Past Events

Thursday, July 16

Ethical Storytelling 101

UMCF's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee hosted an online summer event:

Join us online while we listen to an audio recording of Ethical Storytelling 101. Hear from filmmaker Heidi Burkey, The Freedom Story President Rachel Goble, Chab Dai’s Helen Sworn, and Sophie Otiende from HAART Kenya, as they lay a foundation for what it means to tell a story ethically in non-profits.


Thursday, June 25 

Sketchnotes: A Visual Communication Tool
Presented by Rebecca Moss

Sketchnoting is the practice of adding visual elements to handwritten notes. Through this integration, concepts are more easily understood, ideas are more readily shared, and better memories of the proceedings are created. There are many forms of sketchnotes, and you can create your own preferred style. 

Rebecca Moss (she/her/hers) is a librarian by training, with a background in art history. She came to the University of Minnesota in 1999 to work on converting 35mm slides to digital versions for the Department of Art History. In 2004 her team moved into the CLA technology support unit which today is called LATIS (Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services). Her current role is Assistant Director for Engagement and helps to support the Liberal Arts Engagement Hub which will formally open in the fall of 2021. Helping CLA engage more broadly with the community is a critical part of CLA’s success. Since she adopted sketchnoting in her daily work in 2016, Rebecca says she has become a better listener, processes ideas more thoroughly, and communicates more effectively.

Learn more about Rebecca's work:
UMN Sketchnoters Google Group -
Sketchnotes by @ramoss -
Mike Rodhe on Sketchnotes -


May 29, 2020

A Modern Approach to Earned Media

Earned media, traditionally known as public relations and publicity, is still the most trusted form of communications. Yet more than 2/3 of organizations are frustrated by the results of their earned media efforts. The frustration comes from pitching overly branded messages, developing ineffective strategies, having unrealistic expectations and crafting unpersuasive pitches. Learn more about a modern approach to earned media that you can apply to your work at the University of Minnesota - an approach that will help you share your messaging and experts more strategically, improve your media pitches, and better report your successes. This event will include panelists Leah Kondes and Carrie Young of Padilla, Jake Ricker from University Relations, and will be moderated by Sarah Bjorkman of the School of Public Health.  


February 27, 2020

Lessons Learned in Social Media Campaigns: Successes and Challenges

View 2/27/20 Presentation Recording

Since the algorithms are always changing, what better way to learn about social media strategy than to hear from our very own colleagues who do it every day? Join us as members of the forum share their successes, challenges, and lessons learned in social media strategy. This interactive program will leave lots of time for questions and discussion. If you have your own insights to share, please feel free to share them with the group, as well. This is an opportunity for us to learn from each other and take our social content to the next level. 


December 16, 2019

Zoom Online Meeting Basics and Beyond

View 12/16/19 Presentation Recording

Presented by Mike Williams, Video and Conferencing Services, OIT. Learn how to host online meetings and webinars using Zoom. Take your online meetings to the next level with polling, breakout rooms, annotation, sharing video (with sound) and virtual backgrounds. Learn how to gather information before your webinar with registration. We go beyond the desktop and learn about the next phase of Zoom rollout here at the University with Zoom Rooms and Google Calendar integration.

November 20, 2019

Content Design: What it is and how to do it
Presented by Meghan Casey, Do Better Content

View 11/20/19 Presentation Slides (pdf)

You've defined your website content strategy—and your stakeholders are on board and excited. Now it’s time for content design.

The term content design can be elusive—it means different things to different people. And it can be hard to know where to start. In this session Meghan Casey will define content design for websites and walk you through a framework and example tools from her book, The Content Strategist’s Toolkit: Methods, Guidelines, and Templates for Getting Content Right, to help you do it.

After this session, you’ll go back to work confident and ready to:

  • Prioritize the content your audiences need.
  • Organize that content so people (and machines) can find it.
  • Present content in ways that are useful and meaningful to your users.
  • Specify content requirements so content producers can be awesome at their jobs.

October 30, 2019

Design Speak: Effective Design Strategies and Tools for Communicators

View 10/30/19 Presentation Slides (pdf)

Presented by Brittany Ottum, Multimedia & Graphic Designer, Student Unions & Activities. Communicators wear a lot of hats. Often, that hat has a design focus -- either through creating materials for a communicator's organization or department or through working directly with in-house or freelance graphic designers. This presentation focused on both design techniques for communicators to use in their own work to convey clear and meaningful information, and suggestions for effective dialogue between graphic designers and communicators. We walked through design elements and principles that can be implemented in Word, Google Slides, email templates, newsletters and more -- Adobe programs not required! Hierarchy in typography, creation of engaging color palettes, use of contrast and scale to direct the viewers’ eyes, emphasis using symmetrical and asymmetrical balance, just to name a few. We also walked through a design brief to help communicators articulate their needs and desires to a graphic designer and take an overview look at some “design speak” for those unfamiliar with terms like vector images, pngs, hex color codes, and more.

October 11, 2019

Lifting Up Diverse Voices: Continuing the Conversation

Join UMCF's new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at its first event: an interactive workshop. (This event is highly interactive so in-person attendance is recommended.)

In this workshop, we continued the conversation from this summer’s conference—what are the best ways for communicators to lift up our community’s diverse voices? We’ll take steps toward drafting a diversity mission statement. And we’ll discuss how the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee can best serve your interests and professional development needs. Everyone is welcome!

September 23, 2019

We're Not Houseplants: Rethinking Community Engagement Strategies in Marketing and Communications

View 9/23/19 Presentation Recording

Presented by Kristin Van Dorn. Community engagement is often pitched like this: "If you want to keep a plant alive you have to water it. If you want to keep a community alive, you have to figure out how to nurture it." Community engagement is sometimes promoted as a salve for almost every kind of woe from under-performance to lagging revenue streams and donations. Institutions of Higher Education are focused on engaging not only their students and alumni, but also their employees, donors, student families, organizational partners, and broader communities.

The problem is, our communities are not houseplants, they are our partners. Marketing strategies that include personalized communications, sassy social campaigns, and frequent newsletters are great, but they're not at the heart of what engagement is. And, when that heart is missing, we run the risk of irritating our audiences and losing connection. In this talk, we'll take a step back from the mechanics of engagement and revisit the underlying goals. We explored what successful and meaningful community engagement looks like and looked at some of the common pitfalls that stymie our engagement efforts.

June 27, 2019

Folwell Presentation by University Relations

Kathy Jensen and Sara Froehlich walked through the benefits of using the Folwell Web Theme on your website(s). They gave an overview of the theme components that are considered essential for all U sites and dove deeper into how, by combining the Folwell components, you are able to create an accessible site that can include design customizations that highlight your unit's brand. They explained the feedback and development process for theme components and gave a sneak peek at some of the design (in progress) for the U's updated homesite using Folwell.