Getting the (Communications) Job Done Right

At our 2010 Fall Conference in Los Angeles, Eric Brown, communications director for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and chair of the Communications Network, agreed, along with many of our LA attendees, to share some thoughts on video about the importance of foundation communications. But in order to post his video, Brown asked us to run the “disclaimer” below. (Read it, pay attention, but then watch the video.)

Boy, I can’t stand watching myself on video. So I’m going to save you the horror of watching me stammer and sputter and all of that by writing what I wished I had said in this video:

Times have changed. People used to think about communications as PR or media relations or the thing you do when the rest of the job is done. Well, all that is changing, and not a moment too soon.

People are beginning to realize that for a foundation’s grants to succeed, grantees must use an integrated strategy that sets definable, achievable goals, and identifies decision makers who will make the policies or change the behavior necessary to achieve those goals. Then we do the tactics. Communications becomes central to setting the right goals, identifying the proper decision makers, and implementing the strategy. Communications is, in short, the vital function that runs throughout an integrated strategy. If you don’t have an integrated strategy in place, good luck to you.

For those of us who have communications in our title, it’s our job to make sure that foundations embody this approach wherever and however we can.

That’s what I should have said.

What do you think about what he said in this post and on the video?

–Bruce Trachtenberg

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