A Crash Course in Communications

monthly spread for a nanowrimo challenge adapted for learning mass communications skills
I really didn't do any of this

The Best Laid Plans...

In early November, I had it in mind to do a variation to the NaNoWriMo Challenge. For the NaNoWriMo challenge, people set out to work on a novel every day for a month.


For my adapted version, I was going to do a self-taught accelerated "Mass Communications School" for the month, by reading five books I had to help learn more about Communications.

That...did NOT happen. However, I definitely still received a big old INTENSE crash course in Communications, just not in the way I anticipated.

What Happened Instead

In my previous post, I discussed why my posts to Vintage Bridge have been sparse since the summertime, mostly having to do with my active involvement in local organizations, along with organizing the Boston Poetry Marathon. I also discussed the significant issues the Democratic Women's Caucus in Rhode Island was encountering from the state party (so-called) leadership.

Things only heated up from where I left off.

As a result, in the month of November and into early December, I had some very enlightening adventures related to teaching myself the ropes when it comes to Communications.

My Communications Adventures in the Past 6 Weeks

Working with the Chair of the Women's Caucus and other Executive Committee members, we churned out a silly amount of Caucus-wide communications and media advisories.

Listing them here in the order they were published can give you a good sense of what we went through as an organization since early November.

Once Upon a Women's Caucus: a Harrowing Tale of Fighting Local Autocracy, as Told through a Series of Mailchimp Mailers

Other Ways I Taught Myself Many New Skills When It Comes to Communications

  • Created a Policy and Procedures Manual for the Communications Committee
  • Started a new Medium account for the RIDWC
  • Migrated social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook to the new caucus, including changing handles and posting our brand new excellent logo
  • Migrated MailChimp to the new caucus
  • Changed all the formatting of the Mailchimp templates for the new caucus (theme colors, logos, and copy)
  • Created a Gmail account for the new caucus (RIDWomensCaucus [at] gmail)
  • Created a new Membership form on Google Forms
  • Learned how to import Google form data into Mailchimp
  • Expanded the Media Advisory audience list to three times the size
  • Started a book club for the Caucus (first meeting in January--more details to come)
  • Created a Google Alert for keywords
  • Began keeping a running list of media coverage of the Caucus
All this during the busiest time of year at work! How did I pull it off? I said "no" to a lot of other things. I missed two poetry readings I'd planned to attend. I didn't go to many events I was interested in around town. I skipped some social events with friends. I moved my mid-year planning meeting with Suzanne, the other Boston Poetry Marathon organizer, 4 or 5 times. (We finally had it last week. So excited for Sumer 2020!) And I also I took an hour and a half lunch and dinner break every day to do Caucus work, and left work most nights at 11pm. My joke has been, "No kids, no boyfriend: no life=no problem!" Hahaha. Ugh. Anyhoo...

My NaNoWriMo Communications Variation Success!

I only managed to finish one of the five books I planned on reading, and only because I had read all but the last 3 chapters beforehand ;-) Despite this, throughout November and December, I'd say I learned quite a lot about what goes into managing Communications for an organization.