Strategic Communication with Taya Jarman of The Institute for Public Health Innovation

In this episode, we sit down with Taya Jarman, a communications professional at The Institute for Public Health Innovation, to explore the nuances of strategic communication. Taya shares her journey of conducting an initial communications audit at her organization, highlighting the importance of understanding and effectively using various communication channels to reach and engage diverse audiences. Through her insights, listeners will learn about the challenges and opportunities in crafting messages that resonate, the critical role of strategic planning in nonprofit communications, and how to ensure their efforts align with their organization’s mission and goals.

About the guest

Taya M. Jarman, MS, APR is an award-winning and accomplished Communications Director at the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI). At IPHI, she has refreshed the organization’s brand to include a robust DE&I and ADA-compliant website, social media ecosystem, and marketing materials to improve health and wellness in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia region. Before IPHI, she served in the state government for 16 years as the Population Health Communications Director for the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). 

Throughout her career, Taya has won over a dozen local and national awards. She was recognized twice as Top 40 under 40 in Richmond’s Style Weekly and nationally in PRWeek.

She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science in strategic public relations and studied abroad in China (Beijing and Shanghai). She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and leadership from Christopher Newport University (CNU) and a graduate certification in general management public relations from the University of Maryland Global Campus.

When she’s not working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, two sons Tripp and Tyler, and a pandemic puppy – Uno the Schnoodle.


Contact Taya

Full Transcript


Welcome to Health Nonprofit Digital Marketing, a podcast for nonprofit marketers in the health space. Join us as we discuss how to use the web to drive awareness, engagement and action for health causes. This podcast is part of the thought education of Brooks digital, the web agency for health nonprofits. Now, here’s your host, Spencer Brooks.

Spencer Brooks 00:26

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of health nonprofit digital marketing. My name is Spencer and today I’m joined by Taya Jarman. Now Taya is an award winning an accomplished communication professional. She’s the immediate past president of the Public Relations Society of America, in the Richmond chapter. And she is also the communications director at the Institute for Public Health Innovation. I brought Taya on the show today to talk about all thing’s strategic communications. So, Taya, first of all, welcome on the show.

Taya Jarman 00:58

Hi, Spencer, thank you so much. And thanks for having me.

Spencer Brooks 01:02

Awesome. Well, I’m just I’m really excited to dig into today’s topic with you today, Taya. I think that to kick things off, it would be really helpful to just set the stage with some basics, right? Like, what is strategic communications? How is it different from, you know, maybe unstrategic, normal communications? What’s your take on that?

Taya Jarman 01:26

So, my take my background is strategic public relations, that’s what my master’s program is in. And the easiest kind of CliffsNotes version of how you would describe strategic versus non-strategic, so to speak, is non-strategic, especially in social media, that’s kind of what your mom and your child does on social media, they are just out willy nilly, spraying and praying, posting content with no real strategy and goal in mind, strategic public relations or strategic communication is intentionally communicating with a goal in mind. So that’s the difference.

Spencer Brooks 02:04

That makes a lot of sense. And, you know, I know that a lot of nonprofits are, you know, for better or worse, they might be in a in this weird mix, right of the strategic and unstrategic, maybe they have a strategic plan for their organization. But maybe that’s not filtered down to the communications department, or maybe just in the middle of the day to day, you know, it’s just like you got a lot of stuff going on, maybe all you can do is get something out. So, I think this is a really important topic to discuss, because I think that most nonprofits could probably use a bit more strategic communications. I’m also curious Taya, what do you think the benefits are for nonprofits to adopting a more strategic approach to their communications? Why would they want to put in the effort to do that?

Taya Jarman 02:53

I think it’s important really, for any organization, especially nonprofits, where they have more limber budgets, and they have more agile teams that are not able to do as much, it’s important to make sure that the little communication or the with the little budget that you’re using, you can really show a return on your investment. This is not the time to just create social media posts, and your posting with no real goal in mind. So, I think it is really critical, especially as communications, and hopefully we’ll get into this a little more throughout our session, but it’s really important that you have targeted engagement, and you know what your goals are in mind.

Spencer Brooks  3:34

So, Taya, I wanted to dive into the communications audit. This is a tool that I know you talked about when we were discussing before this recording, and I wanted to have you walk us through the steps that you took when you did the communications audit in your current organization or maybe a past organization? How did that shape your strategy moving forward? And what did you do?

Taya Jarman 04:02

So, when I came to Institute for Public Health Innovation, it was the first time they’d ever had a communications director. So, in that space, everyone’s like, oh, we don’t know what we’re doing. We know that we need communication. But in full transparency, most organizations, they don’t quite understand what does that mean? Everyone knows like, yes, we want to be on Facebook, or we want to be on Instagram or Twitter. But is there a strategy in mind and how are those channels being used as tools and not as your full outreach? So for me coming into this position, the first thing I wanted to do was, obviously, prove a return on investment. And I went through all of the channels and in your communication audit, it’s really looking at how are you currently communicating? If you are communicating using flyers, fact sheets, emails, if you have like an email marketing campaign, if you have newsletters, how are you currently communicating with people? And what are your numbers look like? So, in the beginning, I think, day two, I started going through all of our own outlets, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, our website, our newsletters, how are we currently communicating? And what does those numbers look like? Then I created a strategic plan, which follows, so there are two things that I’d like to really get people to focus on when creating these strategic plans. One is the RPIE method, which is research, planning, implementation and evaluation. So that’s RPIE. And the other one is PESO, which is paid, earned, shared and owned, those two methods have really guided how I created the strategic plan. So, coming in, on the planning side, that’s where I did the RPi method I did the research of who is IPHI? How are we currently communicating? What are our peers doing? I looked at other institute’s to see how are they communicating? Are we positioned in the best light? Does our website answer the questions that people would need to know if I’m promoting them somewhere? And I did the strategic communications plan based off of the RPIE method, which is, again, research, planning, implementation, and then evaluation. In that implementation phase, that’s where I use the PESO method, which is the paid, earned, shared and owned So, in communications, a lot of times people will say, yes, I want to go viral, or I want to be on the front page of The New York Times. There are ways to do that. But making sure that it’s a holistic, mixed media message of things that you were paying, ads that you were running, things that you were sharing from your peers, things that you owe, what does your website look like? And then hopefully, from that, you’ll gain research, I mean, you’ll gain some type of engagement, or people picking up your content, having that mixed media. That’s what’s really helping you to move forward and promoting and carrying your content.

Spencer Brooks 07:26

Yeah, that’s great. There’s, there’s a lot to unpack in there. And I think one of the questions that I actually had to start with was when this thing is all done, and I do have some questions, I think about the details of it. But one thing that struck me is Tara, you mentioned, you’re the first communications director, right. And I think, coming into an organization as the first person in any role, especially in communications, I imagined that there are some implicit or explicit expectations of leadership, that after this person comes into this role, oh, we’re going to see these changes, these things are gonna happen. And so, after you conducted the audit, how did you then be able to share the results of that and your plan and create buy in so that expectations were set for the organization? Does that make sense?

Taya Jarman 08:16

It does. So, one of the thing that’s interesting, and this is not just with IPHI, but I was the first one, when I was a communications director for a program at my previous job. And in that space is really and truly when people decide, yes, I want to put money, effort and energy behind hiring a communications director, they are either at their wit’s end or their communications is so shattered, they’re like, oh, God, we need to bring somebody in. So, for me understanding that, in both cases, I knew that I didn’t have the leisure of creating a 20 page communications plan, and slowly rolling it out, and you know, waiting for buy in. A true communications plan can take anywhere from six to nine months. And for me, I had to come in and figure out what are the quick wins? What are the quick things that I can come in and show and prove that yes, this was a good investment to bring on a communications director. And that doesn’t necessarily come from a nicely buttoned up communications plan that you can put on your president’s or your boss’s desk. So, for me it was immediately looking at what our branding stand was, our branding guidelines and how are we communicating ourselves in the beginning we had like I jokingly say, it was this puke green color for IPHI, within I think the first year I elevated that color. So now with some more pungent apple green, I added teal and navy blue as an anchor color. I did the research behind choosing those colors, and started migrating all of our content to those colors, creating our branding guidelines of what does all of our documents look like? What is our business college look like? Making sure that everybody is really singing from the same sheet of music. So, Jack isn’t over here creating a PowerPoint. And Jill isn’t to the left, creating a back sheet. And they look like they’ve never even met each other. I now created that branding guide, so immediately, visibly, leadership could see Oh, yes, now we have a communications director, we can see that things are starting to change, because people are visual, a lot of people are visual learners. And you want to see the investment. You want to know that like, yes, we created this position. And I can see where she’s made a difference instead of Oh, yeah, I wrote this, you know, 300 page book, and it’s sitting on your shelf in your library.

Spencer Brooks 10:47

I think that’s a it’s a good point that you make about those quick wins,  because yeah, I think that those the communications plans and strategies, they can be overcomplicated, I think, especially if you’re the first person in that role. And knowing the lesson that I’m hearing, you know, as being able to know what the appropriate plan and the appropriate length is. And with those quick wins, right, I’m sure there’s a few quick wins that you know, you did at the beginning. But I’m sure that this audit also revealed some other things that might have been larger, long-term projects. I think most nonprofits, if they sit down and do a proper audit are probably going to come up with a pretty long list of things that they’re like, oh, man, we need to do this, you need to do this, we need to do this. So other than the quick wins, what’s your take on prioritizing that list? Because I know that capacity is limited. You know, there’s only so many people hours that can be put towards something, there’s only so much money. So how do you think about prioritizing the big laundry list of things that you could do when you’re kind of in that planning stage, I’m assuming is when you’re making those decisions?

Taya Jarman 12:00

Right, as a team of one starting off, I wanted again, I really can’t emphasize enough like going back to those quick wins in communication. The other thing that’s, so I, to answer your question, I tackled first the low hanging fruit. Because in communication, especially everyone feels like they’re a great communicator. I’ve never heard anyone say, Oh, I’m horrible. I don’t know how to write, or I don’t know how to run social media. Everyone’s like, because you have social media and it’s this great equalizer. They feel like, oh, yes, I can run a social media page, or I know how I’m great. In Facebook, I have 1200 followers. That’s a different when you’re doing business to consumer versus business to business. And it’s also different when you’re communicating on behalf of yourself and sharing pictures of your best friend’s wedding, versus communicating on behalf of an organization. So, one of the things that I noticed a lot of our work and especially in nonprofit space, it’s easy to get caught up in what I call a kind of like that monologue where you were just posting and promoting. You’re putting fliers on the wall. Because I’m in a public health space, it’s easy to put flyers, it’s like yes, drink your water, get eight hours of sleep, take a walk, spend time outside, eat your fruits and vegetables. That part is easy. The next piece, in order for like your social media channels to grow, and for you to have a true strategic space, you should be using what I call the 1/3 method. And in that 1/3 method, I do 1/3 of organic conversation, that’s me saying whatever our campaigns or our projects are, follow this campaign. And whatever the talking points are, this is a great way to do it. The other third is sharing from partners, and sharing from like-minded people content that they’ve posted. The last third is me talking to people and going and commenting and laughing at our partners jokes and, you know, engaging on their pages. Having that mixed format has really helped been a game changer, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to use for paid ads and paid campaigns.

Spencer Brooks 14:18

That’s fantastic advice. I love that model. Thank you for sharing that Taya. The last question I have kind of around this idea of the communications audit. And then I got many other things that I’d love to ask you about. But just quickly Taya, earlier in our conversation, you mentioned setting goals as being important in the audit and in first joining an organization so you can you talk about in this, this audit, this planning process how you go about identifying and setting goals.

Taya Jarman 14:47

So ideally, the academia side would say you set goals based off of your organization’s strategic plan. So, whatever your organization’s high level plan is, your communication plan should seamlessly integrate into that. However, in full transparency, a lot of organizations do not have these large goals. They are just, they’re on the ground, they’re nimble, we’re just trying to get it done. What do we do? And there’s no, you know, really detailed, thick, professionally planned out strategic plan. So, with that, for me, I set goals up, just talking to our leadership. What would you like to see you hired communication for a reason, what would you like to see change? And one of those things was positioning us as a thought leader. In order I know, in order to position us as a thought leader, we really kind of needed to tidy up who and what we are and how we were communicating about ourselves. So with that, I went in and updated our website, we have created an intranet page, updated, again, a branding guide and figured out how do we talk about ourselves internally first, then the next phase is to start migrating and creating press releases and op ed articles, and putting the content on our website and sharing it with friends so we can get that next step. But to answer your question directly, the way I created those goals was to do I guess, kind of a unofficial quantitative analysis of asking leadership and other partners, what would you like to see from us? And from there create, okay, if this is where they want to see us go, here’s some of the goals. And here’s some of the strategies that I would take to get there.

Spencer Brooks 16:36

Yeah, that’s I think that’s, it’s wonderful, because it’s real. It’s that’s boots on the groundwork, right? Because yeah, of course, in an ideal world, you have this very structured, top-down goal setting approach from the strategic plan. But I mean, as you pointed out, that doesn’t always happen in organizations. And in a lot of cases, it’s about, alright, I’ve got goals that have been given to me from above, or I want to understand what really makes my role successful. So, I really love that. I think that’s great advice Taya, I wanted to move on and talk a little bit about digital platforms with you if you’re cool with that. I specifically wanted to know, just how you leverage digital media and digital platforms in your communication strategy and outreach efforts. Would you mind sharing a little bit about that?

Taya Jarman 17:20

Yeah, so one of the things that I think is really important, especially for nonprofit spaces, and nonprofit, if you’re a small team, it’s important to make sure that you have the capacity to fill those buckets. So, I look at social media as separate buckets that needs to be filled. So, if I know that I’m a team of two people, it does not make sense for me to create a Reddit page and Pinterest and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and TikTok, and all the other petri dishes, social media platforms out there. What would make better sense is for me to say, okay, I’m going to be on these three platforms, and I’m going to kill it, I’m going to do an amazing job on these three platforms, then in order to protect your brand, squat on the platforms that you’re not using. So, if I’m not using Reddit, create a page on Reddit that says, Jack be nimble nonprofit company, and direct them back to the channels that you are using. But I think it’s important that you don’t spread yourself too thin. And you look at are these the right platforms for us? And if I’m going to be on this platform, how does my Facebook strategy differ from my LinkedIn strategy? Or what’s the purpose of me being on TikTok? If I don’t have a clear target audience, then it doesn’t make sense for me to be on TikTok or Pinterest or whatever that is. But it’s really about pulling back and looking at one capacity, and then do I have a reason or purpose for being on these channels? Or am I just out here because all my friends are arguing?

Spencer Brooks 19:00

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. It’s strategic, right. It’s, I think it’s really great advice, because I think it’s just it is so tempting for folks to have the more is better approach. And as we all know, there’s not infinite time in the world. So really love that advice. I know Taya that you mentioned capacity as being a barrier that sort of effectively forces you to focus on a certain number of platforms and divide your time and spend your time well. Can you talk about some of the other barriers that you faced, other challenges that you faced in ensuring that your communications efforts are effective?

Taya Jarman 19:45

So the challenge is, I’ve been in the industry almost 20 years. One of my bigger challenges was earlier in my career, in academia and not to poke fun at my graduate or my undergrad programs, but a lot of times, and I’ve also, I’m also a part of that because I taught a number of colleges and universities, we teach students to follow this very long and you know, rigorous, you need to do the RPIE method that rolls into the Peso that does this and does that. However, when you have a nonprofit, I’ve had friends and peers who are like, I just graduated, and my boss, I’m at the lowest rung on the on the pole, my boss is not trying to listen to me give him a 25 page communications plan, when the only thing he wants is for me to be viral, or for us to go viral, or for us to have great thought leadership. That stuff that takes time. And not only does it take time for you to build credibility, but it takes time to get it done. You don’t just run in tomorrow and say, Alright, here’s a new plan. We were up and running, it takes time for those things to work. So one of the biggest barriers or challenges is trust. Because unlike some other industries, like if I’m an accountant, you can almost immediately see a return on your investment. If the person before me wasn’t doing a good job counting the money and you’re like, Oh, you’re doing a better job, we now have more money. That’s easy. But oh communications me saying that, Oh, well, we’re not going to be on TikTok, or we are going to create three brochures and exhibit at four events. Those are slow drip and slow return on investment. I think that’s the biggest challenge in doing strategic communication.

Spencer Brooks 21:37

Yeah, you’ve got two really great points in there. I would totally agree about I think your first point on, you know, sometimes, like coming in with these large models, right, which are, are tools, knowing when to use the right tool at the right time, I think is an important lesson, you start to get into that real world situation of going man, yeah, I have this model, RPIE, PESO, you know, all these things. And these are effective, but the right tool for the right situation or the right size organization is, I think, such a good point. And, you know, before it slips my mind, there’s something that you said a little bit earlier Taya, about providing ROI. And I didn’t want to let that escape me because I know that measuring the impact, and measuring the success of your communication strategies can be difficult for some people. So I wanted to make sure that I gave you a chance to elaborate that on a little bit more. So how do you measure the success of your communication strategy? Do you have any particular metrics or, or outcomes that you’d like to use?

Taya Jarman 22:53

That’s the part where people are going to be listening, like, I really thought she was going to give us like the magic potion, there really is no one side. So, if your goal is awareness, yes, you can say I ran a campaign, I spent $100 to target every woman that has on a blue shirt in Detroit, or every man that has on red pants in Richmond. The ads will digitally find those persons or you could do geofencing. But that all depends on was that your goal? So, I think another thing that’s different, and that makes our job a little more, more difficult, is the difference between output and outcome. So, you can post and promote and create all of this content, you’re just kind of doing this pray and stick campaign hoping that whatever you’re posting is going to stick. Or you can say, okay, who am I really trying to target, who is my audience. And if my audience is, I don’t know, baby boomers, then maybe, perhaps, maybe LinkedIn is not this space, because they are not in the job market, or they’re not looking for careers, they are kind of at the end, you know, towards the end of their careers. So maybe posting or spending time at that place, that may not be the right space for them. It’s really depends on who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish. So that’s not a clean and neat answer. But that’s the best, that’s the best thing. You really have to go back to doing your research.

Spencer Brooks 24:25

Yeah, no, I think that’s tat’s the reality, right? This if it were just as easy as follow, you know, you here’s the five metrics, everyone would be doing it, but yeah, in the real world, it’s difficult. And I also think that it’s, you know, it’s really interesting, because the metrics that you choose, and this is sort of, you know, adding to your the point that you’re making, but the metrics that people choose, I find that sometimes, that the difference between the outputs and outcomes, like people tend to gravitate towards outputs, but just because they’re easier to measure, right?

Taya Jarman 24:59

Oh, it is easy, yeah absolutely.

Spencer Brooks 25:01

Yeah, and so it’s just kind of it’s one of these things where they, sometimes when you can’t find a good proxy for what it is that you want to measure, you just choose something that’s easy to measure, which might be a poor metric. And so I think there is some discernment that has to go into choosing these metrics, and maybe not just taking oh, right, well, you know, we need awareness. Why do we need awareness? is awareness, really the ultimate goal? And then what should we be measuring? And, you know, I think that’s a, that’s probably a whole podcast episode in itself. But I really like that.

Taya Jarman 25:35

Another thing I can add there, and this is, I would argue, maybe someone can find a loophole or find that anomaly. But I think generally speaking, if you’re doing outputs, you should be tracking, a return and an uptick on your website. So, your website, as I kind of teach and talk to my employees, or students about, your website should really be like your boat, all of your fishing, all of your social media outlets are simply fishing line to draw people back to your boat. So it’s not about Yes, I posted this on Facebook, or I posted this on Instagram or TikTok. Yes, did they take action? And if so, that hit should have been articulated on your website, you should notice that your web hits are going up, and that people are coming to you for more content, more information are looking around to get more stuff. So I think, really looking at how these different outlets sing and work together, instead of treating them as very different spaces.

Spencer Brooks 26:45

This is a great point. Yeah, I know that it’s that it’s the ultimate vanity metric, or like these impressions are on social, right? It’s like, oh, this is great, look how many people saw this. Now that it’s like, totally, it’s totally bad. But I, you know, of course, I’m a website guy. So, you say oh, it all leads back to the website. And I’m like, amen. Like, that’s it, like I but you know, even at the, you know, at the risk of sort of tooting my own horn, or kind of being, you know, passionate about, you know, the things that are in my world, I actually really do agree with that strategy. I really, I really like that, because these are all things that are working together, right. And so yeah, I totally love that. Taya, I wanted to ask you another question, just a more general one here, just about the advice that you would give to communications professionals in the nonprofit sector who are looking to enhance their strategic communications efforts, do you have anything that you would share with them?

Taya Jarman 27:39

Yes, I would share, we’ve kind of touched on this, I would share, be fanatical about tracking your ROI, even if your boss is not asking you to do it. And they are just like, oh, do a couple of press releases, or they’re quiet, and they’re like, yeah, just do Facebook and Twitter just keep us afloat. Even if they don’t ask for it still provide that every year, especially for your annual evaluations. As I mentioned earlier, everyone feels like they are great at communicating. So what that means is that when the numbers are tied, or when budgets or grants don’t come in, communications is often the first place that they’re like, ah, we can scale this back, I know how to do Facebook, I know how to run a website, and you want to be able to show no, the things and the work that we’re doing. It is strategic, and since me walking in the door, I have made a return on investment and myself back to this company, in these you know, three, four or five ways. It’s really important that even if you’re not being asked to track, if it’s in a Microsoft notepad or your private little notebook, you should know, since you’ve been there year after year, last year, our numbers were this this year, here are our numbers. Two years from now those numbers should continue to grow.

Spencer Brooks 29:03

That’s a fantastic piece of advice. I know that you’re I mean, you really are, you know, you make a good point that, you know, when it comes to like if there’s a you know, fundraising doesn’t go so well or, you know, there’s got to be cuts that yeah, community like compared to sometimes program staff or things like that, communication is, you know, unfortunately a place where people may look first and so I love that in it. Yeah, I suppose it does take some discipline, but especially when you know, it comes to that annual review or to times when the budget may be lean. I think that’s a great is a great piece of advice. Taya I I wanted to move to the part of the interview where I asked some of the same standardized questions I like to ask pretty much every guest. The first one is what’s one thing in digital that you’re working on right now that’s consuming a lot of your brain space and what takeaways could you share with listeners who might encounter that same challenge?

Taya Jarman 29:56

So we unlike myself, unlike every other industry out there, most communication professionals are grappling with AI. I can’t say it enough, there’s not another tool that has had the potential to disrupt our livelihood and disrupt the work that we’re doing outside of AI. So, one of the challenges is, how do we live with it, because it’s not going anywhere. That’s something we can’t put that in the, we can’t put back in the box. And now that it’s out now that people have it even more so when trying  to track a return on investment, and your boss or someone’s like, oh, I can do social media. I’ll just get on Jasper, get on ChatGPT and create, you know, a response. Yes, but there has to be some strategy and some thought into it. The other thing that we’re grappling with as an industry is the ethical side of using artificial intelligence, is that ethical? I know, earlier or late last year, I attended a conference. And one of the bigger sessions that we talked about was AI, and one of the speakers made a really good point. He’s like, with AI, and I don’t know his name, so I’m not trying to plagiarize his thought, This is not my thought, I got it from a speaker at the PRSA conference, the Icon conference. And he was saying that AI is no different than an engineer using a tool or an accountant using a calculator. Your accountant is not doing long division just for the sake of doing it, your accountant is using a calculator to get to that final product and to make his job, his or her job more meaningful. And so they could do more volume, your engineer is not, they may be doing some pieces of it or like the long, blueprint, draft documents, but they don’t have to use that anymore. They’re able to use computers. So somehow in the matrix, the communications we’re really grappling with in ways that other industries just kind of grasped it and move on.

Spencer Brooks 32:10

Yeah, yeah, I really liked that point, you know, because I think there’s someone else on my, you know, on my team that had kind of alluded to a similar thought, which I really liked, which is sort of like, you know, if an accountant is, with the advent of spreadsheets, if you’re an accountant, well, you can just keep doing it the same way that you’ve always done it, or you can jump and start using spreadsheets. And if you’re not using spreadsheets, then well, you’re gonna have a problem at some point. But you’re not going to get replaced, like a spreadsheet is not going to replace an accountant. But it’s going to be a tool. And so yeah, AI is is such a fascinating topic. And we actually have some, for listeners, we have some episodes coming up talking more about AI, because it really seems like this is the year for nonprofits and really folks everywhere to start really grappling with not oh, what it is that we not just what do we think about this, but how are we going to react to the threats that AI poses to us, to our organizations? And how are we going to capitalize on those opportunities, and this year seems like the year for that. So it’s exciting. It’s a little nerve wracking. But I totally agree Taya. I also wanted to ask you about two or three resources that you regularly use to keep up on news and trends in your work. Do you have any of those?

Taya Jarman 33:26

I do. So, I as you mentioned in my introduction, I’m a huge advocate for the Public Relations Society. That’s my background, I’m hardcore PR. And I’d really enjoy being a part of that organization. Because they have industry magazines, we do monthly luncheons, and they kind of help me keep my feet to the fire. I feel like in no other industry, like if you’re an accountant, you can go to school once, to get your CPA, and you don’t have to learn like the newest math formulas like that doesn’t really change. But in communications, our world is constantly changing, the way that I started in PR, not to date myself. But when I first started, there was for a few minutes that we were faxing out press releases. And when I had a press release distribution list, that I would hand punch the numbers into fax to the media outlets, of course, we’re not doing that anymore. But our industry in the communication space is rapidly changing, with the advent of Canva, are how does that work with our hardcore graphic designers? Are they still needed and what does that look like when everyone’s like, oh, I can create a pretty good document or I know how to create a flyer you and I know that there is some strategy and there’s some thought and logic into it. But it’s not just as simple as creating these tools. But being a part of like your industry magazine, I mean, your industry. And whether it’s AMA, American marketing Association or the Public Relations Society, keeping up with those organizations, and reading and watching their websites and their webinars is really helpful. I also have become obsessed with Axios, which is a, I don’t know, if you they have it pretty much all over the country. I really liked the writing style, which is smart brevity. And I’ve tried to adopt that in a lot of our newsletter writing. So it’s not the long prose stories that we were taught to write. So as far as templates, not templates, but as far as resources, Axios industry magazines, and then for me, PRSA.

Spencer Brooks 35:41

fantastic resources all around, we’ll make sure to include those in the show notes for folks. I am a big fan of Axios, too, by the way, so I would second that as a as a great resource. I do love the writing style, I love the different topics that you can follow, right.

Taya Jarman 35:58

Yeah, there’s Axios for communicators.

Spencer Brooks 36:00

Yeah, exactly. You’ve got like, they’ve yeah, they’ve got Axios for communicators. I think I have the Axios has their AI plus they have Axios vitals, which is like what’s happening in healthcare, right. So, I feel like it’s a cool way to get different slices of the different worlds that you might be in. Obviously, everyone’s in a slightly different space. But it’s pretty cool. And it’s concise, but packed full of information. So two thumbs up for that. Taya, I only have one more question for you, which is, how can listeners get in touch with you if they’d like to learn more about your work?

Taya Jarman 36:34

So, again, I’m on LinkedIn, you can find me it’s Taya Jarman. That’s T as in Tom, A, Y, A, last name Jarman. Or they can keep up with the work that we’re doing at the Institute for Public Health Innovation.

Spencer Brooks 36:50

Great, well, that wraps up our show for today. As a listener, if you liked this episode, please consider rating and reviewing us on Apple podcasts or wherever it is that you’re listening. This show is also part of the thought leadership of Brooks digital. As always, we are a web design development and user experience agency specifically for nonprofits in the health space, in fact, the only one for nonprofits in the health space. So, if you liked this podcast, go to our website, it’s at, and you can find more of our insights and learn about our work. But with that said, Taya, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Taya Jarman 37:27

Thank you so much for having me. This has been a blast.


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