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20NTC Session

Not Fake News! Using Editorial Content to Tell Your Story


In this era of accusations of “fake news” and partisan media, the ability to produce credible, high-quality storytelling is more important than ever. Learn how your organization can develop (and sustain!) an editorially-driven communications strategy to raise engagement and help current supporters, prospects and the public better understand why you do what you do. 

We’ll discuss the role of blogging, op-eds, video, photography, podcasting and how you can use them in a multi-channel content stream to reach more people. We’ll also cover the skill-sets needed to be successful, how to mentor and cultivate inexperienced staff, and why ethics and high standards are so important.

Led by experienced non-profit communications leaders (with journalism background), this session will share best practices and include many specific examples.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the value proposition of an editorially-driven journalistic approach to organizational communications
  • Learn how to produce high quality blogs, video, podcasts and how to utilize effectively on website, social media, fundraising, email.
  • Awareness of skills sets and roles required and how to cultivate them at your organization.

Target Audience

Marketing & Comms, Sr. Management, Fundraisers, others interested in improving quality & effectiveness of their org's storytelling and content.


Content StrategySocial MediaStorytellingVideo


Bill Swersey

VP, Communications


Bill Swersey is Vice President of Communications & Digital Media at HIAS, the global refugee protection agency.

Previously, he was Executive Director of Digital for Asia Society for 6 years where he was responsible for website strategy, content and infrastructure for the global non-profit. Before joining Asia Society, Bill was Director of Digital Media at WNYC, New York Public Radio for 5 years where he oversaw the expansion of the station’s websites, live streaming, on demand audio and podcasting. Prior to joining WNYC, Bill was Director of Technology for Bravo Networks Digital Media.

Digital Media is Bill’s second career. From 1984-1996 he worked as photojournalist and was widely published in The NY Times, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and numerous other US and international publications. He was based in Moscow, Russia from 1991-1996, covering the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union.
In 1999 he was part of team that started Newsmakers Online Photo Service, later sold to Getty Images.

Bill has a Masters in Digital Media from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program and a BS in Journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.

Alejandro de Onis

Director of Digital Strategy

Knight Foundation

Alejandro de Onís is a social entrepreneur and formerly Director of Digital Strategy for the documentary production company, Skylight Pictures ( In his role as Digital Director, he increased social impact and audience engagement with platforms that made it easy for people to get involved with social issues. Some projects include The Toolbox, Granito: Every Memory Matters , and International Justice Central. De Onís has also worked on various programs for PBS, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and A&E. In years past, he dabbled in freelance photography, composing music for broadcast television, and was the co-owner of a successful restaurant in Brooklyn, NY.





March 25, 2020


1:45pm – 3:00pm



Collaborative Notes

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Session Evaluation

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