Upgrade Your Communications Skills with AFL-CIO’s #1u Communications Program!


Without a strong communications program, there is no union. You can’t join a union that you do not know exists, right? Better yet, you wouldn’t want to join a union that you do know exists, but never hear from. This is why educating ourselves on the art of member communications is so critical.

Over the next several months, the AFL-CIO will be hosting a series of free digital communications trainings to help you and other unionists hone your communication skills. This is not just another click-through training like you see all too often in government. Live trainers will guide you through a diverse array of topics meant to turn even the most novice digital communicator into a pro. Click here to register for courses.

Beginners’ courses include topics such as getting buy-in from members, communicating over Facebook and Twitter, effective use of email blasts, and designing materials for distribution. These courses will serve as a foundations for the more in-depth trainings that follow.

Intermediate courses delve deeper into the digital communications world, offering advanced social media trainings, integrating online activism with field operations, and taking powerful photos to get your message across to the masses. These courses are for serious communicators who want to lead their local communications program like a small company would manage its marketing.

The final category offered are the Advanced courses, which offer top-flight communicators training in the latest trends and technologies driving the field forward. Covered topics include communicating with mass-texts, shooting and editing video, email analytics, online advertising and more. This is for the serious communicators who want to communicate beyond their local and reach a statewide, regional, or national audience.

Courses are open to all AFL-CIO union affiliates, and all local leaders and members are encouraged to attend at least one course.

“This is the best resources I have ever come across for activating the communications potential of our members,” said NFFE National Communications Director Cory Bythrow. “Federal employees have fought a losing battle against the anti-federal-worker naysayers in Congress and the media for years, but this is a game-changer. Do not let this opportunity go to waste – sign up for your courses today!”

Below is a comprehensive list of courses being offered. To register, visit the #1u Digital Training page here.

Beginners Courses:

Getting Buy In: How Your Organization Joins the Digital Conversation- A basic overview of why you should invest in digital, how to talk about it to your employees or supervisors, and how to measure its impact so you get results.

Social Media 101:

A basic overview of social media tools, especially Facebook and Twitter, and some best practices for implementing a social media program for your organization.

Facebook 101 Breakout:

For the folks who are just getting started- we’ll walk through step-by-step how you create a Facebook account and give you some tips to start loving social media.

Twitter 101 Breakout:

For the folks who are just getting started- we’ll walk through step-by-step how you create a Twitter account and give you some tips to start loving social media.

Email Best Practices: How to write a great email, including step-by-step instructions for email content production, as well as basic best practices around subject lines, frequency, and case studies of “good” and “bad” email.

Design 101:

An intro to the elements that comprise effective design. We’ll teach you how to make better compositions by using solid design principles, and will help non-designers collaborate & communicate more effectively with graphic designers. *Please note: this is not a software training.

Intermediate Courses:

Social Media 201 Twitter: A deeper exploration into Twitter, including lists, hashtags, chats, and other campaign applications. We’ll show you how to take your account to the next level and begin building a real community. — Best Practices 201

Social Media 201 Facebook: A deeper exploration into Facebook, including edgerank, creating graphics, multiple postings, and targeting. We’ll show you how to take your account to the next level and begin building a real community.

Online to Offline: Learn how to use all the tools in your toolbox, including online and field integration, how to tell stories online, and tips and tricks for smooth integration.

Photography Best Practices: A how-to training that will show you how to take a great photo, discuss what makes a photo compelling, simple photo editing and tools, and where to show off your work.

Advanced Courses:

Social Media 301: Now that you know Facebook and Twitter, it’s time to learn about the rest of the channels you can use, like Instagram, Pinterst, Flickr and Tumblr. We’ll go over what audiences make sense for which channels, how to get started, and best practices for each of them.

Video Best Practices: How to create a great video, including great case studies, budget, rapid response, tools for editing, and best practices.

Email List Management: Take your email list to the next level, including list segmentation, imports and exports in Salsa, basic testing, and data hygiene.

Online Ads Best Practices: Getting started with online ads, including how to create a budget, where to get your ads place, creative and design elements, and how to measure success.

Social Media 401: Infographics and Memes: How to create great memes, tips for creating shareable content, and rapid response with memes on social media.

Email Analytics: A basic introduction to email analytics, including reading Salsa reports, audience predictions, why you need to do it, and how to set up a basic A/B test in Salsa.

SMS Text Best Practices: Getting started with text, including best practices for how to build a list, recommended vendors, how to determine when text is appropriate, and case studies.