In early 2000, Spirit in Action convened and facilitated a network of media and public relations practitioners who were committed to increasing the power and reach of grassroots voices in the media and in the formation of public policy and opinion. Starting with 25 media activists who were too polarized to work together, The Progressive Communicators Network (PCN) grew to become a results-driven non-profit network of more than 100 members serving over 1,500 organizations.
Listen to members of PCN, our first network, as they tell us about the benefits of building networks.
PCN has positively impacted the progressive media landscape for over a decade. Here are a few highlights of the network’s achievements:
- Ability to Work Collaboratively: PCN fostered the development of a group of peers who provide support and advice to each other in their work as progressive communicators. For example, the director of the Public News Service, a public interest news service for grassroots organizations has worked with Network members she met at gatherings to organize new state bureaus and, thus, increased the flow of grassroots voices to mainstream radio outlets across the country.
- Tools and Approaches: Participants brought new strategies to a wider audience of Network members’ own organizations and clients. Many participants left the gatherings with new tools or understanding to add to their work lives “back at home.”
- National Level Field Analysis and Cooperation: PCN participants developed a deeper understanding of the richness and variety within the progressive communications field across the country. The Loud and Clear in an Election Year book tour and one-on-one support Network members offered each other are the seeds of collaborative projects that improved the state of progressive communications nationally and regionally.
- Overcoming Obstacles to Unity: The Network’s commitment to diversity allowed members to be a living model for bringing a broad range of voices, particularly those that are underrepresented, into the mainstream.
- Strengthening Movement-Building Capacity: With members connected both to community-based issue groups and the communications field at local, regional, and national levels, PCN helped build bridges between these sectors.
Read more about the history of the Progressive Communicators Network.