May 042017

You snooze…you get another chance!

That’s right, the Berkeley Communications Awards deadline has been extended to next Monday, May 8. Submissions must be received by midnight.

If you need a little inspiration, check out the winners from 2015. Who’s gonna rock the comms this year?

Award winner for Print - Institutional

Category: Print Institutional | OE progress report | Melanie Hurley, Michelle Bea (designer)

Apr 172017

The 6th annual Berkeley Communications Conference (BC2) will be held on Tuesday, June 13 from 8am-1:30pm at Alumni House. This year’s conference brings together various forms of storytelling, from literary to social, and news platforms (both real and fake) that broadcast these stories.  

The morning will kick off with hot beverages and a welcome address from chancellor-designate Carol Christ. Christ will be followed by four exciting speakers: novelist and teaching professor in the English department Vikram Chandra; recent alum and social media wunderkind Tai Tran; charismatic university librarian Jeff MacKie-Mason; and author, journalist, and co-founder of Berkeleyside Frances Dinkelspiel. As is BC2 tradition, the conference will shine the spotlight on UC Berkeley communications staffers’ creative work with the Brand Awards, and there will be ample time for networking with your peers. Check out the full agenda.

The Brand Awards entry deadline is midnight on Monday, May 8, 2017. Entry form and details.

The Rules:

  • See your email for the link to register. Register by June 1 to secure your spot at the conference.
  • Space is limited and the conference will be first-come, first-served only. Your invitation is for one participant and is non-transferrable.
  • If you didn’t receive an invite and hope to attend, e-mail one of the co-chairs (linked below) and we will add you to our wait list.

Stay tuned for more fun features from your co-chairs and speakers. In the meantime: is fake news making you anxious? Maybe you need a costume change.

See you in June!

Your 2017 BC2 Co-Chairs Caitlin Appert-Nguyen (University Health Services), Adolfo Guerra (Student Affairs Communications), Louisa Spier (Cal Performances)  

Feb 142017

Mark your calendars now for the next Berkeley Communications Conference (BC2) on Tuesday, June 13, 2017, location is Alumni House.

Those of you who have attended past BC2 conferences will notice a change in this years schedule – we are not immune to Berkeley’s budget cuts, and thus BC2 will be a half day affair this year.

With a shorter day we feel it is more important than ever to make every session the best it can be – the pressure is on! We promise inspiring speakers, networking opportunities, and delicious refreshments.

Stay connected to BC2:

  1. Join or post to the Berkeley Communications Community Facebook group.
  2. Check this website for conference updates.
  3. Use the hashtag #sharebc2 in your social media posts.
  4. Send any/all of us an email (linked below).

In the meantime, make note of June 13, 2017, and stay tuned for updates on the agenda, registration, and brand awards deadline.

Keep in touch!

Your 2017 BC2 Co-Chairs: Caitlin Appert-Nguyen (University Health Services), Adolfo Guerra (Student Affairs Communications), Louisa Spier (Cal Performances)

Caitlin, Adolfo and Louisa, BC2 2017 co-chairs

Caitlin, Adolfo and Louisa


BC2 planning with the co-chairs, Public Affairs team, and BC2 alums!


About the 2017 BC2 Co-Chairs:

Caitlin Appert-Nguyen has been working for University Health Services at UC Berkeley for nearly 5 years. She’s a proud alumna (Go Bears!) and has attended every BC2 to date. Her professional interests are rooted in communications, public health and higher education. At UHS she leads the operational and internal communications efforts and gets to practice a variety of skill sets including print and graphic design, web, writing and videography. She lives in Berkeley surrounded by boys including her husband and two sons, a preschooler and an infant. She loves to read, bake, watch baking shows, spend time at the beach and knows every word to every song in the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton.

Adolfo Guerra joined UC Berkeley Student Affairs Communications last year as a Client Relationship Manager. In this role, Adolfo develops marketing strategies and spearheads communications efforts for Cal Dining, Cal Catering, Conference Services, and the Cal 1 Card office. Before coming to Berkeley, Adolfo lived in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, where he spent six years working as the Marketing Manager for Monterrey Tech’s Food Service Department. For the past two years, he also served as the Information Officer for the Pacific Region of the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS). He holds a master’s degree in marketing from EGADE Business School and is passionate about design, marketing strategies, and food. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, traveling, and going to the theater.

Louisa Spier joined the staff at Cal Performances, UC Berkeley’s performing arts producer and presenter, as PR Manager in early 2016. She came to this position as a seasoned music publicist having worked at Bay Area performance venues as diverse as the San Francisco Symphony, SF Jazz, Yoshi’s, and the Great American Music Hall as well as head of PR for world music record label Six Degrees. She holds a degree in Anthropology and Ethnic studies from Mills College and lives in the Oakland hills with her mountain-biking husband and one bossy little black kitty. In her free time she is an avid yoga practitioner, a runner, swimmer, and hospice volunteer.

May 162016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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