Looking Beyond for Inspiration

For this month’s Connect theme, we are highlighting some of the speakers, facilitators, keynotes, attendees, sponsors, and scholarship recipients of the 2015 Leading Change Summit in Washington, DC September 13-16.

I love working in public media. With a network of hundreds of public radio and television stations and online media groups throughout the country, I feel blessed to have a large number of colleagues and mentors ready to hear, share, and build ideas in the name of public service media.

This year, though, I set a goal to look outside public media for inspiration, feedback, and collaboration. On that journey, I found NTEN and can’t wait to attend the Leading Change Summit in September!

Why the LCS?

It didn’t take a full cost/benefit analysis to put the LCS on my “Conferences To Attend” list (#nerdalert).

The summit checks all my boxes: a place to network with nonprofit experts, a chance to learn from folks outside my niche industry, an opportunity to gather feedback on my projects and challenges, and an avenue to hear (and eventually adapt) new ideas for my community.

With “uninterrupted time to focus on strategies and new ideas” and “collaboration with practitioners on your real-world solutions,” the LCS will bring fresh perspectives to the projects I’d like to develop in a dynamic, energetic environment.

What I’m excited about?

I plan to participate in the Program Design & Effectiveness hub, but I’d definitely like to meet folks from the Developing Technical Solutions groups, too. Those two hubs represent the intersection of my work at WSKG—digital engagement and content, and strategic planning.

As far as speakers go, I really look forward to hearing from Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities. The importance of an accessible, community-wide Internet goes hand-in-hand with what I consider the largest challenge facing my industry: public media was founded during a time of technological change (way back when “TV” was the disruptive technology); today, public media must adapt to internet-connected technologies in order to continue its mission of quality media for any audience and for free.

As for half-day trainings, I’m totally torn between the two halves of my job! On one hand, Building Your Digital Strategy for Impact gets to the meat and potatoes of some specific challenges my organization faces. On the other, Data & Evaluation could provide much-needed personal growth that would allow me to lead and make impact beyond our station. I think I’ll just have to wing it!

Last, but not least, when it’s time for the Idea Accelerator, you’ll most likely see me running up to the stage! I love a little competition and public speaking. I’ve been considering possible ideas to pitch.

  1. I would like to build a regional YouTube network to empower and extend the reach of independent filmmakers in our region. I have a base understanding of the formal and informal rules of business and content partnerships, but I would like to hear more about others’ collaborations, contracts, and success metrics.
  2. We face a challenge in archiving and cataloging a vast reservoir of archival content. I would love to develop a crowd-sourced tool to upload, manage, organize, and present this content on the back end, and in a user-facing interactive tool. I’d also like to combine this idea with Melody Kramer’s recent report on the definition of “membership” in public media—how can we make those who donate time to this project a “member” of WSKG?
  3. Our industry struggles with online revenue generation. I’d like to formulate a way to scale a local or regional (or even national) fundraising “bootcamp” that takes a group from point A to point “whatever you can dream, do it!” when it comes to cultivating audiences and donors through online tools and new digital fundraising strategies.

Right now, I lean towards developing and problem-solving the second concept, but who knows?

I hope you’ll share your feedback and brainpower during the summit (or before – tweet to me!), and I look forward to hearing all of your ideas. See you in a few months!

Teresa Peltier
Teresa Peltier is the Director of Digital Strategy and Organizational Planning at WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, NY. She enjoys kickstarting change online, in the community, and in the office. Teresa is a mentee in the Public Media Women in Leadership program and a former member of the PBS Digital Advisory Council.