The Federal Communicators Network (FCN) is an independent, volunteer network of federal employees managing U.S. government communications. For nearly 20 years, FCN has helped communicators serve the taxpayer through:
- Training: Live workshops and telephone seminars
- Networking: Provision of live and online networking opportunities
- Best practices: Sharing emerging tools and technologies
- All volunteer: We are led and organized by volunteers from among our membership.
- Always no cost to you and your agency: Events and resources are free to federal communicators.
- Public service: We are committed to the highest principles of integrity, professionalism, and public service.
An Independent Organization
- We do not promote or endorse any individual or organization.
- Training sessions are educational events and not sales pitches, but we allow speakers to provide their contact information to attendees in case there is interest among the audience in following up with the speaker directly.
- Submission of an announcement does not guarantee publication.
- FCN is a network of volunteers, members and participants who participate in an individual capacity and not as representatives of their respective agencies.
Heritage and FCN History
- FCN began as a collaboration between Pat Wood from the Social Security Administration and Cindy Saboe from the State Department, when both were on detail to the National Performance Review, later called the National Partnership for Reinventing Government.
- Pat and Cindy had expected to call the group the Federal Editors Network, since then Vice-President Al Gore asked FCN to organize federal editors to get the news of reinvention out to the field. We had two or three meetings with federal editors, but they suggested opening up the new group to all kinds of communicators with a name that was more inclusive.
- FCN was formally established by Vice-President Al Gore in 1996. He envisioned it as a grassroots, interagency network of federal publication editors who could bring the message of "Reinventing Government" to the average federal employee - a precursor to today's "Gov 2.0" movement. (Fuller description here.) The first meeting was in August 1996 at the White House Conference Center. More than 100 people crowded into a room that officially held only 80 people.
- We met again with the White House in the summer of 2010 to talk about how FCN could help disseminate the message of Open Government throughout federal agencies.
- Our meetings have been hosted by the Government Printing Office, the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the General Services Administration. (In a pinch, we've also gathered at Teaism restaurant, in Penn Quarter.)
- FCN has a history of partnering with sponsors, including the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), to offer free or (occasionally) low-cost events. Speakers offer their time on a pro bono basis.
- Our first tele-seminar, held in August 2011, was sponsored by the National Association of Government Communicators. With 120 participants, it was the largest monthly training event we have held in the past two years. In addition, Government Executive Magazine and the Council for Excellence in Government have supported FCN's work.