Guest Post: Minna Jung, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Vice Chair, Communications Network
I’ve been kind of fascinated by the ensuing dialogue out of the blog post I wrote on the program-communications divide. And it struck me, as I pondered the good advice from others to beware about inadvertently perpetuating the divide between communications staff and our foundation colleagues, that maybe better language and translation can help overcome the divide. I spend so much time referencing communications concepts in my interactions with foundation colleagues of all sorts, but I realized the other day that I may be underestimating exactly how much I need to define and re-define these concepts in order to successfully engage with my colleagues. And it’s ironic that I would underestimate that, since one of the most frequent things I say when editing or listening to a dry run of a rehearsal, is: define your terms! Know thy audience! And yet here I am, not doing that.
Guest Post, Susan Parker, Clear Thinking Communications
Executive summaries are meant to make it easy for audiences to learn about a new report or study, especially if they don’t have time to read the full document. But for people faced with ever-growing reading lists, it’s often hard to make time even for digests of larger reports. In that spirit, the Atlantic Philanthropies has begun experimenting with producing executive summaries as short videos. And the good news for time-pressed communicators: these videos–which can help bring more attention to an important report–can be completed in a matter of hours.
One of the reasons communicators like new media so much is because it lets us speak directly — and without filters — to audiences. But “old media” can sometimes play that role, too. An example is the newspaper op-ed, which also allows you to state your case, argument or point-of-view on any number of topics and without anyone standing between you and your audience.
Guest Post: Ben Rodriguez, program officer, Connecticut Health Foundation
I didn’t have to read Minna Jung’s recent guest post “Communicating in Philanthropy: the Hard Part” to know that there can be tension between program and communications staff. As a program officer at the Connecticut Health Foundation, I’m well aware that sometimes communications staff thinks “you don’t get it.”
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