2021 Virginia Tour: conservative candidates, local leaders prepare for success
Dena Espensheid
April 29, 2021
2021 Virginia Tour: conservative candidates, local leaders prepare for success
This past weekend, the Leadership Institute trained 60 conservatives – including 29 candidates – at the 2021 Virginia Tour Campaign and Candidate Workshops in Manassas and Hampton Roads. LI will offer the program a third time in Richmond on June 12th.“To say I was highly impressed with the speakers, content, organization, enthusiasm and value to the participants in your candidate development workshop is a wild understatement,” stated Mike Augustine of Virginia Beach, VA. “The Leadership Institute is clearly one of the most valuable resources available to conservative candidates who want to win elections.” As a Virginia Tour sponsor, the Virginia Conservative Women's Coalition sent speakers to both Manassas and Hampton Roads to present on recruiting candidates and helping women run for office.The Robertson School of Government at Regent University also sponsored the Virginia Tour and provided classroom space in the Jefferson Amphitheater on the Regent University Campus. Former Congresswoman and current dean of the Robertson School of Government, Michele Bachmann, visited the Hampton Roads Workshop. Dean Bachmann spoke about how she got started and encouraged the attendees to persevere.To take part in the last stop on the 2021 Virginia Tour, register for the Candidate and Campaign Workshop June 12 in Richmond, VA.
LI Grad Interview: Rugby Coach, Politico, Syracuse Native
Kirsten Holmberg
April 28, 2021
LI Grad Interview: Rugby Coach, Politico, Syracuse Native
Meet Leadership Institute grad Maureen McInerney,?and learn how she got interested in politics, her advice for candidates, and even more.Q: Can you tell me a little about yourself? My name is Maureen McInerney, and I am currently the Director of Development at Women's Public Leadership Network (WPLN). WPLN's mission is to educate, organize, and inspire center- and right-leaning women to enter public office across the United States.Before joining WPLN, I worked for the ReflectUS coalition and Republican political campaigns in Massachusetts at the local, Congressional, and state level. Prior to politics, I worked in public affairs for MassINC, a Boston-based think tank focused on state and local policy impacting Gateway Cities, k-12 education, and the criminal justice system.I am a Syracuse, NY native (Go Orange!), and an alumna of Northeastern University in Boston, and currently live in Alexandria, VA. I have three sisters, two of whom are in high school, and I have played and coached rugby for almost eight years. Q: What got you interested in politics? I didn't know anything about politics until late in my senior year of high school in Syracuse, NY. Through an Intro to Public Affairs class, I met elected officials at the local, county, and state levels and began to form my own opinions on policy.Though I originally went to college to study graphic design, I began to transition into studying communications more broadly and eventually graduated with a degree in Political Science and Communications (with a minor in art).My internships in college for Governor Charlie Baker gave me the opportunity to see the inside of government and to appreciate qualified, conservative leaders who work to be good stewards of our tax dollars.I began working in policy and advocacy, specifically focused on economic opportunity for Massachusetts' 26 Gateway Cities. When the opportunity came up to work on a Congressional race for the first time to represent Massachusetts' 9th CD (Cape Cod, the South Coast, and South Shore), I took it! Q: What issues are important to you, and why? My top issue is always protecting our small businesses, which support our local economies and enrich our communities. As I've often heard, "Amazon isn't sponsoring your little league team."Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the importance (and in some places lack) of business-friendly leadership and the need to have policies set at the local level that can be responsive to each community. Another niche issue I have grown to care deeply about is water quality - specifically stormwater and wastewater management. I briefly worked at a wastewater treatment plant in Syracuse, and it was a great experience. We worked to clean up our waterways and lakes by mitigating stormwater runoff through "green infrastructure".As folks see the effects of climate change, they jump to call for a "Green New Deal," when many communities are falling behind on the most basic infrastructure improvements which can transform our cities into more beautiful, sustainable places and mitigate flooding and pollution. Q: You currently are the Director of Development for the Women's Public Leadership Network. How did you get involved in the network, and what does your position involve?Women's Public Leadership Network (WPLN) is a great organization working to train women to run for office and create a network of support across the country. We specifically outreach to center- and right-leaning women who are underrepresented in office and within other women's political organizations.It's our hope to not only help women on the right who are already in politics engage with and support one another, but to bring women on the right into the fold by partnering with professional associations and community groups. We want women to recognize how qualified they are to serve their communities in public office. I began engaging with WPLN while working as a campaign manager on a Boston City Council race for a Republican woman candidate. We saw firsthand how women voters expressed their own fiscally conservative views but didn't know there were other women out there like them. I see working at WPLN as a way to change that.As Director of Development, I work to engage donors, sponsors, foundations, and potential partners to support our work and reach new audiences. We are a nonprofit, and I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished in just over a year. Q: As a former campaign manager, what do you think is the most important factor in your campaign that helps your candidate win? Or, if your candidate didn't win, what are the lessons you have learned when working on a campaign?The message and the motivations of the candidate are so important. If you are trying to convince your candidate to be passionate about the issues, it's an uphill battle.I have been fortunate that the women candidates I have worked with are driven and know why they want to serve in public office, and they could answer that question from any angle. As a former communications director, that's a huge relief! In the Boston race, we had an incredible coalition of moms come out and support us as volunteers, donors, and voters. Even though we were not successful in our runoff election, getting there proved that voters care more about your passion and ties to the community than your party affiliation.In any campaign, there are countless lessons to be learned. I am always amazed by how many members of the community feel unheard by their elected officials - and I think the best way to ask them to support you is to show up for them, listen and understand their issues, and take action.Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering entering the political arena? Since your organization focuses on recruiting women to run, any advice for women specifically?I think the most important advice I can offer is to stay organized. Get all of your contacts into an Excel sheet before you run. Your Christmas Card list is the first place you should turn to for donors and volunteers, but then spend some time each week dumping the business cards you collect into that sheet as well. Especially when juggling family and professional commitments, keeping a calendar is so critical. That calendar should include the time you need to cheer on your kids at their soccer games and go to their recitals, too. Don't let your campaign-self become too different from the woman who decided to run.Q: How has the Leadership Institute helped you during your time in public service? I can't say enough good things about the Leadership Institute. I think every operative should regularly take their training, especially since the digital communications landscape is always changing.I have also had campaign interns of mine sign up for LI trainings to get their vocabulary and understanding up to speed so they can support me and give me new ideas! LI has also been a great partner to WPLN, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate and support women candidates, appointees, and operatives at all levels.Q: Many people seem disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved? Start working to improve your community outside of politics - it will really start to break down your cynicism. Start small! I recently began coaching a youth rugby team to give back a bit to my community, and I have not had one discussion about politics.The coaches, administrators, and parents are all working together to create a safe and healthy environment for their children to develop athletic and personal skills. Those relationships - which are built on things other than partisanship - are stronger in the face of disagreements than the volatile relationships you form on Twitter.If a problem arises in your community, step up and be willing to work with anyone else to address it - the overuse of litmus tests and cancel culture are going to isolate us more and more. This interview is from the Leadership Institute's Political and Fundraising Monthly Newsletter. When you sign up for this newsletter, you get articles on the latest in politics, interviews like this one, and you'll be the first to know about LI's political and fundraising training opportunities.
How to Let Your Employees Grow and Go
Sarah Morrison
April 20, 2021
How to Let Your Employees Grow and Go
Good employees make your workdays run smooth and help you anticipate the unexpected. But what happens when your good employees outgrow their roles? Or when their goals lead them on another path? When you face this intersection, make the difficult decision to help them grow toward their goals, even if it means they leave their current role. Here are three suggestions to help you build an environment where your employees can grow and eventually leave to pursue their career goals. 1. Provide the Tools Your Employees Require to GrowThis might seem like common sense, but to build an environment to help your employees grow, you must provide them with the tools to do their job. Give them ample opportunities to learn and grow. Encourage them to attend trainings and webinars to help develop their skill set. I send my employees to outside training, as well as to the Leadership Institute's more than 47 types of training (online, on-demand, and in-person). Many of these trainings are great ways to continue employee education.Don't forget to ask your employees about what they think will help them grow too! Open communication lines help.2. Open Communications About Career GoalsCommunication is a key to success. That's why you should know your employees' career goals beyond their current job goals. This knowledge will help you build an environment to help your employees grow.When you invest in your employees and help them pursue their goals, there is a greater chance they will invest in your organization. Here are a couple of examples you can use to pair your employees' personal goals with their current job goals:If you have staff who want to be writers, but their main jobs are organizing events, let them become creative in marketing those events through email, blog, and social media content creation.If you have staff who want to work on Capitol Hill, put them in charge of projects that interact with people who work on the Hill. That way they can network and develop their own contacts. 3. Plan for Employees' Future DepartureWhile it may seem strange to plan for your employees' departure, it is important to be prepared for when they outgrow their role. In their last couple weeks, make sure you have your outgoing employees draft a Standard Operating Procedure Manual for the functions of their current role. Have them include all tasks, projects, and resources required for someone to pick up where they left off.To make it easy for your employees to put together their manuals, ask them to draft directions for different tasks as they perform those tasks. This will make their last few weeks as productive as possible.
More than 30 In-Person Workshops in Texas Campaign Workshop Tour
Carol Wehe Cocks
April 19, 2021
More than 30 In-Person Workshops in Texas Campaign Workshop Tour
The future of Texas may be decided by the next few elections. Have you thought about running for office or helping a campaign, but don't know where to start?“You owe it to your philosophy to study how to win,” says Leadership Institute founder and president Morton Blackwell.The 2021 Texas Campaign Workshop Tour helps current and prospective candidates, as well their teams and volunteers identify the steps required to run a successful campaign.“It was an incredible value,” Texas activist Christine McNamara said during the 2019 Leadership Institute Texas Tour. “I have learned so much more than I knew before.”Ideal attendees for the Campaign Workshop are individuals looking to become more politically active. Candidates, spouses, campaign staff, activists, and volunteers should attend.Attendees will learn how to:Structure a campaign and organize staffRaise fundsDevelop a winning messageFind the campaign workshop near you and register at LeadershipInstitute.org/Texas.
I had to talk to him
Morton C Blackwell
March 31, 2021
I had to talk to him
It's not often that a young person impresses me so much that I have to pick up the phone and call: but I had to talk to Ben Zeisloft.Ben studies Finance and Marketing at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He's also my Leadership Institute's top Campus Correspondent -- among the 134 student journalists who expose liberal bias and abuse on college campuses.Ben is amazingly productive. Since he started writing for LI's Campus Reform website almost one year ago, he has published more than 300 articles on CRO!Ben's work so impressed me that I called to let him know how grateful I am for his dedication and powerful productivity.Ben was surprised to hear from me, as you might imagine. But he happily shared how writing for LI's Campus Reform benefits him. Campus Correspondents earn a modest sum for each article they publish. Would you believe Ben has earned so much by exposing liberal abuses that he's putting himself through college? Please check out some of Ben's articles on CampusReform.org. I think you'll be just as impressed as I was.In his most recent report, Ben exposed Cornell University for considering partnering with a Chinese university to offer a dual degree program. Even worse, Cornell officials claim this “partnership” would have no influence on academic freedom! Sure.You can read how Ben exposed the Cornell/China connection here: https://www.campusreform.org/article?id=17026.If like me you can't get enough of Ben's reporting, you can access the rest of his 300-and-counting articles here. Thanks to the generous support of LI donors, students like Ben share thousands of shocking stories with a national audience. They report what's really happening on college campuses. By exposing the truth, you and I score clear victories for freedom. Last year alone, Campus Reform reporting led to 36 victories over leftist bias and abuse. That's harmful policies changed, abusive professors and administrators punished or fired, and free speech upheld. As you can see, students like Ben drive real change on campus, thanks to the generous support of Leadership Institute's donors.
Creating Powerful Passwords
Emma Siu
March 10, 2021
Creating Powerful Passwords
Many organizations require passwords that are 15 characters long, include numbers and letters, and must be changed every few months. The question everyone has: why?What are the benefits of password requirements?They protect your data. When you have a simple password that is just a name or date, hackers can quickly and easily guess it, compromising all your data. When you use a variety of characters, numbers, and symbols, it does not make your password impossible to crack, but it makes it a lot harder. The harder your password is to crack, the more time it will take hackers to figure it out, and the more likely they are to move on to easier prey. Remembering passwords is too hard!Yes, it's hard to remember multiple long and diverse passwords, but your safety is worth it. If you use the same password for all your accounts, once a hacker gets your password from one location, the first thing they will do is try it on your other accounts. When all accounts use the same password, hackers will have access to much more of your data and can do much more damage if you get hacked. Not all websites have the same security. Organizations and banking websites usually have greater security that deters hackers, but some online gaming sites or online shopping accounts might not have the same protections. Therefore, it is important to have different passwords for different accounts.If remembering these passwords gets hard, try using a password manager to keep track of your passwords. Some popular password managers include LastPass, 1Pasword, and Dashlane. Create a powerful password that is easy to remember Pick a phrase about something you like. For example: I love Leadership Institute. Take away the spaces and this will be the base of your password (IloveLeadershipInstitute).Next add a variety of lower case and capital letters (iLoveLEADershipInstitutE). Then add in symbols and numbers to replace a few letters. Using L33t, a method of replacing numbers and symbols with similar-looking letters, can make remembering your password even easier. Some examples of L33T are: o can become 0, i can become !, S can become $, and so on. In this example, we have gone from I love Leadership Institute to iL0veL3ADersh!pIn$titutE. This password creation method will make your passwords easy to remember and much more secure.Store your passwords safelyNever write your passwords down in a journal or sticky note. When passwords are written down, it makes it easier for hackers to physically steal or memorize your password.Never share your password with others or let someone log into your account. When memorizing isn't an option, pick a password locker that is well rated and known to be secure. With those few steps, your online presence and password protection will become more secure than ever before.
Tech Trends: Market Research
Emma Siu
March 9, 2021
Tech Trends: Market Research
Data is gold in the age of technology. Finding trends in data allows organizations to create more targeted ads and products. This is all possible thanks to the work of market researchers.Where does the data come from?Market researchers collect data through surveys, phone calls, focus groups, and social media. This data can also be bought from different companies or collected in-person. Surveyors play an important role as they develop questions that will extract key decision-making data from consumers.Market researchers then use statistics and data analysis to find important trends in the data and predict how a consumer group or industry will react to an event, service, or product.Where does it go?Most of these trends and predictions are sold to advertising companies, campaigns, or organizations' Research & Development (R&D) or marketing departments. With this valuable information, organizations can create content, products, and advertisements that will have a greater impact on their consumer base.What's changing?In the past, market researchers had a heavier reliance on physical data-gathering. Since the emergence of the internet and social media prominence, market research companies are investing in large data processing technologies.Market researchers have more data to sift through than ever as more organizations shift to online platforms. Market researchers now collect key information from a website's homepage to develop even more accurate trends and predictions.What's in store for the future?Market research companies will continue to rely on data processing technology to sort data and develop useful trends and predictions.As data security and ownership are more openly discussed, there might be significant changes in how easily market researchers can collect these large quantities of data as legislation is implemented.That's something both consumers and market researchers can expect to shift current marketing trends and data collection for the future.
One Amazing Tool to Help You Work More Efficiently Within and Across Google
Emma Siu
March 8, 2021
One Amazing Tool to Help You Work More Efficiently Within and Across Google
Google Workspace prides itself on integration among all applications. One of the handiest integrations is Google's quick access side panel. Keep your thoughts organized and stay on topic as you switch between Google products. The quick access side panel appears to the right of the Workspace in Drive, Gmail, and Editor (Slides, Sheets, and Docs). The quick access side panel gives easy access to common useful applications such as Calendar, Keep, and Tasks. These key features let you stay organized. You can make lists, take quick notes, and view and add Calendar events. The sidebar can be customized even further by installing add-ons such as translation apps, grammar apps, organizational apps, and more. Install add-ons by selecting the + on the quick access side panel. When you type your notes, reminders, and lists in the quick access side panel, the additions are automatically saved. Even when all Google apps are closed, the edits in the side panel will remain the same when opened again. If the side panel is in the way or distracting, select the arrow on the bottom right corner of the toolbar to hide it. You can learn more about this amazing tool's full capabilities on Google's blog.
How to Control Targeted Ads on Facebook and Better Manage Your Privacy
Emma Siu
March 4, 2021
How to Control Targeted Ads on Facebook and Better Manage Your Privacy
Data is gold in the marketing world, especially for politics. Advertisers want to do everything possible to reach their target audience, including using your data. Why Targeted Ads are ControversialTargeted ads are not necessarily bad. Advertisements that guide people to a desirable product or service are helpful in today's broad market. These are some examples of where ads or business accounts may appear on Facebook mobile.The problem occurs when targeted ads use personal data without the person's knowledge. Many social media platforms share or sell your personal data. That's their default privacy setting.I have good news. You have some control over how Facebook uses your data.How to Control Targeted Facebook AdsOnce logged into Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/privacy and scroll down to "Ad Preferences." Then select "Review your ad preferences." There are three main categories inside ad preferences: Advertisers, Ad Topics, and Ad Settings. Advertisers lets you hide advertisements from specific Advertisers. Ad Topics lets you see fewer ads on certain topics, such as Alcohol Ads, Parenting Ads, and Political Ads. Ad Settings lets you control in even more detail what aspects of your data advertisers can use. What Factors Contribute to Targeted AdsFacebook targets their ads based on interactions inside of Facebook, websites visited outside of Facebook (from companies that partner with Facebook), and based on your profile information on both Facebook and Instagram. Facebook gives you the option to turn this ad tracking off under Ad Settings > Manage Data Used to Show You Ads. For a full breakdown of what factors Facebook uses to show you ads, click here to view Facebook's FAQ webpage.Remember, Facebook Tracks Your Social InteractionsYour Facebook interactions may also be used on ads to promote companies. If you liked a certain product, company, or organization, your name might pop up on those associated advertisements. Similar to an endorsement, your name gives validity to a product and might encourage your Facebook friends to like a page or buy a product. For example, if you like a Facebook Page running an ad, your friends may see your name associated with the ad.If you do not want your name alongside ads, go to https://www.facebook.com/privacy. Scroll down to Ad Preferences and select "See your ad settings." Then select "Social Interactions" and pick "Only Me."Bottom lineYou have the ability to choose your Facebook privacy settings. You should customize your data sharing and advertising settings to protect your privacy and match your comfort level.
Networking Essentials: Warming Connections
Emma Siu and Patricia Rausch
February 10, 2021
Networking Essentials: Warming Connections
With limited in-person events, you'll find many new barriers and obstacles to networking. Everyone faces one glaring challenge -- how to turn a cold connection into a warm one. When you cultivate your current network to connect you with new people, you'll find greater success than going it alone. What is a Cold Connection and why is it bad?A cold connection, or cold call, is an unsolicited request to connect or act when you don't already know the person or have common ground to work from. These attempts to connect can be off-putting to the receiver, who is more likely to decline or even ignore your connection, request, or ask because it feels “cold.” In order to warm yourself up to people, you should find a mutual connection to help with the introduction. This is where your network comes into play.Identify Your Current Network Stakeholders1. Who do I already know?Create a spreadsheet or database of everyone who you consider part of your personal network. This should include friends, current co-workers, past colleagues, mentors, etc. Include how you met, where they currently work, perhaps some of their past employment history, email address, phone number, address, birthday, social media accounts, and any other information you would find helpful to remember.2. Divide that list into two categoriesEveryone you are connected to in some way can be defined as part of your inner circle or your outer circle. Your inner circle is likely family and close friends who you go to for very personal advice and counsel. They're likely to have your best interests in mind, but may not always give the best advice. They also might not always be willing to mix business and pleasure. This is why you should have an outer circle too.Your outer circle contains your coworkers, friends, and colleagues at other organizations or businesses, bartenders at your regular happy hour spot, fellow Junior League members, etc. While you may not interact with them on a regular basis, these individuals, statistically, are more likely to connect you with other people than your inner circle ever will. You'll soon realize it is of mutual benefit to you and other members of your outer circle to enjoy a healthy reciprocation of IOUs and, as Morton Blackwell says, you should not keep a careful tally. Now that you have your network mapped out, let's work on that cold call.Three Ways to Turn a Cold Call into a Connection 1. Determine if the person you're trying to contact is a connection to someone in your network.The warmest connections will always come through your friends and network. Ask your friends to introduce you to people you want to connect with. An introduction increases your social credibility to new connections.If you are running a conference and you're looking for a speaker for a specific topic, you might learn that an executive at another organization would be perfect for it. Unfortunately, your attempt to send an unsolicited email will likely be met with silence. The smart networker will notice they have a former colleague who works at that organization and ask them if they would be willing to make an introduction.2. Build your reputation in mutual interest groups.Another way to warm a connection is to connect through mutual interests. Post in multiple online groups, comment on posts, and use relevant hashtags so your name becomes more familiar before you send a connection request.You may see a job opening on a company's website, but you want to know more before applying. Unfortunately, there isn't an email address listed, so you can't reach out to someone in the organization. You think you'll be clever and find someone who works there on Facebook and message them for more info but unbeknownst to you, they don't read messages in their “other” inbox and find it invasive when job seekers try to contact them in that way. Luckily, you know there are some standard industry Facebook groups and a few of the staff of that company are members, so you join too. When you start to engage in the conversation and interact with them, you end up bringing new people into your outer circle. You can then use this mutual group to get help from someone in your network. 3. Send a personal messageLastly, you can warm a cold connection when you send a personalized message along with your request -- especially on LinkedIn or by e-mail. Your message should emphasize the motivation behind the connection request and make the recipient feel special by emphasizing their skills or talents as well as the value you will provide them. Do your research to find out what that message should look like for each unique contact. You can note the exchange of industry knowledge, quality content, future introductions to people of interest, or even how they'll make a difference in a field they care about.You could be growing your small consulting business and come across a business you think would do well to pay for your services. Unfortunately, it happened by chance, and you don't know anyone who works there and don't know any groups to which the owner belongs. But what you do have is a knowledge of their industry. You know what you can do to help them, successes you've had with similar clients, how success would look for them, and the overall benefits they'll get from working with you. If you are able to truly tailor your initial contact request to them, you're much more likely to get a response. The TakeawayContinue to cultivate your existing network and always be courteous. The key to warm up a connection is to make connecting feel natural. Find common ground, connections, or interests.Make sure you continue to provide useful content, value, and quality conversations to your network. If you have a big ask, now or in the future, it will not feel like it is coming from a needy stranger, but from a helpful friend or connection.And remember, even if someone declines a request, make sure you thank them for their time. Courtesy can go a long way and leave a memorable and positive impression.
Know Your Enemy: Facebook Ad Library
Emma Siu
February 8, 2021
Know Your Enemy: Facebook Ad Library
Learn from your competitors' successes and failures.What is the Facebook Ad Library?Facebook Ad Library is a compilation of active and inactive advertisements. These ads run on multiple Facebook-owned platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Ad Library makes it easy to view specific advertisements, the audience it reached, the organization who funds the advertisement, and the cost of the ad.How do I use it?The library works like most search engines. In the search box you can search for a keyword, specific organization, or advertiser name. Above the search bar, you can select from multiple popular categories to narrow a search – most notably the category “Issues, Elections, or Politics.” Once you complete your initial search, apply additional filters to get the most useful results. You may filter your search by region, active and inactive advertisements, potential reach, and impressions. In the far-right hand corner, you'll find a “sort by” drop down which organizes the results by impressions. Impressions are important to track because they show how many times an ad was viewed. When you use the “sort by” option to sort by high to low, you will see which advertisements were seen the most. Underneath each ad, you will see the option for summary data. Here you can quickly see additional audience details, such as gender and location, as well as how much was spent on a particular advertisement.Information and CampaignsThere is no better way to know your enemy… ahem, competitor… than look at who they target and how they perform. When you analyze your competitor's target audience, the message they send, and the medium through which they send a message, you can better prepare to create counter arguments and advertisements. Look at the most successful ads and brainstorm how you can replicate that success to spread your own message. Make sure to note unsuccessful ads. Take note of those and you'll learn what ads did not resonate with your audience. That way you won't waste your money to replicate the same mistakes. How you budget is everything in a campaign. You can advertise smarter when you look into what works for your opponent, and make it work for you.
One Simple Tactic to Boost Your LinkedIn SEO Today
Emma Siu
February 5, 2021
One Simple Tactic to Boost Your LinkedIn SEO Today
The default URL for LinkedIn profiles is an unhelpful jumble of numbers and letters. You'll raise your online ranking and appear at the top of LinkedIn search results when you customize your LinkedIn URL. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plays a key role to get your content viewed online and outrank your competitors. SEO is what dictates how visible your profile is when searched, based on factors such as keywords and high-quality content. You will rank higher within LinkedIn Search (and Google) if you add your name as a keyword to your custom LinkedIn URL. This is especially valuable for people/brands with common names. When you rank higher it increases your visibility with important connections and recruiters. What is a good LinkedIn URL?Your URL should include your proper name. Avoid spaces or special characters. A safe bet is to type your name all in one word or separate out the name with a dash or underscore.Example: https://www.linkedin.com/in/Jon_DoeHow do I change my LinkedIn URL?Login and click on your profile icon located in the upper right-hand corner. Then select “View Profile.” On the upper right-hand side of your profile, select “Edit public profile and URL.” When clicked, this will open a new page in a separate tab. In the upper right-hand corner of the new page, under “Edit your custom URL,” select the blue pen icon, and type in your new LinkedIn URL.It's that simple. You're now easier to find online!
How to Navigate Telegram: 5 Useful Tools & Tactics
Elias Coop-Gonzalez
February 2, 2021
How to Navigate Telegram: 5 Useful Tools & Tactics
In the era of Big Tech, the popularity of encrypted and secure messaging services continues to skyrocket. One of these new services is called Telegram. Telegram, a free mobile app, is an industry leader in speed and security. Telegram is for “everyone who wants fast and reliable messaging and calls,” according to their website. When you use Telegram, you can send messages, photos, videos, and files of any type (doc, zip, mp3, etc.). You can also create groups for up to 200,000 people or channels to broadcast to unlimited audiences. Below for you are five useful tools and tactics to get the most out of Telegram.1. Organize Your ConversationsTo create a folder to organize your conversations, select “Settings” at the bottom left of your home screen. After that, tap “Chat Folders.” To see all of your chats together (without folders), you'll find them in “All Chats.” 2. Schedule Your MessagesChoose a time to send a message to yourself or to other users. To schedule a message, compose it and hold down the send button. A “Schedule Message” option will appear. Select that and set a time to deliver your message. To send a message to yourself, go to “Settings,” tap “Saved Messages,” and repeat the process. 3. Send More Video and Audio MessagesFind the microphone or camera icon at the top right of your mobile keyboard. To toggle between video and audio, tap the icon. Hold down the icon to begin recording. Release it, and it will automatically send. To delete it while you are recording, swipe the icon to the left and discard the message. If you mistakenly send a message, you can remove it. Simply tap and hold that message and select “Delete.” 4. Use Group Polls to Increase EngagementLocate the attachment (paper clip) icon on the bottom left corner and tap it. From the list of options, select “Poll.” You will be in a page that says “New Poll” at the top. Here you can create your poll, adjust its accessibility, and even its anonymity. You can even select “Quiz Mode”, which allows a poll to have right or wrong answers to a question.5. Exchange Contact Information on TelegramSelect “Contacts” at the bottom left of your homepage. In your contact list, you'll see an option labeled “Add People Nearby.” When selected, a list of people near you appear. Tap on their profile and add them to your contacts. To add someone, they must also be at the same page on their device. If you are worried about who can see your phone number, you can adjust the privacy levels in settings.
LI Trained 230,788 Graduates Since 1979
Karla Bruno
January 12, 2021
LI Trained 230,788 Graduates Since 1979
Did you know the Leadership Institute (LI) offers 47 different conservative training programs? And did you know that LI training continued strong in 2020? In 2020, LI helped prepare 14,874 trainees – students, activists, and leaders – to win for their conservative principles. LI provided an average of 41.9 hours of live training every week.LI training gives committed conservatives the tools they can use to be successful in campaigns, the media, and public policy. Nothing about 2020 was easy, but thanks to LI's experience, skills, and donor support, LI pivoted smoothly into increased online training while continuing in-person training where possible. LI's training falls into two major divisions: Campus Programs and Political Training. Campus Programs is by far LI's largest program, with Campus Reform (CRO) its most visible component.Conservative students often face intimidation and hostility in an arena once prized for open debate, intellectual curiosity, and balanced discourse.The Leadership Institute helps conservative students fight back against liberal abuse and bias on campus, training them with proven techniques. The Campus Leadership Program (CLP) organizes conservative students and trains them to restore balance on American campuses, making them once again places for freedom of thought and diversity of opinion.Campus Reform (CRO) uses a news platform and a national network of conservative investigative student reporters to expose flagrant examples of liberal abuse and bias on college campuses. You may have seen LI's Campus Reform reporters, who appear often on Fox News.In 2020, Campus Reform published 1,957 stories, earned 6,106 republications in other media and 461 national and local TV hits – and 36 victories. A victory is defined as any policy change, apology, or administrative/faculty firing resulting from Campus Reform coverage.Campus Reform's website attracted 11.8 million pageviews; Campus Reform's YouTube channel attracted 34.2 million views.LI's National Field Program trains student leaders to organize conservative student groups and teaches them how to combat liberal bias at America's universities.In 2020, LI's field program now includes 2,001 active student groups, with 287 new groups added, and 29,837 conservative students newly identified. Students held 2,648 on-campus events and 1,219 online events.Youth Leadership Training recruits promising conservative students and teaches them proven techniques to organize and lead conservative youth organizations and activities for candidates and causes of their choice. In 2020, LI's Youth Leadership Workshop (a 3-hour session) trained 1,042 students. LI's Youth Leadership School (YLS – 29 hours of intensive training) trained 428 select student leaders, with 71 YLS graduates going on to work on conservative campaigns – that includes 16 Youth Coordinators.LI's Normandy Coalition helps students fight for free speech on college campuses. LI leads the Coalition of 30 groups which includes 5 pro-bono legal defense organizations, 15 national conservative youth organizations, and 10 conservative non-profit organizations.Since its creation in 2017, the Coalition has held 9,384 campus speaker events using 4,197 conservative speakers on 681 campuses.Forty-seven anti-free speech protestors have been arrested. Damages from 34 lawsuits filed in protection of free speech total $816,800, with 52 free speech victories on record. LI's Political Training encompasses all programs not included in the Campus Program: Activism, Campaign, Communications, Career, Fundraising, and Digital. All combined, these trainings produced 6,428 of LI's total graduates in 2020.Notable LI graduates include Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02), Jim Jordan (R-OH-4), Kat Commack (R-FL-3), Katherine Timpf (Fox News), Amanda Carpenter (CNN), and Tom Fitton (Judicial Watch).If you are motivated in 2021 to use your talents for conservative activism either on campus or in your community, visit LI's website for the complete list of 2021 trainings available. They are low-cost or no-cost to you, thanks to Leadership Institute donors. Go to LeadershipInstitute.org/Training and sign up now to be successful in 2021 and for years to come.If you are interested in seeing more Leadership Institute 2020 accomplishments, click here.
How to Avoid Zoom Fatigue
Emma Siu
January 7, 2021
How to Avoid Zoom Fatigue
An increasing reliance on technology keeps us connected. It's easy to turn to Zoom meetings as a replacement for in person interactions. This increase in virtual meetings creates the frequently used term “zoom fatigue”.Here are some tips to keep your staff engaged and free of fatigue in your meetings:What is Zoom fatigue?Zoom fatigue is a term used to describe the feeling of dread or disdain for online meetings. Does this need to be a meeting?If the information you want to share can be sent in an email or message, then you might not actually have to have a meeting. Meetings should be reserved for when you need to present information in a quick way or in person. Keep the meeting productiveSend out an agenda ahead of time to keep things on track, so your attendees know what to expect. Address only topics that affect every participant. If only one or two attendees could use that information, it should not take up the time of the other group members. Keep your meeting relevant and productive. That will help your members stay engaged. Large group eventsGroup events are a fantastic way to keep the team close, but events can fall flat when attendees are not engaged. Add a schedule of events so attendees know what to expect with an included start and end time so attendees can schedule the rest of their day. Avoid prolonged periods with only one person talking and focus on group activities that help attendees connect. Start an event with a competition to get everyone excited and engaged. An at home scavenger hunt, group trivia, or costume contest with a small prize can get the excitement flowing. Use breakout rooms to help attendees have more meaningful interactions with each other.Small group eventsZoom fatigue can hit your more introverted or anxious staff harder than others.Have optional and frequent events such as lunches or happy hours so those who are interested can still stay connected. Make sure everyone knows participation is voluntary. Don't pressure people to join. Create a sign-up sheet with limited spots to keep events small and meaningful. These more casual events typically do not need a group leader. Treat your teamOccasionally schedule fun activities. This can be something as simple as sending your team an Uber Eats gift card, or something more exciting like hiring a chef to do a group cooking class. Make sure this is an activity that everyone on your team can participate in. Treating your staff to a fun non-work-related activity will not only give your team a break. It will make your team feel more valued.
Top 6 Digital Skills Employers Look for in Employees
Emma Siu
January 7, 2021
Top 6 Digital Skills Employers Look for in Employees
Whether you are looking for a job or seeking a career change, these skills will help you become the most desirable potential employee in 2021. If you don't have these skills yet, don't worry. Leadership Institute offers a variety of courses to help you learn the skills you need to win.ProgrammingHTML, Python, Java, and SQL grow as more businesses need to improve their online presence. Just knowing the basics of one of these languages can show employers you can incorporate programming into your decision making.Data AnalyticsBeing able to take large quantities of data and transform it into meaning is invaluable. Employers look for individuals who can find trends in data and come up with actions based on the trends. The Leadership Institute offers an Introduction to Google Analytics course to help you get started.Social Media MarketingSocial media marketing goes beyond knowing how to use social media casually. This means understanding algorithms, the associated analytics tools, learning how to gain followers, as well as knowing how to create a high-quality post to send a message and gain attention.SEOSearch Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is how to direct people to your website and its resources. When you know how to boost your ranking and generate unpaid traffic to a site, you will be set up for success. UXUX, or User Experience, is how someone interacts with a website or app and how users feel while using your product. When you are skilled in user experience, you will be able to use tools such as heatmaps and analytics to determine how people are using a product/service. Understanding user experience is great, but being able to anticipate the problems or roadblocks a product/service might cause is invaluable.CommunicationBeing able to communicate with a team as well as customers is very important. Online communication mediums such as Zoom, Skype, Teams, Slack, Meets, SMS, and Email are all important to cultivate relationships. When you know how to use these tools to connect with others, this will get you ahead of the game.
5 Ways Technology Can Help with Your Resolutions
Emma Siu
January 7, 2021
5 Ways Technology Can Help with Your Resolutions
Here are some ways to use common technology to help you stick with your new year's resolutions.1. Find online accountability partners.This could be a friend or coworker with a resolution similar to yours. Make sure your end goal is the same and set a schedule with steps to accomplish your goals. Set a schedule for check-ins and rely on support from your group when you feel unmotivated.Create a group of accountability partners, this can be as simple as using a group chat for communication and an excel sheet to keep track of progress.2. Post your resolution.Put your resolution on your Facebook wall, or tweet it for the world to see. The more people you reach the more accountable you will feel to reach your goal.3. Create or join a motivational social media group.This can be something as simple as a motivational quote of the day, or a community that works towards the same general resolution. You can find new friends with similar interests who uplift you, maybe even a new accountability partner. If there is no group that fits your needs, start one on Facebook and invite your friends.4. Gamify and Compete.It's easy to set goals and lose motivation quickly. Continue your interest by turning objectives into a contest or gamifying targets. Many apps have built-in competition features to compete with strangers or friends. Language apps like Duolingo are very popular. Stay healthy with MyFitnessPal or FitBit. Do you want to gamify your daily chores? Try Habitica
Six Reasons to Recruit Young People Now
Lee Jackson
December 21, 2020
Six Reasons to Recruit Young People Now
One of the biggest misconceptions about campaigns is how much work and preparation it takes to be successful.My all-time favorite alliteration is prior planning prevents poor performance. As my Algebra 1 teacher used to say, “People don't plan to fail, they fail to plan, Mr. Jackson.” This was true for those of us who struggled with Mr. Quimby's class, and it is even more true for political candidates.As the country recaps and tries to understand the breakdown of the 2020 election, now is the time for you to start thinking about your 2022 campaign. As you build your campaign plan and chart your road map to success, do not overlook what young people can do for your campaign. They can propel you to victory.Below, you'll find six reasons why you should make young people a pillar of your campaign.1. Provide VolunteersIf you spent any time looking into running for office, you might have been overwhelmed at all the things a campaign has to do to be successful. From scheduling to knocking doors, organizing events, building and placing yard signs, and more. It does not matter if you are running for dog catcher or President of the United States, there are only 24 hours in the day. You will need a dedicated team of volunteers to make sure you win.After spending more than one million dollars, the last candidate I worked for won by fewer than 500 votes. Our campaign had more than 70 active young volunteers. My candidate would not have won without their help.2. Provide VotesThere is a common misconception that young people do not vote. If 2020 taught us anything, it's that young people are voting more than ever before.According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), 55% of eligible voters between the ages of 18-29 voted in 2020. Young voters are also growing as a voting bloc and make up a larger share of the electorate in years past. In the November 3rd election, young voters counted for 21% of the entire vote in Georgia.It's hard to win an election if you ignore one out of every five voters.3. Create a Youthful ImageHaving young people around you will also create a youthful image and, let us be honest -- youth sells.If you were to turn on the TV right now, you would find commercials full of young people. Even commercials targeted to senior citizens have actors that are a little too young for the roles they are playing.Candidates who surround themselves with young people look like they have a large range of support, more energy, and are more likely to win.4. Create a Win PsychologyThere is a lot of insider baseball in campaigns. One of the most complex elements in our game of 3D chess is to show that you are beating the other side on the campaign trail. You can do this with endorsements and fundraising numbers, but the easiest way to get it done is to surround the candidate with enthusiastic young people. More young people walking with the candidate in parades, more young people in photos of social media.Young people help you show that you have a diverse group of supporters who will carry you to victory.People like to be on the winning side. Sports teams have the greatest number of fans when they are having a strong season. Those fans come out and support the team, attend the game, and buy merchandise.Having young people on your team presents you as a winner. If people expect you to win your campaign, more people will donate, and more volunteers will show up to knock doors next Saturday.5. Train LeadersIt is frustrating to see, but the truth is fewer people are involved with their community than generations ago. Instead of spending the evening at a Knight's of Columbus or Rotary meeting, most people just decide to head home.Regardless of your political ideology, everyone can agree that more people should be involved in giving back to their communities and taking a leadership role.A great way to give a local young person leadership training and get them more involved in your community is to enlist them in your campaign now. A young person on a campaign will learn important skills like public speaking and how to lead and organize a team.Early involvement in your team will provide crucial leadership opportunities for the next generation. These opportunities will lead to more community leaders, to better neighborhoods, and maybe even to a candidate of the future.6. Make Good CitizensThe bedrock of our republic is individual participation. From a very young age, people are taught to make their voices heard and be involved. A great example of this is when children disagree on a game's rules on the playground. Instead of running to a teacher, most groups of students will say, “majority rules” and ask their peers to vote on the final rule verdict of a rule or what just happened. There is no instant replay in four square, but the third graders watching will vote and make their voices heard.Some young people who volunteer on your campaign will end up voting for the very first time. If they enjoy their time on the campaign, they will continue to vote every election down the road. And more active local participation in the political process is good for society.Those may be the top six reasons, but there are countless reasons why you should make young people a pillar of your campaign.When planning, you spend a lot of time on data, fundraising, and endorsements. All these things are important, but do not overlook your local college campus or high school. If you find the right students, they will be worth their weight in gold and do much more for your campaign than 90% of the formal endorsements your campaign announces.If you find young people in your area who are willing to help you, send them to one of the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership Schools, and our staff will teach them how to organize and get as many votes for you as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at LJackson@LeadershipInstitue.org.
5 Actions to Ensure a Successful Career Strategy in 2021
Kelsey Mix
December 14, 2020
5 Actions to Ensure a Successful Career Strategy in 2021
1. Make a plan for one career-related activity in early 2021.This could be anything -- attend a Leadership Institute training, read a book related to career development you have been putting off, or spend 30 minutes to polish your LinkedIn profile. 2. Volunteer with a cause or organization that is important to you.This serves as an opportunity to give back to your community in a meaningful way. While in-person volunteering may look different this Christmas, there are still ways to get involved if you put in the time.Bonus, who knows who you may meet. These days, meeting new people is a challenge. Take this opportunity to engage with others outside of a professional environment. Maybe you will meet someone who could be a part of your professional network. 3. Set calendar reminders for early 2021 tasks. For example, set a reminder for early February to ping five contacts you have not spoken to in a while. A short email, not asking for anything. Simply reconnect and ask how their holiday was. 4. Find an accountability partner for your biggest 2021 career goals and make an action plan together. I am a big believer in accountability partners. Accountability partners are often referenced in the health, exercise, or money fields, but not in the career field.Find a partner and schedule a standing monthly call to discuss your progress at work. Review what went well, what you need to work on, and make sure your actions align with the strategies you set at the beginning of the year. 5. Write letters to a few people who have made a difference in your year. Write personalized handwritten notes sharing how grateful you are to have them in your life.It could be people on your team, a boss, or a mentor who helped you this year. Maybe they provided career advice or direction. Perhaps they connected you with someone who turned out to be meaningful for you professionally. Maybe they make zoom calls more enjoyable.Whoever they are, send them notes telling them you appreciate them.
How to Invite Someone to Interview or Speak
Emma Siu
December 9, 2020
How to Invite Someone to Interview or Speak
7 minute readWhether you ask someone to speak at an event, or ask someone for a podcast interview, it is important to know how to request someone's time. Showing due respect will help you Everyone likes compliments. Respectfully highlight their accomplishments and explain why they are the right person. Let them know the value they can bring to your audience and why you want their time. Good invitations are clear, easy to read, and contain all background information your guest needs to decide in your favor. Keep it short People do not have time to read essays. Keep to the point, and make sure you clearly ask for what you are looking for. A helpful hint: use a combination of bullet points and bold words to make it easier for your reader to get the gist of an email by quickly skimming it. Do not fear rejection You do not know if someone will reject your offer until you ask them. You may be surprised by the number of people who will accept your invitations. Dream big and send requests to people even if you think they are out of your reach. You never know who will say “yes.” Be persistent Cast a big net. Ask a wide variety of interesting people, and do not be afraid to follow up if there is no initial response. But remember, there is a fine line between persistence and annoyance. If someone politely declines, find another person to ask. Follow up If your potential speaker responds, always follow up. If the response is positive, thank them for accepting your request. “A prompt, generous letter of thanks can seal a commitment which otherwise might disappear when the going gets rough,” writes Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell in his Laws of the Public Policy Process.Ideally, you will send them a calendar reminder and follow up again at least twice before the event. If the response is negative, nevertheless send a thank you. Thank them for considering the request. Try to leave the interaction on a positive note. You may be able to find a win-win scenario in the future. Structure your requestDo not overthink it. Here is a simple structure to make sure you are concise while getting to the point: Greeting, introduce yourself and your cause, ask for what you want the interviewer to do, include details such as dates and topic points, include the value that the speaker/interviewer will bring, thank them for their consideration, and sign off.
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