All of us here at Rain Barrel – Robert, Paul, Paula and Andrea – send you warm, end-of-year greetings. Once again, we want to share our news and plans for the year ahead – our 10th.
As you know, we are very fortunate that Paula Claycomb agreed to become Rain Barrel’s third director a few months ago. Now she has two jobs: project manager and director! She’s a bit shell shocked, but pleased.
We are also happy to announce the association of eight new colleagues to our Associates Program, including Dorina Andreev, Farhad Imambakiev, Eva Jesperson, Yvonne Klein, Barry Koch, Pierre LaRamée, David Mould and Niloufar Pourzand. You’ll be able to see their bios on our website after the Associates page is updated over the holidays. You’ll see why we invited them.
Rain Barrel did well this year, despite the loss of our important contract with Cartoon Network as the result of corporate changes. Most of our work in 2017 – 14 contracts in all – has been around social and behavior change communication and writing and editing. We continue to reach out to non-profits and corporations that want to develop more substantive social responsibility programs and partnerships.
We revised the areas where we feel confident that we have the capacity to provide high-quality professional services. These now include Writing, editing and reporting; Pro-social campaigns; Social and behavior change communications; Meeting design and facilitation; and Capacity development and training. These changes are reflected on this website.
So we are positioned to do even better in 2018.
We will be collaborating with the Center for Development Communication, providing workshops on social and behavior change communications, writing, editing and individual coaching on speechwriting with clients in the UN and beyond.
In addition to the CDC, we inked agreements in 2017 with several institutions we greatly admire, with a view to future collaboration: PCI Media Impact; Salvage Communications; Singular, Media & Content; Free Press Unlimited/Wadada; Children’s Television Workshop/Plaza Sesamo Latin America; and VoxBox/MEMRIA.
We expect that UNICEF will renew and even expand our three-year Long-Term Arrangement (LTA) early in 2018. Rain Barrel teams have a remarkable record of success with the support and advice they have provided to its Communications for Development teams around the world.
We are raising our profile and expanding our networks by attending important conferences on CSR and social and behavior change communication. We participated in the first-ever National Summit to End Corporal Punishment in the United States, for example, and will be serving on the summit’s communication committee to help design the initiative’s advocacy and media strategy.
At our third annual retreat in October, we again puzzled over our business challenges. How do we market Rain Barrel more effectively? How do we bring in more clients, especially in the private sector, while maintaining our ties to our kindred UN and NGO communities? How do we better serve our Associates and other team members? How can they better serve Rain Barrel? How do we incorporate younger Associates?
As in years past, answers to these questions circle back to our Associates. They represent a pool of seasoned, committed professionals who are by far our most valuable asset.
All of us continue to monitor the appalling attacks on our democratic values not only in the US but in other countries. We feel stronger than ever about our commitment to the pro-social work and sense of community and solidarity that Rain Barrel promotes. We want Rain Barrel to stand for integrity and to deserve peoples’ trust, including yours.
So please accept our best wishes for a great 2018 from all of us to you.
Robert, Paul, Paula and Andrea