Making Fun and Innovation Happen on a Shoestring

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
August 07, 2015 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Course Overview

Making Fun and Innovation Happen on a Shoestring
Originally Broadcast On:
August 07, 2015
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

Hooray! We’ve reached the final day of Fun at Work Week. And everyone knows that Fridays are fun, fun, fun, fun.

Workplace fun and staff personal development can seem like luxuries — things that employers can only afford to focus on when they’re in a strong financial position, or employees shouldn't ask for when their organizations are focused on survival. But, in reality, it’s the places where stress is high, morale is a problem, or raises are out of the picture that really need to invest in culture and employee development.

This Webinar will explore three areas — communication, collaboration and creativity — that newsrooms can focus on to encourage fun, promote innovation and improve workplace culture. We’ll also make the case that change often starts at the bottom and offer tactics and strategies that anyone can champion, no matter your position at work.

Join Poynter’s Katie Hawkins-Gaar, digital innovation faculty, and Ren LaForme, interactive learning producer executive director of awesome, for some fun and inspiring lessons that any workplace can adopt.

This Webinar is part of a weeklong series on the topic of fun at work. You can see the full list of events and sign up for all of them at a discount rate here. Follow the conversation at #happynewsroom.

What Will I Learn:
  • How to set brainstorming sessions that work
  • Steps to make meetings more effective
  • How to put together creative spaces for cheap
  • The benefits of a flat vs. hierarchical culture
  • How employees at any level can affect change
Who Should Take this Course:

Managers or employees at any level who want to build a better place to work.

Course Instructors:

Katie Hawkins-Gaar

Katie Hawkins-Gaar is digital innovation faculty at The Poynter Institute, where she geeks out about newsrooms testing out new and exciting ideas. Before joining Poynter, she was the editor for CNN iReport, the network’s global participatory news community. A leading expert in user-generated content, Hawkins-Gaar was responsible for the site’s editorial and social strategy, setting verification standards and leading an editorial team of producers based in Atlanta and London. You can reach her most anywhere at @katiehawk.

Ren LaForme

Ren LaForme is the Digital Tools Reporter for He runs Try This! — Tools for Journalism, which is an effort to find, share and provide training around the best digital tools for journalists.

Technical Requirements:

1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows 7 or Windows 8
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+

1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

Bandwidth - 1.5 Mbits/sec up and down. We strongly suggest viewing our Webinars with a wired connection.

Some networks, especially those that use a proxy server, may encounter difficulty connecting to our Webinar software. If this is your first Poynter NewsU Webinar, please test your connection.

This Webinar contains audio. Please adjust your headphones or speakers.

Questions? Read our Webinar FAQ or contact us at

You can watch our Live Webinars on your iPad with a free Adobe Connect app. To watch Webinar replays, your iPad must be able to view Flash media players. The Live Webinar experience on your iPad is very similar to watching it from your computer. You can watch the video, follow the presentation, respond to polling questions, ask the presenter questions and participate in any discussion forums.

Download the free Adobe Connect app from iTunes here. To access the live event, click on the "Join Live Event Now" button on the Webinar landing page. The virtual room will automatically load. Viewing recorded Webinars on iOS devices is not currently supported.