(A version of this post appears on the Philanthropy 411 blog.)
Guest Post: Lora Smith
At its very core, policy advocacy is an exercise in strategic communications. To succeed at influencing policy, advocacy organizations need to be able to persuade decision makers why change is in the public’s best interest.
Yet, as a new report from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation shows, many nonprofit advocacy organizations lack sufficient communications capacity to create and deliver messages that are key to successfully influencing policy changes.
Guest Post: Ryan Reynolds
Indexes are handy ways to track and report progress. You can’t beat the Dow Jones Industrial Index to follow the ups and downs of stock prices. Ditto the Consumer Price Index, which compares the cost of goods and services from year to year.
But what if you want to track progress on important social issues? Thanks to troves of data available these days, nonprofits are increasingly using indexes to communicate about their work and their underlying causes.
During a recent Communications Network webinar, we heard that by changing the words used to characterize the subject of a public debate you can increase the chances of winning support for your issues and causes. In an op-ed last week, one of our webinar presenters, Doug Hattaway, president of Hattaway Communications, and his colleague, Steve Pierce, offered another — and very timely example — of how the right words can help you win important debates. A modified version of the Politico post is reprinted below with permission.
Guest Post: Doug Hattaway and Steve Pierce
We’ve probably become numb from all the words written and spoken over the course of recent Congressional debates about raising the nation’s debt ceiling. But after taking the nation to the brink of default twice, Republicans last week quietly went along with Democrats to approve a drama-free debt-limit increase.
Guest Post: Joyce C. Sood
As we examine the online impact of our social media activities, a question that often comes to mind is: Can we reliably measure whether people’s online engagement influences their actions and behavior offline?