January 3, 2019

Connecting our communications work to our mission

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Caroline AvakianAs many of my nonprofit communications colleagues do this time of year,  I look back on my year and wonder how I will move forward more purposefully and meaningfully in my communications work this new year.

Having been fortunate enough to do this work for over 15 years, I sometimes skip over connecting the bottom-line – the ‘do-gooder’ part – and go straight into the “doing” part of the work.

Now, I’m clear that the work I do contributes to my organization meeting its mission-driven goals. That said, there’s something about the everyday pressures of editorial deadlines, meeting prep, and endless email follow-up, that can turn all that good work into a routine; leaving little time to reflect on how that work actually helps to change people’s lives.

Our communications work can at times feel very removed from the programmatic on-the-ground mission work of our peers. So how can we in the new year, make it a practice to directly tie our work to that good we know we’re doing?

How do we make it genuinely tangible?

That well-researched blog post. 

That social media strategy that took two months to finalize.

The annual report.

How do we tie all of this work to our own values? 

Here’s a literal back-of-the-envelope example of one way that I remind myself of how my work ties into what I value, into what my organization values. Because when I do this either visually (see below!) or mentally, it energizes me, it keeps me creative and motivates me to find new ways to connect my work to my goals.

Here’s my “holiday card edition” example I made for myself, and now for you. 

Forgive the stick figures.



How do you connect your communications work to your organization’s mission and your values? Leave me a note in the comments. Curious to hear what you all recommend!

Caroline Avakian, Socialbrite’s Managing Partner, is a global development communications strategist in the New York City area with a focus on strategic communications, technology, and innovation. Contact Caroline by email, see her profile page, visit her website, follow her on Twitter or leave a comment.

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