This week, Argyle hosted its third annual Community Day, offering pro-bono communications training, consulting, and coaching to 43 leaders and communicators from 31 North American charities and non-profits with mandates or programs related to advancing equity, inclusion, and social justice.
Adapted to fit hybrid workplace environments, we welcomed organizations in-person at Argyle’s Toronto and Winnipeg offices, and virtually from across North America.
Volunteers from across the firm came together to meticulously plan and execute the event, featuring thought-provoking workshops centered around the theme of relationship building in non-profit success. The event highlighted Argyle’s diverse geographic presence, with participants and presenters joining from Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Washington DC, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch opened the event with a keynote address on leadership communication in the post-pandemic age, followed by six break-out training sessions, a panel discussion on reconciliation, a closing presentation and a collaborative networking session to finish off the day.
While organizations signed up to hear from Argyle’s communications experts, we all learned an immense amount from one another. Here are some of our key takeaways and lessons:
1. Fostering relationships and partnerships with Indigenous peoples is crucial for reconciliation, as well as long-term organizational and community growth.
Dan facilitated a panel discussion including Shylo Elmayan, Director of Indigenous Student Services at McMaster University, Mary French, President of All Nations Union, and Bill Mintram, Director of Indigenous and Northern Relations at the Rideau Hall Foundation. The panelists explored how organizations can contribute to reconciliation. They emphasized that while every journey takes time, it starts with attitudinal change in leaders and organizations alike – a humble, community-centred approach that builds relationships that enable progression to deeper strategies for inclusion and collaboration.
2. Remaining authentic and true to your organizational values is essential.
In various sessions, authenticity, transparency and empathy emerged as three key themes crucial for organizations navigating risk. In today’s highly polarized media landscape, organizations must proactively work to maintain their credibility and reputation by staying true to their organizational values. When crises or issues emerge, organizations can best mitigate risk by prioritizing transparency, action and trust with both audiences and stakeholders.
3. While ensuring events are accessible can be challenging when resources are tight, small adjustments in planning can increase inclusion and participation.
Argyle’s public engagement team highlighted the importance of providing accessibility information to participants ahead of time and using inclusive language in all communication related to the event. Taking these simple yet significant steps will support and inform those who require accessibility accommodations, fostering a more inclusive environment for all attendees.
4. Social media can help non-profits amplify their impact.
Workshops on brand-building and influencer marketing opened participants’ eyes to the possibility, and importance of, leveraging new social media platforms and partnerships to increase their reach and impact. These sessions left organizations with measurable metrics, reporting frameworks, and tips to develop their social media strategies.
As a purpose-driven firm, Argyle strives to use its skills to communicate truth and earn trust – building relationships between organizations and stakeholders, leading to better decisions, more reputable organizations, and a healthier, more sustainable society.
By offering pro-bono communications training to non-profits and charities, we aim to empower them to make an even greater impact on people in their communities. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to share our expertise at Argyle Community Day 2023, and to support these outstanding organizations in achieving positive social change.