 19, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
With Marissa Wasseluk, Community Media Workshop
Why do nonprofits need a Twitter presence?
Twitter is a powerful online tool that can help you listen and monitor conversations about your issues and organization to impact programming.
In this hands on basic workshop participants will learn:

  • Tips to help you listen and monitor online conversations about your organization, program or issue.
  • How to use Twitter to target audiences.
  • Create Twitter lists that are useful and focused.
  • How to easily add Twitter to your daily workflow, including how to integrate Twitter into your existing social media & communications plan to make social content creation easier.

This training is for a beginning-intermediate social media user. 



Become a Spokesperson Superstar
Thursday, June 26, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
With Susy Schultz, Community Media Workshop
When the media calls, will you be ready to interview like a professional spokesperson? This workshop will show you how to stay on message and in control while being interviewed.  Learn how to reduce your nervousness, sharpen your message, and optimize a media interview to increase your organization’s visibility.  In this training you will:

  • Learn interview performance tips like “bridging” and “flagging”.
  • Develop an “elevator speech”.
  • Get advice on how to prepare for an on-camera interview.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a 5-minute mock interview and critique.



Adding Google+ to Your Social Communications Circle
Thursday, July 10, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
With Susy Schultz & Marissa Wasseluk, Community Media Workshop

Google+ is often overlooked in the social media communications, but it is the one social platform that may have the most power amongst social media platforms. In this training you will:

  • Find out how Google+ helps your organization get found in Internet searches
  • Why to add Google+ to your social media plan
  • Learn how to optimize your Google+ page
  • Understand the platform’s basic functions
  • How to best use the platform and fold it into your current communications.

This is a beginner training.



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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