Meet Matthew Hurtt: Having Fun Saving the Country
Kirsten Holmberg
August 26, 2022
Meet Matthew Hurtt: Having Fun Saving the Country
“The late Andrew Breitbart implored us to be happy warriors, and I am grateful for the opportunity every day to be a happy warrior for our principles. If you're not having fun saving the country, you're doing it wrong.” Meet Matthew Hurtt, the Director of Professional Services at Leadership Institute. He is an internationally recognized fundraiser, organizer, writer, and public speaker. I interviewed Matthew to hear more about his background and draw on his vast political and fundraising experience. What motivated you to get involved in conservative politics? My parents were never politically inclined before I ran for office at age 19 in 2006. My interest in current events intersected with a local property issue that was affecting people in my church, and I decided to jump in head-first by running for local office. That interest stuck, and I remained very involved through college. I co-hosted a conservative talk radio show on 88.3 WMTS with my best friend, wrote editorials for the school newspaper, and was elected to Student Government. Off-campus, I worked alongside my elected state representative and senator and was a fixture in the state capitol before moving to Arlington to work at Leadership Institute in 2009. You currently serve as the Director of Professional Services at the Leadership Institute. Can you tell me more about your work? The Director of Professional Services oversees LI's Careers Training, ConservativeJobs.com, our Internship Program, and provides additional resources and support to LI's 250,000 trained activists across the country and across the globe. I tell people my role is the “switchboard” into the conservative movement. If you're looking for activist training, employment opportunities, and other movement resources, I'm your guy. What would you like our readers to know about Leadership Institute?Graduates of Leadership Institute training have an underutilized resource at your disposal – LI's vast network of other trained activists! I speak every day with people who benefit from that one introductory email to another LI-trained activist to help them advance their conservative policy, campaign, or professional goals. If you've taken LI training of any sort at any time, reach out to Leadership Institute and allow us to maximize your efforts.Before coming on as LI staff, you were a distinguished faculty member for LI. Why did you decide to teach for LI? What have been some of your favorite topics to talk about?I started teaching for LI almost by accident. When I worked as one of LI's Regional Field Coordinators in 2009, I began offering to help other departments and divisions teach their programming.I taught a Youth Leadership School at the University of Kentucky in August 2009 and a Campaign Management School during D.C.'s “Snowpocalypse” in December 2009. Once I left full-time employment with LI in early 2010, I continued to teach as guest faculty.My undergraduate degree actually includes a minor in secondary education. I wanted to be a high school history and civics teacher, but professors told me I'd hate the red tape and bureaucracy. Serving as guest faculty allowed me to scratch the itch to be in the classroom with almost no bureaucracy or red tape with an audience of students who truly wanted to learn.What is, in your opinion, the most valuable Political and Fundraising training, workshop, or school someone can take here at LI?I think the training that really has the most potential to produce the most generational benefit for conservatives is the brand-new Conservative Organizational Entrepreneur training.This training is designed to teach conservatives how to start your own nonprofit or issue advocacy organization.Our movement would greatly benefit from more organizational entrepreneurs who establish local, state-level, and even nationally oriented groups to advance conservative principles, and Leadership Institute training can point you in the right direction and empower you to launch your own organization.As the Communications Director of the Arlington GOP, what are you most looking forward to in the upcoming elections?I love crafting messages that excite our activists and get them off the couch. Conservatives don't win a lot of elections in Arlington, but our activists are engaged because I help drive a narrative that keeps them involved.Our 4,000-person email list always engages with our updates, and people turn out to our events because they read about them in our emails or across social media.We don't win a lot, but we certainly can't win if we don't show up. So, I really enjoy crafting messages that get our activists to show up.How has LI helped prepare you to serve as the Communications Director for the Arlington GOP?I think knowing LI's headquarters is within the boundaries of my local political engagement forces me to be a more effective activist; it allows me to test activism ideas because Leadership Institute is the incubator of conservative activism.To that end, I feel a certain responsibility to be the best and most effective activist I can be. I can't teach people about it in LI trainings if I haven't gone out and done it myself.Having managed numerous political campaigns, what would you tell a first-time campaign manager?Your candidate should be knocking on doors and raising money. If you outwork the other guy – especially in a small primary – you can win. Knock doors. Raise money. Spend that money effectively. Nothing else matters. Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?As a conservative activist in a community where 80% of my neighbors voted for Joe Biden, I tell people, “I'm the kid in the room full of horse manure, saying there's got to be a pony in here somewhere.” The late Andrew Breitbart implored us to be happy warriors, and I am grateful for the opportunity every day to be a happy warrior for our principles. If you're not having fun saving the country, you're doing it wrong.If you're interested in the Conservative Organizational Entrepreneur or any other Leadership Institute training, visit LeadershipInstitute.org/Training to explore your options.
Meet Rick Tyler: From the hospitality industry in Maine to Political Commentator & LI Trainer
Kirsten Holmberg and Jordan Deibler
July 27, 2022
Meet Rick Tyler: From the hospitality industry in Maine to Political Commentator & LI Trainer
Meet Rick Tyler, the Director of Core Schools at the Leadership Institute (LI). He is also a thought-provoking Political Analyst for the MSNBC Cable News Network offering a conservative perspective to unfolding political events. As a professional political strategist, Rick has helped hundreds of candidates prepare for the rigors of campaigning for public office. He is Co-Founder of Foundry Strategies, a strategic, communications firm specializing in helping candidates and campaigns hone their communications skills. Rick was the National Spokesperson for U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's presidential campaign. In the 2012 election cycle, Rick was a senior advisor and spokesman to the Winning Our Future PAC, a pro-Newt Gingrich for President Super PAC. Prior to joining the PAC, Rick was a key member of the former House Speaker's team for more than a decade serving as Gingrich's advisor and spokesperson. A gifted communicator, Rick has appeared thousands of times on national television news shows including MSNBC; Fox News Channel; CNN; CBS News; NBC News; ABC News; PBS; HBO; CNBC; CBN; Bloomberg News; BBC; CBC; RTE; and Al Jazeera. I interviewed Rick to hear more about his background and draw on his vast political experience. Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background? I came out of the hospitality industry working in hotels and restaurants. I started my political career when I volunteered for the gubernatorial campaign of the mother of one of the waitresses in a restaurant where I worked in coastal Maine. I've worked in politics ever since. I've worked on campaigns. For five years, I was the executive director of the Maine Republican Party. In that position, I engaged GOPAC to come to Maine and conduct political training for our House and Senate candidates. Soon after, I became a political trainer for GOPAC teaching all over the country. For more than a decade, I trained thousands of candidates and activists to win elections including three trips over six years to train California Republican Assembly members at the request of then-leader Kevin McCarthy. You were the national spokesman for Ted Cruz for President as well as a personal advisor and spokesman for Newt Gingrich. What motivated you to work for these men? In 1994, I was just getting started in politics, but it was Newt Gingrich who grabbed my attention when he organized the Republican Party with a Contract with America that led to the Republicans gaining the majority both in the House and the Senate for the first time in 40 years. I followed him closely. When the opportunity came to meet his closest advisor, Joe Gaylord, I made clear my desire to work in what was then affectionately known as Newt-world. I had never met Senator Cruz when the call came asking me to work on his presidential campaign. But I soon met him, and we hit it off immediately. In Newt's case, I was motivated to work for him because he was a leader with a proven track-record having seized the speakership; in Cruz' case, because he had the potential of a future conservative leader. Are there any insightful stories that you can share from your time working on campaigns or with candidates? Everyone has a story. The key to developing a great candidate is telling their unique story that is relatable to voters. I have found that most candidates are bored by their own story because, well, it is their story. But people are fascinated with stories. Our stories connect us to the hearts of voters, not only getting them to like us. That will inoculate you as a candidate from criticism. We tend to defend people with whom we have made an emotional connection. Stories allow voters to know what the candidate is about and their character. This provides a solid foundation for putting their trust in that candidate. So, developing the candidate's story and personal brand is the most important part of a successful candidacy. You are the Director of Core Schools here at the Leadership Institute (LI). Tell us a bit about your position. My main goal as the Director of Core Schools was to create the Campaign Leadership College (CLC) as the most comprehensive course LI has ever offered. The purpose of the course is to develop campaign leaders who work at the senior level of campaigns for conservative candidates. For a candidate, being conservative is not enough. You must have experienced people to run a winning campaign. The CLC seeks to fill the current, severe shortage of trained conservative campaign managers and directors so that conservative candidates can have competent managers and directors to run their campaigns. What is, in your opinion, the most valuable Political and Fundraising training, workshop, or school someone can take here at LI? I think that all depends upon what your goals are. LI offers so many quality programs from the Youth Leadership School, to the Conservative Organizational Entrepreneur, to the Campaign Leadership College. However, I would say that everyone should take the public speaking course because even if you don't plan to become a public speaker, having the ability to communicate your ideas in a clear and persuasive manner will help you in any career goal. If you're interested in the Campaign Leadership College, Public Speaking Workshop, or any other Leadership Institute training, visit LeadershipInstitute.org/Training to explore your options.
5 Digital Campaigning Secrets from Leadership Institute’s Newest Online Course
Eric Wilson
July 12, 2022
5 Digital Campaigning Secrets from Leadership Institute’s Newest Online Course
Digital campaigning is an essential skill if you want to advance your principles and win at the ballot box. Often, getting started can be the hardest part. There are so many platforms, options, and choices to make, and it's easy to become overwhelmed. But not if you understand the fundamentals of digital marketing and never lose sight of your goals. Leadership Institute's new Zero to 1,000: Social Media for Campaigns training series helps conservatives of all skill levels overcome the hurdle of getting started. It's three hours of video lessons with everything you need to know about launching your digital campaign.The best part? The training is FREE for a limited time.Sign Up HereTo give you a preview of what you'll learn, here are five digital campaigning secrets to improve the quality and effectiveness of your online efforts. KEEP IT SOCIAL The secret to social media marketing is right in the name. Too many campaigners only focus on the media component with photos and videos while overlooking “social” and “marketing.” Being social means you respond to comments, participate in conversations, and have a personality. Don't forget the marketing either. Your campaign should use social media to win an election by getting attention, raising money, and earning votes. If you know why you're using social media for your campaign, you'll stay focused on your marketing goals and not get distracted by the platform. BIGGER IS BETTER When it comes to online fundraising, the bigger your active email list, the more money you'll raise. That's the only secret there is. Text messaging – both broadcast and peer-to-peer (P2P) – is also increasingly important. Think about it: when someone signs up to support your campaign and opts in to receive communications from you, they are already on the way to being invested.BEWARE THE PLATFORMS Your goals are different from those of Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, and other online platforms. Your objective is to win an election. Their goal is to sell more ads by keeping users on the site.To avoid sharing your audience with big tech, do everything you can to make your campaign accessible through other means, including email and text. DATA TARGETING ISN'T PERFECTUsing data to target your digital advertising is essential, but targeting too narrowly is a mistake. The goal is to gain efficiency by showing fewer wasted impressions to the intended audience. You can't eliminate all inefficiency without trimming out key voters. Simply relying on past behavior – namely voting history – can also be a big mistake. As many as a third of voters in a primary election, for example, could be first-time voters. More citizens are coming into the political process than ever before.CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY Digital campaigning is fundamentally about audience building. The most effective way to build an audience online is to create and share content consistently. Think about your favorite TV show or podcast. You know when new episodes come out, and you make time to watch or listen to them. The same is true for the content your campaign or cause creates.No matter the platform, posting consistently builds and grows your audience. So, don't take on more than you can handle. Start with email and Facebook, then grow from there.YOU OWE IT TO YOUR PHILOSOPHY TO STUDY HOW TO WINIn the new Zero to 1,000: Social Media for Campaigns course, you'll learn these digital campaigning “secrets” and much more. Most important, this training will simplify the “why” behind key online marketing strategies so you can apply them in any context, regardless of experience or budget.
Making History – Highly Trained Conservative Campaigners
Dylan Craig
June 30, 2022
Making History – Highly Trained Conservative Campaigners
On Friday, June 24th, I attended Leadership Institute's inaugural Campaign Leadership College. It's a day I'll never forget. When I woke up on the 24th, I didn't expect it to become a historic day, a day I'll tell my children about. It started out typically. As always, I made breakfast and went for a brief "wake-up walk," as my grandfather calls them. I got dressed and headed to the Campaign Leadership College venue, looking forward to attending LI's newest (and most comprehensive) training, a bold nine-day project designed to develop conservative activists into senior campaign executives. In a representative republic, ideas alone don't win elections; it takes a competent team of campaign staffers to elevate these ideas into elected office, where they can then be translated into tangible policy victories. The current state of our government is a prime example. Leftists hold the legislative and executive branches, despite having absurd and philosophically unsound beliefs. They're not elected to office because they're right; they're in office because they've benefitted from skilled campaign workers running effective campaigns. For decades, the left has excelled at this. The Campaign Leadership College was created to alleviate this problem. Over nine days, campaign experts teach forty conservative activists how to build a winning campaign from the bottom up. Upon graduation, these graduates enter the political field, taking their newfound expertise from campaign to campaign. They learn how to analyze districts, interpret and apply voter data, budget, fundraise, conduct opposition research, and find and keep good staff. An hour into day seven of the College, an attendee jubilantly stood up and blurted out some major news; the Supreme Court had officially overturned Roe v. Wade, revoking the long-standing federal right to an abortion. The room, filled with conservative activists of all ages and backgrounds, erupted in celebration. It was a beautiful moment, not only because it was a step towards abolishing abortion, but because it symbolized what can be accomplished when conservatives effectively organize. For years, many thought Roe v. Wade would never be overturned. Thanks to effectively managed campaigns, in the face of all odds, the conservative movement had its most significant victory in living memory. As future Campaign Leadership Colleges continue to send highly trained conservatives into the political field, I can only imagine the conservative victories America will continue to enjoy.
Meeting Moms for Liberty's Marie Rogerson, military brat, parent, and activist
Kirsten Holmberg
April 22, 2022
Meeting Moms for Liberty's Marie Rogerson, military brat, parent, and activist
"This story is being replicated in counties across the nation. Moms and dads are awake. They do not want to co-parent with the government, and they will not allow classroom doors to slam closed on their parental rights – and God bless them for it.” – Marie RogersonMeet Marie Rogerson, a Leadership Institute graduate, Campaign Management Consultant, and the Director of Development at Moms for Liberty. During my interview with Marie, we discussed her past involvement in non-profit organizations, her views on parental influence on local government, and experiences from her current role in Moms for Liberty. Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?I'm a military brat. I've moved more than 30 times in my life. My father's military experience taught him to remain vigilant, and that extended into the arena of local politics. There were 6 of us kids, 4 boys, and 2 girls. My father paid extra attention to the goings-on at our school board. Even back in the mid-nineties, he realized education in America was going in the wrong direction and couldn't stand by without taking action. When I was about 13, he ran for school board. Mind you, we lived in basically the only blue county in the state of Kansas and my father was as conservative as they come. He knew he stood little chance, but he also understood that he could bring attention to key issues while exemplifying the importance of standing up for what you believe in. He didn't win, but I consider his run my first foray into politics. When I was 21, I served for 18 months as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, teaching the principles of Christ's liberty in the Spanish language. Serving in California, most of the individuals I taught were illegal immigrants. They told eye-opening stories about the corruption in their home countries and the lengths they went to cross the border. After my mission, I did a study abroad through Latin America and witnessed firsthand the places many of the people I taught came from. Both experiences deepened my appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy in America as well as the benefits of our free-market system. They also strengthened my empathy and gave me a human connection to an issue that I had previously only seen on the news as pundits speculated on the state of our border.Besides a brief stint as a Communications major, I mostly studied Political Science while at university. Unlike many professors today, mine were excellent at encouraging critical thinking rather than indoctrination. We discussed the political history of the world openly, and I walked away from the experience with a deep understanding of how entirely flawed systems like communism and socialism are.I finished my degree while pregnant with my first daughter. My husband Aaron and I have now been married for 15 years and have a total of 3 girls. Honestly, I owe most of who I am and what I've accomplished to him encouraging me to pursue my passions and continue to learn.You are the Director of Development at Moms for Liberty; what inspired you to get involved with this organization? Tina Descovich, one of the Co-Founders of Moms for Liberty is a close friend of mine. I helped manage her first campaign for school board. After we both lost our elections in 2020, we found ourselves with unexpected time on our hands and started a book club (for lack of a better word) to study the founding documents. We would dissect every word and phrase and discuss how the document applied to current events. It took us nearly six months, meeting twice a month, to read the Declaration of Independence. During that time Tina launched Moms for Liberty and asked me to help design a program around what we had been doing, which we now call Madison Meetups. Shortly after Moms for Liberty launched, one of the three founding members had to step back, and I was asked to take her place on the Executive Board. What was pitched to me as a “silent partner” position, has been anything but – which is good considering redheads aren't known for biting their tongues. After months of balancing our explosive growth, a demanding but adorable toddler, and my duties as Director of Operations for Foster Florida, I made the decision to resign from my paid job and cast my lot with moms in America, fighting for the survival of all we hold dear. While I had numerous attachments to the organization, there are two main things that tipped the scales for me in favor of Moms for Liberty. First, the grassroots focus. This isn't a national organization promising a magic 12-step program that will fix local schools. They understand that schools can only be fixed, with any lasting effect, by local people with the autonomy to take the fight in the direction they need. Our chapter leaders aren't paid activists, they already have skin in the game. The children they drop off at school every morning and pick up each afternoon are their motivation. Second, it isn't about merely drawing attention to the issue, it is about plugging parents in and helping them understand the system so they can fix it. There is plenty of conjecture and discussion about these issues; what we need are engagement and action. That is what Moms for Liberty brings to the table.Do you have any insightful stories about your work at Moms for Liberty? There is a mom whom I have known for several years. Since 2018, I've invited her to get involved in a number of ways without much success. When Moms for Liberty launched, she showed up at a chapter meeting. She then attended the next school board meeting. The following month, with trembling hands she addressed the school board for the first time. At each event I watched her come out of her shell as she found her people. She stood shoulder to shoulder with moms who also weren't exactly “political” people but were willing to learn together to preserve their parental rights. It is amazing to see these women don a navy shirt like armor and stand on the frontlines for their children. Almost a year later, this mom is boldly petitioning for what is right everywhere I look.This story is being replicated in counties across the nation. Moms and dads are awake. They do not want to co-parent with the government, and they will not allow classroom doors to slam closed on their parental rights – and God bless them for it.You are also a Campaign Consultant. How has Leadership Institute helped prepare you to ensure your candidates run successful campaigns? When the pandemic hit, like many people, my family began doing puzzles. It wasn't until we dumped out the first box and my daughter began attempting to put together random pieces that I realized no one had ever explained to her that you start with the edges then work your way in. She could have figured the puzzle out eventually, but she would have endured a lot of frustration in the process. Leadership Institute was like that for me. I had volunteered and worked on campaigns before, but until I sat through four full days of Campaign Management School, I was trying to solve a complicated puzzle by identifying patterns and putting random pieces together. Now I have the skills to organize effectively, mobilize, and win. We need more people capable of efficiently matching pieces to reveal beautiful images demonstrating how the principles of liberty can bless their communities.You were the Director of Operations for a non-profit serving the foster care community. What experience from that position has helped you in your current roles?My time with Foster Florida taught me about working on a board, the basics of running a non-profit, and most importantly the limit to parental rights. The goal when a child is first removed from their family and placed in care is reunification. That is not always the result, unfortunately. Even fundamental parental rights have limits. It has been a wonderful perspective enhancer to go from the world of foster care into the battle for parental rights. I have watched the anguish on a good mother's face as she was denied her parental rights temporarily due to poor choices as well as her joy when they were restored. I see the same anguish and joy on parents' faces now as the Director of Development for Moms for Liberty. The difference is that these parents did nothing to warrant the violation of their rights and were afforded much less due process.Many people seem to be disillusioned with the country's current political climate. What would you say to them to encourage them to get involved?Disillusionment is the feeling of disappointment from discovering something is not as good as it was believed to be. I do not believe you can be disillusioned with America. You can be disillusioned by its people and its leaders, but you cannot be disillusioned with it because it was literally founded on goodness – the idea that all men are created equal and deserve to live freely. What greater good could there be in a creation of man? America's leaders and its people may have made tragic mistakes along the way but that does not change the principle. If you find yourself disillusioned, you have likely lost sight of the mark. Focus less on the mistakes of man, and more on the divine principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. Spend more time doing things that reinforce those principles and the light of hope will grow in your life. Manage your expectations, people have always been flawed. Find a principle that is not and hang on to it for dear life.Are you ready to take action and learn how the puzzle fits together, so you can make a difference? Check out the Campaign Management School Marie says gave her “the skills to organize effectively, mobilize, and win.” If you're looking for training you can take online on demand – including a free one on school boards – you can find a whole list of on-demand training here.
What I Saw: My Journey to the Leadership Institute
January 7, 2022
What I Saw: My Journey to the Leadership Institute
In early September, I found myself driving down the New Jersey turnpike towards Virginia. My car was loaded with suits, toiletries, and most important, my collection of tattered G.K. Chesterton books. I was unusually stressed, not just because I was surrounded by the turnpike's notoriously aggressive drivers, but because I was on my way to start a fall internship at the Leadership Institute (LI). Like anyone who's starting a new job or internship, I was nervous and unsure of what to expect. I was somewhat familiar with LI, having taken their (excellent) Youth Leadership School, but accepting an internship there had been a spur-of-the-moment decision. Eventually, I pulled into the driveway of LI's intern house and started my journey. Four months later, I'm beyond blessed to be working here at LI full-time. As an intern who transitioned into a full-time role, I've become intimately familiar with LI. The fifth-floor coffee maker is by far the best. Kirsten Holmberg, our Deputy Director of Political and Fundraising Training, always has a bowl of gourmet sweets on her desk. There's a faucet in the third-floor Men's restroom that randomly runs scalding water, so always be careful. But most important, I've become familiar with LI as an institution, and what exactly this organization does. The year 2021 was a great year for me (except for the fact that I got blown out in my Fantasy Football playoffs), and it was an even better year for LI. In 2021, the Leadership Institute (LI) prepared 18,195 trainees - from college students to campaign managers - to advance and act on their conservative principles. Each week, LI provided an average of 57 hours of live training, boosting the conservative movement towards electoral successes in 2022 and beyond. My journey with LI started when my friend invited me to attend LI's Youth Leadership Workshop (YLW), a three-hour training that equipped 1,606 young conservatives last year with tactics and tools they can use to advance conservatism on campus and beyond. After I attended the Youth Leadership Workshop, I was hooked and wanted to learn more. Being a conservative student on a heavily left-wing campus just outside of Seattle was extremely intimidating, but the YLW sparked an epiphany in me. Remaining quiet meant that I was letting the radicals on my campus win. Remaining quiet is exactly what they were hoping I would do. This epiphany motivated me to take the LI's two-day Youth Leadership School (YLS), an intensive 29-hour training that extensively expands upon the content taught in that first three-hour workshop I took. It teaches young conservatives how they can win. In 2021, 532 student leaders were trained in the YLS. Sixty-four YLS grads organized efforts for conservative candidates across the country, enabling candidates to capture the youth vote and drive a youthful image that has become increasingly important in elections.Some Youth Leadership School graduates eventually become interns at LI, like me!Over the course of 2021, 32 interns came through LI, including 11 in my fall class. We came from all over the country, from the urban megalopolis of NYC, to rural Georgia. Despite coming from different regions and cultures, we became incredibly tight knit. I've made lifelong friends and I know many of us will be attending each other's weddings. One highlight of the internship was our Book Club, where we read a classic work of conservative literature each week. From Hayek to Goldwater, LI interns collectively read more than 45,600 pages of conservative literature. My personal favorite was Douglas Hyde's Dedication and Leadership, which I'd highly recommend to newer conservatives.I'm currently in the External Affairs division, but my time at LI started as an intern in the Career Resources department. Helping fellow conservative jobseekers was important to me during my internship. My supervisor went out of his way to train me how to help others secure employment and jumpstart their careers. Ultimately, I was able to use what he taught me to land my own full-time position here at LI! In 2021, LI released an updated version of ConservativeJobs.com. The website attracted more than 33,800 unique visitors in 2021 and helped job-seekers streamline their job searches. On top of that, LI's careers team also met one-on-one with 451 conservatives for personal career consultations, offering conservatives customized advice and guidance to help them navigate the often-turbulent job market. While I lived in the intern house, one topic that continually came up during our conversations, other than whether the North or the South had better food, was the dramatic growth of Critical Race Theory within the halls of our schools. 2021 was the year when the encroachment of divisive left-wing ideology into every aspect of American society, even into the classrooms of our children, was made abundantly clear to conservatives. Unfortunately, many school boards are now used as social engineering tools instead of focusing on preparing our children for higher education and the workforce. Parents knew that they couldn't simply stand by. Thanks to the generosity of LI's donors, LI supported these parents through the creation of the on-demand School Board Campaign Training, which more than 1,500 concerned citizens have registered to take. This training provides parents with the skills to wage and win successful campaigns for their local school board, where they can help protect the integrity of their children's education. LI also offers other on-demand courses, a diverse array of training that educates conservatives on both principles and practice. The History of the Constitution and Conservative 101 on-demand trainings both had more than 1,000 registrants this year. Many also took the Social Media Bootcamp, where they learned how to translate their conservative principles into action. It's not just parents who are standing up for education, college students are too. Being openly conservative on a college campus is a difficult task. I attended college in Washington State, just outside of Seattle. Though I was surrounded by gorgeous mountains and enchanting evergreen forests, I was also surrounded by leftist students who lacked any tolerance for even the slightest differing opinions. Once, when I was reading Ronald Reagan's diary on campus, I was so afraid of being confronted by these leftists I replaced the book sleeve with a sleeve from one of my Harry Potter books, just so I could read in peace. LI's Campus Leadership Program (CLP) directly supports conservative students like me, who feel as if they must remain undercover. Thanks to LI's generous donors, LI gives students the resources and training they need to speak up and restore balance on American campuses. LI's CLP program now includes more than 2,000 active student groups. In 2021, CLP added 816 new student groups and newly identified more than 96,900 conservative students. With CLP's support, conservative students were able to put on 2,583 public events on their campuses; each event promoted conservative ideas and values to students. Just a few decades ago, the average college campus was a bastion of intellectual openness, a place where students of all political stripes could freely discuss their beliefs without any fear of judgment or retaliation. Now, campus institutions are saturated with left-wing bias.This left-wing bias is exactly what motivates the Leadership Institute's Campus Reform (CRO), a team of journalists who identify and expose left-wing bias on America's campuses. CRO uses a nationwide network of investigative student reporters to expose these institutional left-wing biases, restoring integrity to American campuses in the process.In 2021, local and national television programs featured LI's Campus Reform students, staff, and stories 994 times.Online, the Campus Reform stories and YouTube channel garnered 27.2 million views over 2021. Campus Reform's popularity is a testament to the fact that America's conservative students have had enough. Unfortunately, what is happening on our college campuses is just a microcosm of what is happening across the country. From Alaska to Alabama, and everywhere in-between, institutions are slowly being captured by left-wing bias. Thankfully, conservatives are standing up for their rights. The effort to safeguard America's principles is a multi-faceted effort, and that's why LI offers a diverse array of political trainings, both online and in-person. While I was an intern, I was granted free access to these trainings, and I can attest to the fact that they are a huge tool in the toolbelt of the conservative movement. In 2021, the Leadership Institute (LI) expanded the number of trainings offered, ultimately training more than 18,195 conservatives. LI now has 51 different trainings available. Each one equips conservatives with a range of skills necessary to make a difference in communities across America. For selfish reasons, I wish LI had a training on how to meet conservative women in a heavily liberal region, but given that there are more pressing issues at hand, I doubt that training will be created anytime soon! Currently, three US senators and 27 members of the House of Representatives are graduates of LI's political trainings. Having met some of the motivated individuals attending these trainings, I'd bet my entire savings account that this number will only increase. As the midterms approach, and as liberal politicians continue to lurch even further leftward, it's more important than ever to become involved. If you are motivated in 2022 to use your talents for conservative activism either on campus or in your community, visit LI's website for the complete list of 2022 trainings available. Thanks to LI's generous donors, they are low-cost or no-cost, and can be found here: LeadershipInstitute.org/Training.
Are you listening? Learn how to win through Leadership Institute’s Podcasts!
Carol Wehe Cocks
December 9, 2021
Are you listening? Learn how to win through Leadership Institute’s Podcasts!
Conservatives are learning to win everywhere these days!In addition to its 48 different types of online and in-person trainings, Leadership Institute (LI) also produces podcasts to help reach and train conservatives where they are. These high-quality, accessible podcasts are educational and entertaining. They further the movement by training conservatives to win.The Leadership Institute provides trainings in so many areas and the additional podcast content produced is top notch. But, you don't have to take my word for it. Here are a few comments from LI's podcast fans.“I started with Tech Talk #8,” said one Instagram listener. “I enjoyed it so much, I have been working myself backwards to watch them all.”“This is great!” said another.Here are three Leadership Institute podcasts I subscribe to, that I think you'd enjoy too:Learn Right: School Board Campaign Training Podcast -- listen in every other week to new content and dive into political technology for conservatives to use in School Board campaigns. You'll learn how to campaign, how to raise funds, and what to do once you are elected. You can listen on Apple, Amazon, Acast, Spotify, and iHeart Radio.Tech Talk -- watch this weekly podcast about new digital technology and effective strategies to support your online activism. You can watch on YouTube.Campus Countdown -- watch this weekly podcast to get the top campus stories of the week, straight from a student who's a Campus Reform reporter. Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, is America's leading site for college news. As a watchdog to the nation's higher education system, Campus Reform exposes bias and abuse on the nation's college campuses. You can watch on YouTube.Make sure to hit the subscribe button, so you'll get each new episode!
3 Ways Social Media Can Easily Improve Your Political Efforts
Stephen Rowe
November 1, 2021
3 Ways Social Media Can Easily Improve Your Political Efforts
Social media will continue to play a huge role in 2022 and beyond. In fact, more than 80% of Americans use social media to stay connected and informed. A strong social media presence is essential for successful politics at any level. But many political organizations, brands, and campaigns still lag in reach and engagement. So how can you gain more influence on social media? Here are three ways social media can easily improve your political efforts. 1. Capture More Young Voters Did you know TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users? A billion users is a big deal. The short-form video platform is now on par with Instagram in terms of overall users – and growing much faster -- a key consideration for your social strategy. Woody Allen famously said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” You don't have to use TikTok, but you should consider showing up on a new social media platform this year. If you want the conservative movement to capture more young voters, then you and I have to play offense. About 4 million people turn 18 each year in America, and many young voters want to feel heard. Leveraging platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube will enable you to reach and capture Millennials and Generation Z with your message. 2. Steer the Conversation I forgot where I first heard this but it's 100% correct: “He or she who frames the issue wins the debate.” This quote rings true – especially on social media. Imagine a voter typing into Google/YouTube, “What do conservatives believe in?”, and then the search results returning videos from AOC, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. You and I must not let this happen. There is plenty of room on the internet for more conservative content creators, podcasters, and storytellers to help steer online conversation in effective ways. If you've thought about creating conservative content for the web, it's time to act. 3. Connect in Real-time Social media lets you gauge sentiments in real-time and react. Do you remember when Hillary Clinton used the term “basket of deplorables”? Within an hour, there were t-shirts, coffee mugs, and updated Twitter profiles. Personally, I remember when Joe Biden fell while walking up the steps of Air Force One. That viral moment reached almost every corner of social media. Being able to connect and react in real time is important, especially in moments of crisis. The right social media strategy, tactics, and technology will make you more effective in everything you work to achieve.If you're interested in learning more about how to use digital tactics to grow your audience and advance your conservative principles, sign up for Tech Talk, my monthly email newsletter, and check out the digital trainings currently available from the Leadership Institute.
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.
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
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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