|As the executive director of the Twin Cities Media Alliance, I would like to extend an invitation to all Daily Planet readers to attend our 7th annual Fall Media Forum, Inform, Connect, Organize: Media Tools for the New Normal.
Budget cuts and a tough economy threaten many of the things that Minnesotans value most – the quality of our schools, the vitality of our neighborhoods, even our jobs and livelihoods. This free public forum, on Saturday, November 12 at the Central Minneapolis Public Library will focus on new media tools and information resources that can help citizens, communities, and business inform themselves, communicate and work together more effectively as they face the challenges of the New Normal.
The expression “New Normal” usually refers to the idea that our current economic hard times are here to stay. But we are also living in a media New Normal, in which ordinary citizens have unprecedented access to powerful media tools. Around the world, from Tahrir Square to Wall Street and the Government Center plaza, people are using these tools in dramatic ways. But these are also tools that can be used to build stronger neighborhoods, organize around a ballot issue, or help a neighborhood business connect to its community.
The Fall Forum will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with a presentation of economic and demographic research on the “New Normal” by Andi Egbert from the Wilder Foundation. Then we’ll hear from about the impact that the New Normal is having on the lives of Minnesotans, from three media organizations that have hosted community conversations: Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva, project manager of the Twin CIties Daily Planet’s New Normal project, Dave Peters, director of MPR’s Ground Level project; and Alison Herrera, from The Uptake’s Northside Project.
Where do we go from here?
Conversations will continue over the lunch break. Participants are welcome to bring their own lunches, or pre-pay for a box lunch when they register. (To register, go to http:bit.ly/TCMAForum)
The afternoon programming features two rounds of workshops on using media tools- from 1:30 to 2:30, and from 2:30 to 3:30.
Session I: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.Using Twitter (and other social media tools) for Networking: Melissa Harrison, AlleeYou’ve heard the stats about how great social media can be for brands and business; what about communicating and connecting with your own network? Join in this discussion about using Twitter (and other social media networks) for research, networking and staying “in the know” about the issues you care about. Our focus will be on using Twitter and various Twitter tools, but some time will be allocated for exploring other networking avenues via sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
Tools to Make Your Website More Interactive: Steve Hanson, Cruiskeen ConsultingUse external applications and widgets from other companies to expand your web site. This session will cover adding features to your site for live blogging, using third-party widgets, video and audio remote applications, integration of Twitter and Facebook, and building a low-cost mobile app for your site. Steve Hanson develops and hosts Drupal web sites at Cruiskeen Consulting LLC, an Internet consulting company in Menomonie, WI.Compass Neighborhood Indicators: A valuable tool for telling your community’s stories: Jennifer Franklin, Wilder FoundationMinnesota Compass now features rich profiles, chock-full of data and trends, for each of the neighborhoods and communities.
This workshop and interactive breakout session will look at several neighborhood profiles, and facilitate discussion among participants about different ways these data can be used to best tell the stories of what is happening in our communities. Participants will share examples of stories that use these kinds of data well, and brainstorm about how different audiences/consumers of media process and use this kind of information in their work.s in Minneapolis and each of the planning districts in St. Paul – a gold mine of information. These user-friendly, at-a-glance profiles contain a wealth of data from the 2010 census and the annual American Community Survey (ACS), and they provide demographics data and trends at a much smaller geographic level than previously accessible to the lay person.
Session II: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.Telling Your Story: PR, Communications and Tools: Amanda Wagner and Angie Gassett, Weber Shandwick.This interactive and engaging workshop will offer tips and best practices for citizens interested in leveraging traditional public relations tactics in their communications strategies. From the basics of key message development to a broad understanding of how to measure and communicate success, the session will leave attendees with a firm grasp of public relations principles and tactics to help tell their story. Media relations and social media will also be covered at a top level. Attendees should come prepared to share their own communications goals and challenges and armed with their burning PR questions.What’s your beat? Mary Turck, editor, Twin Cities Daily PlanetWhether your passion is health care, schools, or the neighborhood you live in, a beat reporter will cover it best. And maybe that beat reporter is you. Claim your beat: How you can step up and report — in the Twin Cities Daily Planet, in your blog, in E-Democracy, or in your community. We’ll start with three steps to covering your beat.
The Fall Forum will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 12. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged. People are welcome to attend the morning session, the afternoon workshops, or both. Sign up online (and purchase a box lunch if you wish) by visiting: http:bit.ly/TCMAForum.