As communications professionals, storytelling is what we do. We do it because it is one of the best ways to evoke an emotional connection to an abstract issue – to put a human face on the messages we convey. However, it’s how the story is framed that matters. Studies in neuroscience and psychology show that while stories can evoke a quick emotional response, carefully framed narratives that appeal to reason are also needed to inspire action.
To help people understand this new research and learn more about how to use it in their communications practice we recently held a webinar, The Art and Science of Storytelling. (Replay available below.)
Guest Post: Rebecca Arno
In her recent post about the survey results from last October’s Fall Conference, Minna Jung, our vice chair, mentioned that I was planning to share some additional insights about the Communications Network’s revised mission and strategy that we previewed in Seattle and subsequently discussed on our blog.
Last week, I sat down with long-time Network contributor, Susan Herr, principal of Trigger Creative, to talk about our new mission. Because of comments and questions we heard during and since Seattle, we decided to record two separate conversations.
On November 2 at the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, DC, the Communications Network and Spitfire Strategies kicked off our “Science of Communication” series — free lectures, webinars and webcasts designed to examine communications through a scientific lens – with a presentation by Dan Kahan, Professor of Law and Psychology at Yale University.
As a member of Yale Law School’s Cultural Cognition Project, Professor Kahan examines how our cultural values shape our beliefs and perceptions of risk. The Project explores public disputes over science on a wide range of issues, from the HPV vaccine to gun control to emerging technologies. Kahan discussed why “scientific consensus” often doesn’t settle disputes around issues like climate change or the death penalty and what actually influences the decision-making process.
Michael Smith, SVP Social Innovation, the Case Foundation, admits he’s a convert to the benefits communications can bring to program work. As he says in this video, in his early days at the foundation, he thought his job was to create program strategy and then hand off his work to the communications team to think about what they can do with it.
Not so anymore.