Anthony Yuen

Jun 112014

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.

Apr 282014
Tiffany Shlain

Tiffany Shlain

We live in a highly connected world linked together by status updates, texts, emails, tweets, and countless other messages. As communication professionals, we are expected to process this information every day, to navigate these connections as easily as a pro surfer rides a monster wave. But how much information can we “surf” before becoming overwhelmed? How do we as communicators manage the compulsion to connect but still carve out space to stay focused and productive?

Our closing keynote speaker Tiffany Shlain is tackling these very questions. A groundbreaking filmmaker, artist, and founder of the Webby Awards (as well as a Berkeley alum!), Tiffany explores what it means to be connected and how to navigate our changing world, from technology shabbats to tech etiquette. Her recent film Connected: An Autobiography about Love, Death & Technology is a timely look at the ways we are all connected that is both personal and universal.

The Yuen family phone.

The Yuen family phone.

Like many of us, I’m not immune to the allure of connectivity, the excitement of receiving that online notification, text message, or user comment. However, during my childhood my family and I were far from the technology forefront. We had a black and white television and rotary phone for most of the 1980’s. We didn’t get a VCR, microwave oven, or answering machine until 1992 (a banner year for us). My mother uses a manual typewriter to this day to write letters.

My world today could not be more different–I find myself now managing social media, writing content, and yes, even helping to organize BC2! I’m excited to listen to Tiffany’s talk as she returns to Berkeley for BC2, and I’m looking forward to making new connections with campus colleagues (special props to those who still have a typewriter).

Trailer for Tiffany Shlain’s Connected