FORGE in the News

CADCA TV Online Library - 09/21/2012

Find Your Coalition Identity on CADCA TV Sept. 27

Sep 20, 2012

“Be strategic. Involve your stakeholders. Do what is possible, and do it well.” That’s what communications and branding expert Patrick Cook recommends to coalitions on the next CADCA TV show, “Creating a Coalition Identity”, airing Sept. 27th at 1 p.m. EST.

“Creating a Coalition Identity” features three national experts with extensive corporate and non-profit experience who will show you how to create a brand to help market your coalition: Cook, Director of HQ Programs within Social Marketing and Communication, FHI 360; Susan Waldman, Co-Founder and Director of Strategic Services, FORGE Branding; and Tina Bagapor-O’Harow, President/Account Executive, The AD Store.

Waldman said coalitions should know who they are before conveying who they are to the community through editorial or advertorial media.

“The foundation to any great brand is a clear understanding and articulation of who the organization is and what it stands for. Given limited time, I would start with identifying a compelling organizational purpose and a clear personality. With that information you have what you need to craft a strong message that can be conveyed in a consistent and engaging way,” she said.

Knowing that coalitions usually have limited time and resources, Cook and Waldman suggest starting with a plan that’s linked to the strategic plan of the organization or coalition. And engage youth members in the planning and implementation of branding your coalition.

“Strategic communication, in general, and branding, in particular, is done to accomplish specific objectives. Coalitions should tie these efforts to the strategic and communication objectives that they have outlined for themselves. Talking about successes – and their role in these successes – contributes to positioning themselves in the marketplace of ideas as a group that can get things done. Stakeholders want to know that a coalition is not just meeting a lot to talk about getting good things done. They want to know that the coalition is getting good things done,” Cook said.

The show’s guests suggest using low-cost social media platforms to reach and engage specific audiences, and be strategic about what is posted and shared. Also, cultivating relationships with traditional or earned media representatives in your community can lend credibility to a coalition in a way that a paid ad can’t.

“But effective media relations requires time and effort. You need to understand what editors, producers and journalists are looking for before picking up the phone to pitch a story. You need to develop a relationship with key journalists so that you become a trusted source to them. And you need to understand that journalists are not publicists – they are not in their profession to promote our work. Their charge is to tell a newsworthy story quickly and accurately,” Cook said.
The New Rochelle FOCUS coalition in New York also be highlighted on the show with a segment on how they use a variety of strategies to promote their work and how that has helped to shape their coalition identity.

This free CADCA TV show can be viewed in the following ways:

1. Via live webcast. Go to and click on “View Webcast”.

2. By satellite downlink from any site with a satellite dish having C-band capabilities. All viewing sites must register in advance to receive the necessary satellite coordinates. To register, contact Ed Kronholm at 877-820-0305, [email protected] or

3. On demand starting on the original airdate.

This broadcast is made possible through a partnership with the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training Program (MCTFT), St. Petersburg College and the Florida National Guard.

Help Us Plan the Next Season of CADCA TV! 

Please help us plan for the next season of CADCA TV. We want to know what is happening in your communities so we can create broadcasts that will help you. We also want to know what you think about the shows you have watched. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey. The survey results will be evaluated and integrated into our broadcast planning process. The information you provide will only be viewed by CADCA and MCTFT/CPSI. We will NOT share any email addresses or personal information. For questions, please contact Tiffani Sherman at [email protected] Thank you, in advance, for your input. It’s very important to us.

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