May 162016
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Register for BC2

Cast a spell on fellow communicators at BC2 2016 with creative work that truly shines. BC2 2016, focused on the alchemy that is communication, is the perfect forum to turn your bewitching communication pieces into glittering awards.

Berkeley 2016 brand awards submission deadline is May 16th.

Upload 1-3 samples of work created by your team (up to 5 people) in any of the following categories: print, digital, social media, video, environmental or campaign.

Enter through this link.

All entries must be submitted by midnight, Monday May 16, 2016 and will be judged by a panel led by Ram Kapoor, Chief Marketing Officer.

If you have any questions about the contest, please email

Mar 302016
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TheAlchemistsMark your calendars! A brand new Berkeley Communications Conference (BC2) is coming your way Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Make plans to join us in the centrally located and recently revamped Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union for a day of speakers, interactive workshops, and networking.

On a campus where communications cover a gamut of platforms, audiences, tools, and expectations in a rapidly changing environment, there’s a certain amount of alchemy involved in getting our storytelling just right with results that are impactful.

That’s why we’re taking a new twist this year… The theme of this year’s BC2 conference is Alchemy. We want to break down the ingredients of world-class communications, demystifying the mix along the way.

  • Meet your BC2 co-chairs and check out their short video describing the magical process and inviting you to attend this year’s conference.
  • Fill out the survey. We’re taking the pulse of campus communications and reporting results at the conference.
Jun 122015
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The fourth annual Berkeley Communications Conference brought together approximately 175 campus communicators at the Clark Kerr conference center for a day of honing and sharing their skills. Three keynote speakers and 12 workshops explored topics such as the power of story and narrative to building a brand to social media. During lunch communications staff members received awards for their print, video and digital work. Photos taken by staffers Hulda Nelson, Laurie Frasier and Anne Brice.

 Posted by at 3:14 pm
May 282015
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Lee CaraherThey’re lazy. Too demanding. Too self-involved. Too plugged in. These are just a few myths about Millennials, but as employees at Berkeley — immersed among the BEST Millennials on the planet (our students!) — we know better. BC2’s closing keynote speaker, Lee Caraher, president and CEO of Double Forte and author of Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work, will give an insightful, entertaining talk on generational misconceptions and productive ways to bridge the gap. But first, a bit about her — and her penchant for fine linens!

Q: Why do your friends call you the “Millennial Whisperer?”

A: It started as a joke when I was helping a friend who’s a CEO figure out how to work with his younger staff. He said it at a party, and it just took off. Now I get emails and calls from people who say, “I heard you’re the ‘Millennial Whisperer.’ I need your help with my younger staff before I fire them.”

Q: Who or what inspires you?

A: I’m inspired by many things — especially working with people who are doing good stuff in the world. My kids inspire me — one is a really gifted musician, and the other has developmental delays. They both show me a different, wonderful world.

Q: What do you love about San Francisco?

A: I love that if you’re bored here, it’s your own damn fault! So much to do outdoors, so much to do that expands your mind, so much to do that’s just fun.

Q: What does your perfect day look like?

A: I wake up in a cloud of 800-thread count French linen to the smell of hot chocolate and croissants being brought to me. … HA! My perfect day includes:

  • Getting a note from a staff member about something great someone else has done
  • Having my clients take my advice the first time I talk with them
  • Having someone else blow dry my hair
  • Reading Pride and Prejudice (or a good variation thereof)
  • Having a nonprofit project I’m involved with get the green light
  • A funny Facebook post or text from my older son, who’s at boarding school
  • A little Big Bang Theory
  • Dinner at Quince or Michael Mina with my husband and best friends
  • My younger son telling me about his “AWESOME” day

And if I’m not working: I wake up in a cloud of 800-thread count French linen … on the beach, 78 degrees under the palm fronds, with a great book and never-ending supply of Mineragua … and bon bons.

May 112015
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Terrence McNallyWhat better way to kick off BC2, “Tools to Tell Our Story,” than with a man who has spent decades on screen, behind the mic, and helping nonprofits tell more compelling stories? After 20 years in Hollywood, Terrence McNally became a strategic communications consultant, speaker, writer, and coach. He also hosts a radio interview program that envisions “a world that just might work.” Here’s a bit about him to pique your interest before we gather for BC2 on June 9. (P.S. Have you registered yet?)

Q: How did you make the leap from entertainment to strategic communications?

A: I spent 20 years in the entertainment industry — acting, teaching acting, screenwriting, directing — documentaries, plays, music videos, and producing — records as well as film. The week of my 20th Harvard reunion, I was a recurring character on “Knot’s Landing” and “Earth Girls Are Easy” (on which I was screenwriter, producer, actor, and music producer) was playing at the Harvard Square Theater. We’d been the class that took over the administration building and struck against the university over ROTC and the Vietnam War, and I made a speech asking how we were living up to our youthful ideals. I don’t know whether it moved anyone else, but when I got home, I started getting involved in Hollywood nonprofits.

I found I was very good at facilitating conversations and meetings, and gradually over the next 10 years, I transitioned from entertainment to consulting. About 10 years ago, I shifted from facilitating board retreats and strategic planning processes to strategic communications, especially story and narrative, because it takes greater advantage of all my entertainment experience.

Q: Who or what inspires you?

A: Nature. Lively, curious children. Great writing. Individuals who consistently do their best for others and the greater good. Folks like Bill McKibben of, Bill Drayton of Ashoka, Elizabeth Warren, and Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries.

Q: Who’s the most interesting person you’ve ever interviewed for your radio show?

A: That’s an impossible question. 17 years of approximately 50 interviews a year = 850. Let me name a few — Wael Ghonim, the young Google exec who helped overthrow Mubarak through Facebook postings that mobilized demonstrations in Tahrir Square; Jane McGonigal, with her provocative ideas of how gamers can change the world; Michael Lewis, just as interesting to interview as to read; George McGovern and Howard Zinn, war heroes who became peace heroes; Malalai Joya, young, female member of Afghan parliament.

Q: If you could only keep a handful of books, what would they be?

A: I Ching; The Evolving Self by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi; poetry by Rilke and Rumi; Mirrors by the recently deceased Eduardo Galeano; collected Shakespeare; and something by Mark Twain.

Apr 142015
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As spring warms into summer here on campus, we’re excited to announce that​ BC2 2015 is taking shape. You know that moment following months of planning an event when you pop the invitation in the mail and suddenly it becomes real? Well, that happened to us last week. BC2 2015, here we come! Have you registered yet?

Throughout our planning ​process​, one question has guided us as co-chairs: how can we help provide tools and resources for UC Berkeley staff to succeed in the ever-changing world of communication, especially in the complex field of higher education?

We are finalizing three keynote speakers and 12 workshops in four tracks (Integrated Communications, Storytelling, Web Design/Development, and Social Media) that will ​focus on the tangible skills needed in the various communication positions throughout campus. We want you to leave BC2 2015 with real, practical ideas and resources, as well as awesome connections to help make things easier.

So stay tuned to the BC2 blog in​ the coming weeks for more information on keynotes, workshops, and logistics of 6/9.

Can’t wait to see you there!
Alex, Amy, and Jen

Dec 032014
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Mark your calendars for BC2 2015

We were admittedly nervous when we first got together to start brainstorming for the Berkeley Communications Conference (BC2). Our boss has the word “chancellor” in her title — high 5s to AVC Claire Holmes! — and our predecessors of the last three years did an amazing job of creating fun, informative conferences for campus communicators from scratch. Can we build on that success?

We’re psyched to try! BC2 2015 is set for Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at the Clark Kerr Conference Center — and our ideas for speakers, workshops, and networking activities are flowing. We’re mulling over ways to make BC2 2015 an informal, active, hands-on learning space that will give us the opportunity to connect, showcase our own best work, and share tips and tools for making our jobs easier.

But we need your help. To help us ensure that the conference serves your needs and interests, please take two minutes to answer four easy questions by Dec. 31, 2014. You can also stay in touch with us in these ways:

  1. Join or post to the Berkeley Communicators Facebook group.
  2. Visit this website for conference updates.
  3. Use the hashtag #sharebc2 in your social media posts. Here’s a starter question: What tidbit did you pick up last year that you’re now using in your job?
  4. The old-fashioned way — by phone or email, listed below.

Meanwhile, mark your calendars for June 9, 2015, fill out the Survey, and stay tuned for updates and other fun as the conference nears.

All our best,

Alex Coughlin (History/2-0016), Amy Cranch (University Relations/3-0444), and Jennifer Denton (Student Affairs)

BC2 2015 Co-Chairs

Of course we had to take a selfie! #sharebc2

Of course we had to take a selfie! #sharebc2

Jun 112014
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The Berkeley Communications Conference (BC2) is right around the corner! We have a great day of sessions, speakers, and activities planned–here’s a few tips to make the most out of the conference:

He was too connected to his work.

He was too connected to his work.

1) Disconnect to connect
We’re busy, which means that when we’re out of the office, we’re still checking email, making calls, and doing work, sometimes all at once. In the wise words of Idina Menzel, we say let it goactivate your out of office message, tell your boss and colleagues you’re unavailable, and come and enjoy BC2. This is the one day of the year devoted to campus communicators and is often the only time we get to interact with each other in person, so make the most of this opportunity.

2) Come prepared to share
We’ve gone all out to create ways to share what you’re thinking. Besides the regular sessions and speakers, you can tweet out your comments and questions throughout the day using the hashtag #shareBC2, join colleagues during lunch for informal roundtables on various communications topics, and network over free drinks at the reception after the conference.

3) Take care of yourself
Mindfulness and self-care are two themes of this year’s BC2. Putting those two into practice, it’s important to to take care of yourself during the day–come rested, stay hydrated, and be sure to snack appropriately in order to avoid becoming “hangry.” Get up, stretch, or go for a walk–you’ll be more productive and focused.

May 262014
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On most websites you’ll see at least three ads on each page, usually at the top above content, alongside content you’re viewing, and at the bottom of the page. But have you ever clicked on one?

The average click-through-rate for banner ads in 2013 was 0.19%, meaning that only 19 clicks were recorded for every 10,000 times a banner appeared on a page. Based on these paltry figures, one may think digital advertising is a waste of time and money. But consider this: A typical cost-per-thousand impressions is five dollars, so those 10,000 banner views may only cost an advertiser $50.

Now ask yourself: Is it be worth spending $50 to get 19 new visitors to your website to learn more about your department or program? How does this cost compare with the expenses of hosting information sessions, printing information pamphlets, or conducting other marketing tactics you currently utilize?

Digital advertising can help complement your non-paid communications activities to grow your reach and re-engage individuals who have already visited your site.

In the BC2 Breakout Session, Greater Reach Through Online Advertising, we’ll examine several types of online advertising that are straightforward to execute and manage, produce measurable results, and can be easily scalable depending on your budget. We’ll focus on paid search, banner advertising, and video promotion, discuss how to get started, and consider how paid advertising can help you ensure your messages are being seen by the audiences you want to reach.

If you’re planning to attend and have specific questions or topics you would like me to address, please leave a comment in response to this post. I’m looking forward to meeting some of you at BC2 in a couple weeks!

By Matt Skinner, Marketing Manager, Demand Generation & eCommerce 

May 202014
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In a meeting the oinstagramNYCther day with a (ahem… older) colleague I was asked why anyone would ever want to do an InstaMeet. InstaMeets are events during which Instagram photographers go to the same location, take photographs, and post over the same time period. They represent a unique moment captured from many different perspectives – an intersection of the digital and the physical plane. Or, just a chance for a bunch of people who are photography enthusiast to meet each other and do something they love, together.

It got me thinking about what successful digital marketing is in a world with so much technology aimed at humans – who in essence crave the same things we’ve wanted for thousands of years: connection, communication and community.

We desired to be able to capture and record our thoughts – to connect with other at a later time and place. So, we invented writing (oh yah, and we wanted to tax people… also an age old human need).  Over millennia we went from cuneiform to messages delivered in an instant around the world.  We needed to communicate with each other across vast distances. So carrier pigeons evolved into cell phones and now we can speak any time, to almost anyone – instantaneously. We formed nomadic tribes to fulfill common goals and needs. Eventually these became the virtual communities of today, formed around every interest and passion under the sun. current technological tools answer needs we as a civilization identified thousands of years ago. In millennia, those needs haven’t changed. Understanding the essence of human nature has been and will always be at the heart of marketing.  As we look forward to the next big thing we must also look inward and understand who we are: as humans, as a civilization, as a community, and as a tribe.  InstaMeets work because they combine passion, connection, community and technology.

Finding the intersection of the human soul and that perfect communication tool – new, old or a combination of virtual and physical isn’t easy. It requires truly understanding your business needs, your audience / consumers, and your options. Sometimes it means turning away the bright and shiny to use a technology that seems outdated. Sometimes it means capital investment and taking a risk. It always requires research and soul searching.

Still, for as long as we’ve craved the same, simple things, humans are complex and there isn’t a single simple formula. But with diligence, research and insight, we as marketers can hunt and gather our way to solutions that make sense and truly feed our digital tribes. Oh, and sell stuff.

By Fawn Kazati, Director Content Strategy, Saatchi & Saatchi LA
Twitter: @fawnforce

Hear from Fawn and her colleague Kayla Green during their BC2 session on Bringing Brands to Life Through Digital Marketing. Learn  how you can leverage basic human insights to determine appropriate tools, and then build a narrative across your digital marketing ecosystem (website, mobile, apps, social, search, PR) that creates a meaningful connection between your business, your brand and your audience.