I have a confession: As a communications professional who has been working in the Washington area for more than 30 years (at the League of Women Voters, the Smithsonian Institution and, for the past 10 years, as a consultant specializing in nonprofits), I consider myself an expert. That said, I've never left a Nonprofit Roundtable media event without learning something new and valuable to the nonprofits I work with.
I remember one of the first Roundtable events I attended, half a dozen years ago. Jim Asendio, who was WAMU's News Director, encouraged the crowd to submit commentaries that the station would run free of charge on the air. At the time, I had no idea that opportunity was available – let alone free – to the community. I went home and wrote my first commentary on behalf one of my clients.
A dozen commentaries later, I am ever grateful to WAMU for providing air time that allows nonprofit organizations to express their opinions. And I am ever appreciative to the Roundtable for continuing to provide members opportunities to gain valuable practical information, such as at next Wednesday's media summit.
When Chuck Bean asked me to organize this year's summit on the topic of "The Future of Media and the Impact on Nonprofits," I knew Marc Fisher had to be the keynote speaker. Why? Consider the synopsis he provided of his upcoming talk:
With recurrent announcements of buyouts and an evident decline in the breadth and depth of all news organizations, it's become harder than ever for the news media to perform their role as watchdog and creative force in building community. We'll go inside The Washington Post to look at how the contradictions between a collapsed business model and a large and healthier than ever audience have changed the way the news is gathered and presented, and how newsmakers can best navigate the ever-changing face and structure of The Post and other news outlets in the region.
As if Marc isn't enough of a draw, we've lined up more than a dozen journalists from every major media organization in Washington to talk about the changing media landscape and how to use both traditional and social media to tell your story. This is an opportunity to rub elbows with the people whose bylines you read, who make decisions about which stories get on the morning and nightly news and who are developing innovative platforms like WAMU's brand new Public Insight Network. In fact, we've just lined up WAMU's Rebecca Blatt to tell us about the new network.
I hope I'll see you on Wednesday. Stop by and introduce yourself. For those who do, I'll be waiting with an insider's tip on how to get your story out. See you then.
Register for the 2012 Media Summit here. Registration is FREE for members, and $125 for non-members.