Our Courses for academic leaders and faculty:

  • Signature course: Persuasive writing
  • Signature course: Media training 
  • Media management for communicators
  • Capitalizing on social media
  • One-on-one custom support


Signature course: persuasive writing

This training program is designed for faculty, academic and nonprofit leaders, and other experts interested in becoming a more active part of the public dialogue. This program is not abstract or theoretical. It is action-oriented, interactive, and practical: by the session’s end, every participant will have drafted a completed op-ed.

What will you learn?

You bring to the session an idea you care strongly about and evidence to support it, and we’ll show you how to turn it into a brief and strong written opinion that will grab an editor’s—and a reader’s—eye. Our teaching staff includes skilled writers and coaches who have written, edited, and placed hundreds of op-eds for nonprofit organizations across the U.S.

This 1.5 day program will cover:

  • What op-ed editors are looking for
  • How to develop a compelling op-ed argument
  • How to write an op-ed from start to finish
  • How to select the right media outlet for publication
  • How to maximize the impact of an op-ed once it’s published

Plus all participants will receive:

  • A custom-built training booklet with annotated op-eds and op-ed tips related to each participant’s area of interest
  • The teacher’s one-on-one review and guidance on turning the op-ed into a publishable piece
  • Suggested outlets most likely to publish each op-ed

Please note: So that we can deliver the benefits promised, participants should be able to commit the full 1.5 days to the training session.


Signature Course: Media Training

This full-day course is intended for academic and nonprofit leadership or faculty and other experts who want to learn how to stay in control of an interview – whether it is about the latest crisis on campus, your recent research, or a request for reaction to a current event. You will be guided by seasoned trainers and come away with the tools to be incisive and quotable--and to be less stressed when the phone rings and the media are asking for you.

What will you learn?

Conversations and interviews with reporters are important opportunities to get ideas across, build relationships, and become part of emerging stories. This training will prepare you for the pressures of these moments, with tactics for getting your ideas across effectively to journalists and their audiences.

This full-day course will cover:

  • The importance of preparation
  • The value of having a message and a story to encapsulate it
  • What reporters with microphones or cameras really want from you
  • Techniques for speaking to be quoted
  • How to avoid the five most common interview miscues
  • How to stay in control when responding to difficult questions
  • Learning to love the media moment

Plus all participants will receive a media toolkit with background on:

  • Messaging
  • Bridging
  • Tips on delivery
  • How to be memorable

Media management for communicators

We offer compact, focused in-person training and webinars that develop media-management talent, support talent, and re-energize even the steadiest hands. This training is designed for

  • Staff new to the role of working with or pitching to the news media—for any kind of story, from breaking institutional news to a leader’s or expert’s timely perspective.
  • Experienced professionals who want to get the latest advice in a rapidly changing media environment.

What will you learn?

  • Build a media strategy that’s right for your organization
  • Identify the right story
  • Five ideas that work for media pitching
  • Making media-management tools work for you
  • How to leverage coverage

Topics these programs cover include:

  • Making connections to media interests
  • Preparing to be on time with timely news
  • Devising the three key pieces of a useful media strategy
  • Building a media-ready story portfolio
  • Getting maximum value out of new media
  • New and emerging outlets to cultivate

Plus all participants will receive:

  • A booklet of tips and tools for communicators

Capitalizing on social media

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat—and the list of impactful social media keeps on growing. Our social media mavens train professionals interested in participating meaningfully in this rapidly evolving and increasingly influential form of communication. Whether you’re a staff member who wants to put social media to greater effect for your institution, or a scholar with ideas that social media could advance, we’ll help you kick-start or capitalize fully on your social media activities.

What will you learn?

  • Identify the social media apps that are best for your goals
  • Learn steps to use social media wisely and not waste time
  • Learn what to share and not share on social media

Plus all participants will receive:

  • How to start a Twitter account
  • How to use Twitter wisely
  • Reference of social media tools and apps

ONE-ON-ONE CUSTOM SUPPORT

Through additional courses you can learn how to prepare testimony, speak to policymakers, and give dynamic presentations.  We also can provide one-on-one support for further coaching, editing, or placing op-eds.  We are happy to discuss these options with you.

Custom support options include:

  • Personalized refining and pitching of your op-ed
  • Developing and applying a media strategy for an emerging story
  • Preparing for a big media interview
  • Building and applying a social media strategy to maximize the impact of a big development
  • Becoming an expert public speaker

 

The program that Pete and Andy delivered taught somebody who thought he knew how to write for the public how, in fact, to write for the public. The course is part seminar, part writing group, part one-on-one instruction, part developmental editing, much hard work, and all fun. I owe several op-ed publications to what I learned from The Voices Group. 

Bryn Geffert
Librarian of the College, Frost Library, Amherst College

 

We are eager to plan a session with you! Ready to CONNECT?