At the Communications Network, we get a lot of questions from people new to foundation communications. Whether it’s someone who just crossed the bridge from the corporate communications world, a recovering journalist or an ex-staffer fresh off a stint on the Hill, one day the reality about the new job suddenly hits and the questions start to flow: Where do I begin? How do I define the universe of strategic communications for this organization? What mistakes do I want to avoid?

The list goes on.

To help people new to this work, we recently held a webinar: Sink or Swim? Jumping into the pool of foundation communications.

Minna Jung, vice chair of the Communications Network, and communications director for the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, and Kristen Grimm, president, Spitfire Strategies, led an hour-long presentation and question-and-answer session designed to give communications practitioners in foundations insights into important things to know about their new jobs.

Over the course of the webinar, they boiled down the hundreds of questions they’ve fielded over the years from communications professionals at foundations small and large to the most salient, like:

--How important is brand?
--How do you make things run smoothly? (No staff posting drunken pics from grantee site visit on foundation Facebook page)
--Do we need a communication plan?
--What’s my role with other staff and our grantees?
--How do I know if I am doing a good job?

Whether you are brand new to this work or an old hand and are curious about questions people new to this work bring to their jobs, watch, listen and learn.

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