ComNet17 Schedule


September 27, 2017


Opens at 10:00am


2:00pm - 4:00pm

Early Sessions

  • Imitation and Inspiration for Community Foundation Communicators
    • **Please note: this workshop will begin at 2pm ET and finish at 6pm ET. This is a special four hour workshop hosted by CommA. If you sign up for the workshop you will not be able to attend a Late Session.**
  • Stop Rebutting and Start Reframing
  • History as Sticky Content: Re-engineering Your Analog Past for the Digital Future
  • Put Punch and Clarity in Your Messaging (and Lose the Fog and Clutter)
  • Feeding the Media Beast
  • Scientific Method: Exploring the Science of Communications and Magnifying the Communications of Science


4:15pm - 6:15pm

Late Sessions

  • Measuring and Communicating the Impact of Your Digital Strategy

  • Communicating for Change: A Playbook for Connecting Big Ideas to Societal Action

  • Motivate and Resonate: How to Practice Mindful Messaging

  • 4Context: Mastering the Art of Opinion Writing

  • Your Audience is Diverse. How Diverse are Your Communications?


Opening Night Reception on the Fontainebleau Lawn 6:30pm - 8:30pm




September 28, 2017




Opening Remarks and Keynote Speaker Sarah Hurwitz interviewed by Melanie Newman

8:45am - 10:15am


8:45am - 5:30pm


10:15am - 11:00am


11:00am - 12:00pm

Group One

  • INNOVATION AT WORK: How Nonprofit Communicators Can Become Catalysts for Organizational Change
  • Pathways, Pitfalls and Preaching: Refreshing Your Organizational Values
  • A Nation’s Story: Designing the Smithsonian’s NMAAHC Online Experience
  • Building Your Leadership's Street Cred: A Statewide Foundation's Experience with Listening Tours
  • Storytelling in A Thunderstorm: Communicating Through a Crisis
  • First, Do No Harm: The Top Five Communications Practices That Should Change Today

  • Make It Great, but Make It Responsibly: The Ethics of Content in the Social Sector


12:00pm - 1:30pm


Keynote Speaker Katherine Boo interviewed by Meredith Klein

1:30pm - 2:30pm


2:30pm - 3:00pm


3:00pm - 4:00pm

Group Two

  • The Science of Story Building
  • Communicating in a “Post Fact” World: The Missing Art and Science of Explanation

  • Designing Communications With - Not For - Your Grantees

  • Sparking a Communications and Advocacy Ecosystem: A Guide for Funders and Partners

  • Difficult Conversations: How to Communicate Changes in Your Grantmaking to a Variety of Audiences

  • Advocacy Communications: How to Strengthen Movements and Effect Change

  • Print AND Digital—Pushing Your Content by Knowing Your Audience

  • Technological Innovation? That’s the Easy Part


Keynote Speaker Frank Luntz interviewed by Grant Oliphant

4:15pm - 5:15pm




September 29, 2017


Special breakfast panel discussion on climate change and the threat to Miami

8:00am - 9:00am


Keynote Speaker Michele Norris interviewed by Sean Gibbons

9:00am - 10:00am


10:00am - 10:15am 


10:15am - 11:15am

Group Three

  • Collaborating with Community and Nonprofit Partners to Gather, Listen and Learn From Voices That Matter
  • Three Years and 30M Unique Users Later: Lessons Learned from Launching a Non-profit Brand

  • Free as in Puppy: Lessons Learned From Building A Digital Strategy Capacity Building Program

  • Speaking With a Unified Voice: How to Build Communicating Coalitions to Achieve Greater Impact

  • Are you a Unicorn? Key Qualities to Build an Awesome Comms Shop

  • Getting Return on Your Research Investment: 3 Key Steps to Effectively Communicate Research

  • Back to the Future: Equipping Your Organization to Win in a World of Breakneck Digital Innovation


Announcement of ComNet18 Location, Closing Remarks, and Keynote Speaker Franklin Sirmans interviewed by Daphne Moore

11:30am - 12:15pm




Please note: the schedule is subject to change.


Wondering about your timing?

When to arrive in Miami Beach:

Your arrival date and time depend upon your planned schedule.

Are you attending a Pre-Conference Workshop? Please plan to arrive at the Hotel Fontainebleau by 11:00am on Wednesday, September 27.

Will you be joining us at the Opening Night Reception on the Fontainebleau lawn? Please plan to arrive by 5:00pm on Wednesday, September 27.

Want to make it in time for the opening remarks of the conference? Please plan to arrive at the Hotel Fontainebleau by 8:00am on Thursday, September 28.

When to depart Miami Beach:

Planning on staying for the full conference? Please plan to depart the Fontainebleau no earlier than 12:30pm on Friday, September 29.