This week, I’m celebrating a great first year since I launched Collective Reach. To look back, I’ve put together an annual report of sorts.
I want to begin by saying thanks. To everyone who encouraged, referred, hired, reviewed, advised, partnered with and supported me, I’m extremely grateful.
2019 was a year full of good luck, hard work and wonderful community. It was also a year full of…
Content that Connects
I worked with several clients in 2019 to craft content designed to increase engagement.
My writing was published in blog posts like this one, donor appeals, brochures, annual reports and on web pages.
Strategy that Aligns
Effective communications across any platform or medium are rooted in sound strategy. When small teams start on the same page, they can make the most of limited resources to further their missions.
Every project I undertake starts with strategy. Whether I’m identifying goals and audiences to conceptualize an annual report theme, building a brand platform, or building messaging to infuse into content for a blog series, good strategy matters.
Workshops that Inspire
Being an independent practitioner means many days working solo. One of my favorite ways to break from this routine is to lead a workshop. Here, I can share knowledge and generate ideas and buy-in among teams.
In 2019, I kicked off one client’s branding project with a workshop for its leadership team. The team generated ideas that appeared throughout the final brand guide. The foundation of understanding they gained during the workshop empowered them to use the guide in their day-to-day work.
Later in the year, I had the privilege to design and facilitate a workshop for the Cleveland Foundation’s Public Service Fellows that covered storytelling, personal branding, interpersonal communications and professional norms.
I had a great time connecting with this dynamic group of emerging professionals and learning how they’re working to better Cleveland’s public and nonprofit agencies. Here are a few comments from participants:
Reanna was excellent! Her engaging, interactive presentation was not only informational but also enjoyable. She allowed us to take a deep dive into topics that were interesting and pertinent based on our cohort and its dynamic. She perfectly balanced being energetic while also actively listening to our group. It is clear she cares about her work, and has the knowledge and energy needed to lead high-level discussions.-Emma Kopp
Public sector work requires me to be an excellent, clear, and sincere communicator. This workshop taught me some very practical skills for both communicating my work to others in addition to showing me how I can truly connect with the people whom my work affects.– Anyonymous
The communications and storytelling workshop facilitated meaningful group discussion and self-reflection, and Reanna engaged us by putting her lessons into practice — she was a dynamic presenter with exciting and aesthetically pleasing visuals accompanying the dialogue. The workshop provided an excellent forum for thinking about who we are and where we’re going as young professionals.– Natalie Ziegler, TCF Fellow 2019-20
Design that Delivers
Good design lends legitimacy and facilitates understanding. It’s also–and this is just my opinion–really fun to do. Design work dominated many of my projects over the course of 2019, from annual reports and brochures to infographics and logos:
The 2018 annual report for the Fund for Our Economic Future (which was one of my first projects through Collective Reach) took home silver at the PRSA Cleveland Rocks Awards in November.
Resources to Extend Your Reach
One of the core values I built Collective Reach upon is generosity. Having worked solo in so many instances, I have benefited tremendously from others’ generosity in sharing their expertise that I vowed to pay it forward.
I also produced eight free downloadable resources for nonprofit communicators, solo entrepreneurs and anyone else who might come across my blog. Some of them were exclusive to subscribers of Further, but to celebrate my anniversary, I’m posting them all here:
- Plan your best year yet
- Prioritize your communications tactics when time is tight (example worksheet and blank PDF)
- Audit your organization’s brand using this checklist
- Start thinking about who your brand is for. Use this personas worksheet to develop a better understanding of your audience.
- Print out these tips writing effectively for the web and post them by your computer.
- Website redesign looming on the horizon? Handle it with this comprehensive checklist.
- Maximize your messaging impact with effective calls to action.
- Nail your next presentation with this preparation checklist.
I’ve got plenty more of these in store for 2020, so if you find these useful, get Further in your inbox by signing up here.
A Great Community and Lots of Lessons Learned
I’m really proud of everything I produced in 2019, but doing good work is just a part of building a business. Building connections, learning from others and honing my craft were also a big part of my year.
In fact, I had a great opportunity to talk about lessons learned through failure in Josh Womack’s Young Professionals Blog for Crain’s Cleveland Business.
So many fellow business owners (especially fellow women business owners) were enormously generous with their time–sitting down for coffee with me, sharing contacts and recommendations and encouraging me when the whole idea of venturing out on my own felt scary.
With a full year in business under my belt, I’m excited to build on what I’ve learned to continue to help mission-minded marketers extend their reach in 2020 and beyond.
If you’d like to learn more about how I can help support your mission, please get in touch!