Communications Strategy — The Active Teaching Lab

Active Teaching Lab bannerWhile image is NOT everything, the presentation of a program is important in conveying what it’s really about. That’s why, in our communication plan, as in our sessions, we aim to be clear, playful, and branded.


We aim to make the language used in communications concise and clear, actively limiting unnecessary sentences and words. Because we understand the power of the visual, we will communicate with graphics as much and often as possible.


We know that learning is more effective when people are slightly, but not overly-stressed, so Active Teaching Lab sessions are designed to be safe and comfortable spaces. We add the stress needed to learn in pressuring participants to actually get hands-on with the tools and techniques presented. To minimize the fear of mistakes, we promote a playful and fearlessly experimental atmosphere (i.e. fearless sifting and winnowing). We model mistake-making in the facilitation of activities, and we’re never afraid to admit that we don’t (currently) know the answers to some of the trickier questions.

We strive to communicate an atmosphere of fearless playful experimentation through our communications. One currently popular archetype that expresses these things is Steampunk — the fearless tinkerer. Often paired and conflated with The Mad Scientist, these offer us many options for eye-catching and playful marketing images.

AT Lab Survey


Branding is important for pointing participants to other events held by the sponsoring organizations (e.g. “This was a great event! What else do you have for me?”) and for general recognition and praise (e.g. “I’ve been hearing great things about these ‘labs’ that AT does…”). Therefore, we use blurbs (with links to the websites of the sponsors when online) and logos when space permits.

We also recognize that branding is important for our speakers. They are working on promotion, on staying recognized in their field and to their peers. Since we cannot offer speakers a stipend, we strive both to make their experience as positive for them as possible, and to promote their expertise via pre-event marketing, and post-event accolades.

Siftr with Cathy Middlecamp

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