Technical Assistance & Training Catalog

We offer training to our client partners on a variety of topics designed to help them reach communications goals and increase communications skills and capacity. Please note that all of these trainings can be given either in-person or virtually.

For more information about our technical assistance and training services or to discuss a training not listed below, please contact Brenda Foster at bfoster@vancomm.com to further explore Vanguard’s portfolio and expertise.

Audience Research

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize various types of audience research techniques.
  • Understand how audience research can be applied to diverse communications needs.
  • Apply audience research to communications planning.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Research planning
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Low-cost approaches

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 20

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Branding

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the definition and purpose of a brand to nonprofit and government organizations.
  • Learn the role of a brand in organizational positioning.
  • Follow the steps for crafting a brand identity and platform.
  • Implement a brand.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Key components of brand strategy
  • Brand development approaches
  • Building and maintaining a brand

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 20

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Celebrity Engagement

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the benefits and pitfalls of organizational relationships with high-profile spokespeople.
  • Identify key resources for identifying and recruiting spokespeople.
  • Maximize your organization’s investment through effective relationship management and message preparation and promotion.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Celebrity identification and research
  • Outreach and engagement
  • Relationship management
  • Promotion

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 30

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Crisis Communications

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the unique communications vulnerabilities of nonprofit and government organizations.
  • Analyze areas in need of attention to prevent a communications crisis.
  • Prepare for and respond to internal and external crises.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Crisis definition
  • Four phases of crisis, including:
    • Prevention
    • Planning
    • Response
    • Recovery

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 20

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Culturally Competent Communications

Learning Objectives

  • Identify principles of cultural and linguistic competence.
  • Understand application of culturally and linguistically competent approaches.
  • Outline approaches for integrating cultural and linguistic competence in communications strategies.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Definitions of cultural and linguistic competence
  • Audience involvement and collaboration
  • Application of principles to messages and strategies

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 50

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Event Planning

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the characteristics and benefits of event types, both in-person and virtual.
  • Appreciate the role of events in supporting your organizational goals.
  • Apply best practices to plan, budget and execute an event.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Organization and planning
  • Interactivity and engagement
  • Spokesperson involvement and preparation
  • Earned and social media promotion
  • Post-event follow-up

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 50

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Materials Development

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how materials can support your communications efforts.
  • Identify types of and uses for various products.
  • Apply best practices for materials development and production.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Creating a materials development plan
  • Audience-focused writing and design
  • Low-cost approaches
  • Printing and production considerations

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 20

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Measurement and Evaluation

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the benefits of measurement and evaluation in communications
  • Appreciate various levels of evaluation, including process, outcome and impact
  • Identify effective, low-cost ways to measure communications programs

This training covers the following topics:

  • Benefits of communications measurement
  • Formative and summative research
  • Levels of evaluation
  • Measurement and evaluation approaches
  • Reporting to stakeholders

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 30

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Media Relations

Learning Objectives

  • Understand earned media — what it is and why it is useful.
  • Identify how to develop materials for earned media outreach.
  • Increase comfort level in conducting earned media outreach.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Benefits of earned media
  • Media materials development and distribution
  • Media list development
  • Media pitches
  • Identifying stories and spokespeople
  • Developing talking points

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 20

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Message Development

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the elements of an effective message.
  • Appreciate how audience analysis contributes to message development.
  • Gain confidence in developing effective messages.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Audience identification
  • Audience segmentation
  • Audience barriers and benefits
  • Modes of persuasion
  • Community-driven messaging

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 20

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Online Marketing

Learning Objectives

  • Identify characteristics of online media.
  • Understand how to use online tools as part of a strategic communications plan.
  • Use measurement to assess and revise online strategies.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Best practices in online communication
  • Overview of online tools
  • Audience personas and targeting
  • Measurement tools and reporting

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 20

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Partnership Development

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the role of partners in meeting organizational objectives.
  • Develop a collaboration plan.
  • Effectively engage community, government, businesses and individuals in partnership discussions.
  • Understand how to meet needs of various partner organizations.
  • Recognize facilitation skills that foster strong partners.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Best practices
  • Prospecting partners
  • Effective outreach
  • Maintaining relationships

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 30

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Public Speaking

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the principles of effective public speaking.
  • Grow confidence in delivering your message to any audience.
  • Gain experience in presenting to camera and groups.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Pointers for delivery
  • Audience engagement
  • Identifying a single overriding communications objective (SOCO)
  • Anatomy of an effective speech
  • Portraying confidence and leadership

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 10

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Social Marketing

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the definition of social marketing.
  • Appreciate the role of social marketing in behavior change.
  • Identify and implement the social marketing planning process to seed behavior change.

This training covers the following topics:

  • The definition and purpose of social marketing
  • Social marketing principles
  • Plan development and implementation
  • Evaluation

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 50

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Speech Writing

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the elements of an effective speech.
  • Apply message concepts to speech outline development.
  • Understand how to create and implement a theme.
  • Appreciate the role of speaker voice and cadence.
  • Recognize best practices in timing, mechanics and language use.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Parts of an effective speech
  • Persuasive structure
  • Message identification
  • Theme development
  • Audience engagement
  • Culturally and linguistically competent approaches
  • Timing, mechanics and language

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 20

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Spokesperson Training

Learning Objectives

  • Develop and pursue a single overriding communications objective (SOCO) to use in speeches and media interviews.
  • Identify and address areas of improvement related to delivery.
  • Adapt language and messaging to various audiences.
  • Understand roles and responsibilities as an interviewee.
  • Learn how to stay in control of interviews and pursue your objective.
  • Experience on-camera interview practice and critique.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Public speaking skills
  • Identifying an audience
  • Developing a SOCO
  • Preparing for an interview
  • Staying in control and navigating transitions
  • Interview rights and responsibilities
  • On-camera interview practice and critique

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 10

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Storytelling

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the role of storytelling in narrative change.
  • Appreciate how audience composition influences story selection and delivery.
  • Apply the principles of “strategic sharing” to ensure the privacy of the storytellers and support key messages and objectives.
  • Incorporate personal experiences, speaking, culture and other attributes comfortably into interviews and other public-facing communications.
  • Craft personal stories in written and video formats.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Elements of storytelling
  • Story types
  • Message development
  • Audience engagement
  • Application to various formats
  • Group and individual exercises to practice storytelling

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 50

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Strategic Communications Planning

Learning Objectives

  • Appreciate the role of a strategic communications plan in meeting organizational goals.
  • Recognize the steps to conducting a situational analysis.
  • Understand how to create and implement a strategic communications plan.

This training covers the following topics:*

  • Goals and objectives
  • Audiences
  • Messages
  • Pretesting
  • Channels
  • Activities, events and materials
  • Implementation and evaluation

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 50

*Each section above also can be done as an individual “deep dive” training of 12 hours.

Be sure to check out articles from our Strategic Communications Planning series on our blog if you are interested in a particular topic.

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Writing for Social Media

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how to create effective, engaging social media messages.
  • Align social media content with communication goals.
  • Develop content that responds to current social media algorithms.

This training covers the following topics:

  • Basic social media writing techniques
  • Best practices for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
  • Content and graphic development

Ideal Number of Participants: Up to 20

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