We’re pleased to announce our Netroots Nation 2012 agenda! Below you’ll find panels, training sessions and more. You can view the program electronically here.

Order by:

Online Activism, Social Media and the Law

Especially in the post-Citizens United universe, organizers involved in political campaigns and party organizations, 501(c)(3)s, (c)(4)s and the labor movement are often unsure what kinds of activity they can engage in online. Can a 501(c)(3) “friend” a candidate? What happens when a campaign retweets a SuperPAC ad? Experts in the law and in new media will provide the most up-to-date advice possible for keeping your activities beyond reproach during the 2012 election season.

Trainers: Adam Bonin, Abby Levine

The Power of Our Stories: Making Complex Issues Accessible (T4T)

This training is designed to prepare participants to train others in identifying the most impactful aspects of their personal stories for the purpose of moving others to action. Participants will learn the fundamentals of the workshop, along with helpful facilitation tips.

Trainers: Rosa Gonzalez, Julian Mocine-McQueen

Data-Driven Design for Progressive Organizations: 10 Engagement Metrics You Probably aren't Tracking

We’ll share 10 often overlooked web, social media and email metrics you can use to improve your social bottom line (in terms of actions taken, money raised, etc.). More than the online statistics that we all usually track—unique visitors, email open rates, advertising clickthroughs, etc.—these data sets can help you spark more user engagement, cultivate long-term brand loyalty and incentivize sustained peer-to-peer sharing. How do you use “website activation time” to attract email list subscribers? How do you use Facebook EdgeRank to measure the health of your fan base? These are just a few of the questions this training will answer.

Trainers: Nikki Serapio

Grassroots Lobbying

This session talks about the relationship between public policy, advocacy and lobbying, and shares strategies for being an effective citizen lobbyist. Participants spend the bulk of this session in an exciting exercise involving lobbying decision-makers who are supportive, undecided and opposed to a particular issue.

Trainers: Peggy Flanagan, Rudy Lopez

Beyond Networking: How to Make Friends and Influence People at Netroots Nation 2012

We’re here to help. At this interactive training, you’ll learn how to navigate the action-packed schedule of Netroots Nation, how to survive on two hours of sleep (and still be alert for a day of panels!) and how to make genuine, lasting connections with the other fantastic folks gathered here in Providence. Best of all, you’ll get an early start on networking!

Trainers: John Brougher, Karlo Marcelo

How Progressives Get Narrative Wrong, and How to Get It Right

Progressives talk a lot about narrative and storytelling these days. So why are we so bad at it? We’re not just bad at it – we’re often reinforcing right-wing ideas about our most important issues without even knowing it. We have to be smarter about research and strategy. But first, we need to know what a real narrative looks like. This interactive workshop led by progressive strategy consultant Ryan Senser, along with the help of cognitive linguist and communications expert Anat Shenker-Osorio, will help you practice effective storytelling. We’ll use great stories to help us, from Harriet Tubman to Superman, and offer compelling examples of narrative, visual storytelling and words that actually move people. You’ll walk away with simple and smart tools, and learn how to avoid dead-end talking points and pointless infographics. We’ll also tackle one narrative challenge from the audience and work together to transform it.

Trainers: Caitlin Burns, Ryan Senser, Anat Shenker-Osorio

Email for the Win!

Everyone knows email is one of the most important tools in an organizer’s arsenal, but not everyone knows how to build a successful email program. This training will cover techniques for growing and managing a list of active supporters, and getting the most you can out of every email sent. We’ll look at concrete examples, and attendees will come away with solid ideas for improving their own programs and using email to win campaigns.

Trainers: Matt Lockshin

Decoding Defense: Speaking with Authority on National Security Issues

It’s an old cliché: The GOP is the “national security” party. But Barack Obama’s foreign and domestic policies are changing that idea. The armed services have played a key role in debates over foreign policy, the budget, gay rights, immigration and civil liberties. Vets transitioning to the homefront have taken the lead in the Occupy movement, the push for clean energy and reforms to education. Speaking with authority on military issues is critical for progressives in the coming year, but it’s also daunting. How do you navigate a Pentagon budget? What’s the difference between a commissioned and noncommissioned officer? Who watchdogs military contractors? What organizations exist to connect progressives and vets? Attendees to this workshop will learn how to “speak DOD,” find and decipher important military info, articulate progressive national security goals in simple statements, rebut conservative talking points and reach out with empathy to veterans who are receptive to progressive ideals.

Trainers: Bryan Rahija, Adam Weinstein

Tweeting the Revolution: Twitter Training for Campaigning

This session will guide you in the basic to intermediate, with some tidbits of advance strategies for using Twitter to promote campaigns of every type. We’ll discuss awareness/issue campaigns that educate the public; media campaigns that challenge the mainstream press; promotional campaigns that advocate great art, people and projects; and electoral campaigns that require hardcore results. We’ll focus on winning tactics and strategies, using case studies and solid measurement.

Trainers: Beth Becker, Kimberly 'Dr. Goddess' Ellis

Blog Content Bootcamp

So you have a blog, some social media profiles and can write decently, but now it’s time to use those tools to create quality content that engages readers and advances your cause. Starting with basic story-finding tools (RSS feeds, Google Alerts, etc.), we’ll talk about how to design attention-grabbing short and long-form blog posts that your readers can learn from and enjoy. Then we’ll learn research, photojournalism, interview and editing skills to add context and authority to your work. Finally, we’ll end with a hands-on assignment combining these skills to develop and share a breaking story from start to finish in a way that will get people discussing and sharing your work. This class is intended for intermediate bloggers who know the basics of blogging but desire additional training in journalism and electronic media to create polished work (wi-fi enabled laptops and Google Account required, cameras optional).

Trainers: Daniel Villarreal

Social Media Strategy for Advocacy

Come to this session for the down and dirty details of how to successfully use social media in political advocacy. We’ll focus on the integration of social media into your personal advocacy efforts.

Trainers: Beth Becker, Alan Rosenblatt

Investigative Reporting for Bloggers

This session will offer training and tips in the basics of investigative journalism, with special emphasis on election-year issues.

Trainers: Joe Conason

How (and Why) to Advertise Online

Ever see an advertisement for a pair of shoes or your favorite vacation destination follow you around the internet?

There is no greater medium for targeting the individuals your campaign or organization need to deliver electoral, organizing or legislative victories. With digital use on the rise you need how to build an online advertising campaign that meets your goals. Attendees will leave knowing how to develop and optimize an online advertising plan using Google, Facebook, and other popular platforms and tools. Anyone can do it.

Trainers: Andrew Roos, Tim Tagaris

Base Building and Elections: Winning while Building Grassroots Power

This session will address how elections can be won in such a way that power is built up in the grassroots and that winning is more than 50 percent plus 1. We’ll discuss how base building isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do to win. Participants will learn how we can use elections to build and expand the base by bringing new people into the process by building authentic relationships in communities. We will also talk about how communities and constituencies must be seen as partners in this work in order to create infrastructure that last long after the election, builds power and grows new leaders. Finally, you’ll learn how to put together a base-building plan that utilizes power mapping and targeting.

Trainers: Peggy Flanagan, Rudy Lopez

How to Ensure Your Web Development Project is a Complete Failure

Set unrealistic deadlines! Don’t define your intended audience! Refuse to make decisions! Many of the ways you can mess up your new website or redesign are identical to the ways people fumble any endeavor. Other mistakes are unique responses to the age old demand—“Hey, overextended staffer! Create a cutting edge website for free, stat, with whatever the latest gizmo thingy I don’t understand is!” After years of working with a diverse range of organizations and campaigns we’re here to enthusiastically report on the classic mistakes even the best organizers and communicators make when overseeing major website development (or redevelopment). We’ll hold your sweaty, fearful hand as we walk you through the entire life cycle of website development, ensuring that the end result is as expensive and ineffective as possible.

Trainers: Cheryl Contee, Aaron Welch

Winning Wireless

Using the mobile phone, text messaging, phone calls and mobile web, to connect with supporters and drive meaningful action to affect change.

The training will start with an overview of the mobile ecosystem and a example campaigns. We’ll focus on the aspects of mobile that produce the best results for the organization and include specific data as well as aggregate data from the leading organizations.

From there we will build a simple mobile campaign and test it out in real time. We’ll end the session with Q&A as well as a discussion of how mobile will be used in the 2012 election and beyond. This session will speak to organizers that are beginners or experienced with mobile.

Trainers: Michael Sabat

Beyond Engagement: Progressive Organizing in Communities of Color

The progressive moment often focuses on engagement with communities of color. From GOTV to social justice work, a main challenge is moving beyond activating voters on our issues to truly organizing and motivating the community. This training seeks to equip progressive organizers with tools necessary to avoid common challenges when organizing and working in communities of color. Understanding and assessing community needs, effective messaging and avoidance of tokenism will be explored. Using a lens of reproductive rights and feminism, case studies in American Indian, Latino and African-American communities will be explored. This session is particularly timely, because we have seen how reproductive rights in communities of color are under attack using the banner of benevolence and protection.

Trainers: Erica Scott Pacheco

Getting Analytical with Google Analytics

Grassroots marketing used to mean going door-to-door or sending out mail, but today it is just as likely to involve YouTube or Pinterest. How can we tell which method of marketing is working the best for our cause and driving traffic to our websites? Are visitors from certain sources more likely to take action then others? Is it possible to track the success of real-world marketing in Google Analytics? This session will take a deeper dive into Google Analytics and show some tips and tricks for getting a better understanding of your marketing campaigns and how to identify the most successful ways to encourage action on your website.

Trainers: Phil Anderson

EXCLUSIVE: 10 Ways to Win the Internets Through Sexier Sharing and Epic Visuals*

Fact: You are the worst predictor of what content will go viral in the world. Learn how to optimize your headlines and content, double your Facebook fans and increase user engagement. Hang out with the crack team of sharers at Upworthy. Steal our secret recipe to get larger shares. We’ll tell you all the counterintuitive things we learned, like why “Republican” tests better than “GOP” in headlines, why pretty design actually hurts sharing and how to leverage partnerships to get your organization on the top of the social sharing heap. We’ll explain the latest strategies in optimizing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and more to make sure you are maximizing your results, plus we’ll teach you quick and easy ways to double your efforts by testing, testing, testing.

*Kegs of really good beer will be provided. (No beer will really be provided. We’re just giving you a secret tactic up front as an example.)

Trainers: Sara Critchfield, Adam Mordecai

Words that Work(ed): Crafting Effective and Truthful Memes

Lamestream media. Corporations are people. Food Stamp President. The right wing is winning the meme war by crafting effective slogans and taglines that permeate the American vernacular. This session will serve as a catalyst to help progressive candidates and activists craft their own memes for the upcoming 2012 election cycle.

Trainers: jenifer daniels

How to Get Earned Media for Your Issue

The news and information landscape is changing dramatically, but one thing hasn’t: generating earned media on campaigns and issues is a major part of how progressives can put pressure on public officials and win on issue campaigns. Successfully earned media campaigns can influence decision makers, persuade the public, provide legitimacy and be the difference between a winning campaign and a losing one. This session will share best practices for generating earned media and conducting sustained media campaigns.

Trainers: Doug Gordon, Jennifer Lindenauer

Content Management: What’s Possible & Best for Your Org?

Whether your new website is a top of the line enterprise solution with tailored content for audience segments, a basic blog site, or a new site for your latest campaign, two of the first questions you will be confronted with are what Content Management System (CMS) to use and what programming language it should be based on? Don’t know what the implications of these questions are? Come find out what a CMS can do for you.

In this session we’ll walk you through the questions you should consider as you determine what technology solution is right for you or your organization. Sitecore, Expression Engine, WordPress, CrownPeak, Joomla, Drupal, Django and even Tumblr – we’ll run you through the options and implications, answer your questions, and give you the tools you need to make the right choices.

Trainers: Austen Levihn-Coon

Recruiting and Hiring Rockstar Staffers

Good help can be hard to find, but it doesn’t have to be. There are thousands of talented organizers out there—you’ve just got to find and recruit them to your team. Led by experienced managers with decades of hiring experience, this training will provide you with a new outlook on recruiting and hiring rockstars for your staff. We’ll cover how to write attractive job descriptions, effectively use your networks to identify the right talent and how to manage dozens of applicants through an interview process. We’ll also talk about how to reel someone in when you’re sure you’ve found the right person for the job.

Trainers: Matt Blizek, Amy Pritchard

How to Make Clicks Mean Something: Strategic Planning for Online Campaigns

Online activism can be as meaningless as people clicking on a web page, or powerful enough to change this country—it all depends on your strategy. This training will teach you how the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) plans the kind of high-impact, attention-getting online campaigns that have helped us and others accomplish powerful things like strengthening financial reform and drafting Elizabeth Warren into the Senate race in Massachusetts. Come and learn how keen strategy, theory of change, building momentum, and reporting back combine to create online campaigns with strong effects in the real world.

Trainers: Adam Green, Jason Rosenbaum, Matt Wall

Excel-erate! Turbo-charge your Excel skills

This session is a rapid-fire introduction to several important functions of Microsoft Excel, all of which will help you digest, manipulate and display data quickly and easily. Aimed at an audience between beginner and intermediate, the training will cover if statements, pivot tables and pivot charts, vlookup, conditional formatting, filter and sort and other fun functions and formulas. The session will include a demo of the above topics by using the various functions to turn a raw dataset into useful products. Audience members with laptops can download the dataset and play along, and a read-along handout given to all participants will list, in order, every function being demonstrated.

Trainers: Amelia Showalter

Train the (Online) Trainer: Holding Engaging Online Trainings

Have you ever had to give an online training/presentation and felt like you were awkwardly lecturing an unresponsive computer? Worse, have you ever had to participate in an online training (any online training)? As distance training becomes easier to do technologically, more people struggle with ways to keep online presentations engaging, interactive and impactful. Join this session to learn about Obama for America’s 10 tips for executing awesome trainings, and how we’ve adjusted our ten offline tips so that they translate to online presentations. We’ll cover concrete tactics you can use to keep your participants awake, specific online tools that are most amenable to those tactics and most commonly committed errors. You’ll leave ready to webinar the heck out of your organization or fellow organizers.

Trainers: Sara El-Amine, Brad Schenck

Rapid Response Across Mediums: Social, Online and PR

Chris Cassidy’s social media rapid response training, given twice at NOI bootcamps, is a consistent crowd favorite. (Ok, second favorite once.) Here, he’s taking that gold/silver-medal formula and expanding it from just social media to include static online sites and public relations. Rapid response is something that requires a coordinated message and approach across mediums. You’ll learn tips and best practices, as well as recent examples of failures and successes, for approaching communications crises.

Trainers: Chris Cassidy

Randomized Controlled Experiment Results to Win Your Campaign

New scientifically effective proven campaign tactics from the Analyst Institute. Randomized controlled experiments have been used by academics and political organizations for the past 10 years to uncover what works and what doesn’t when talking to voters. We will briefly recap old and new proven effective GOTV best practices and touch on findings from voter registration tests (focused on Latino Voters), volunteer and advocacy tests, television ad testing and more. As a progressive community, we have limited resources and it’s important that we maximize our efforts by employing tactics that are proven to be effective. You will leave this presentation with simple phrases, tools and tricks to help you win.

Trainers: Regina Schwartz

How Organizing Can Change a Narrative

History has shown that when progressives mount a solid engagement organizing, we win the battle for hearts, minds and votes. Learn the tactics, timelines and tools from two of the best field organizers out there currently on the front lines of the 2012 battleground.

Trainers: Matthew 'Mudcat' Arnold, Helen Strain

Presence and Authenticity: The Key to Being a Media Star

Media appearances are performances. To be a good performer, one needs tools and techniques. This session will teach the tools and techniques used by professional actors to create star presence. It will be an interactive master class as taught by Joel Silberman, New York theatrical director and media trainer to performers and successful progressive candidates.

Trainers: Joel Silberman

Ideas to Action: Launching a People-powered Campaign for Change

Molly Katchpole took on Bank of America’s $5 fee. Katy Butler fought to give “Bully” a “PG-13” rating so students can see the film. Saudi women successfully got the world’s top diplomats, like Secretary of State Clinton, to support their right to drive. From local concerns to global issues, people are winning campaigns every day. This training will be a hands-on, interactive workshop for individuals and small organizations to start and run their own campaign. We’ll start with how to create a solid theory of change, brainstorm creative tactics and tools, and talk about strategies for reaching the media and getting a response from your decision-maker. You’ll leave this workshop with the knowledge to plan a strategic campaign and the skills to launch it in the room, so bring your laptops and ideas.

Trainers: Lola Elfman

Netroots Nation 2015