Kimberly A.C. Wilson
Director of Communications, Meyer Memorial Trust
Every month, we’ll be featuring a Network member in our newsletter so you can get to know your peers better. Interested in suggesting someone, or volunteering yourself? Email us.
Network member since: 2014
Question that keeps me up at night: Can we say this in a way that resonates, is straightforward, and doesn’t knock off my journalism hat?
Favorite app: Duolingo. I’m Locquioxote, studying Italian, and I am after all the Lingots!
Best thing I’ve read, watched, or listened to this month: A Path Appears, the three-part documentary on PBS. I just watched Episode 2: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, which recounts stories of children and women breaking out of cycles of poverty and abuse. Inspiring to see how accessible education and comprehensive intervention can transform lives.
Fun fact: I’ve petted manatees, dodged burning roadblocks in Haiti, chatted with two U.S. Presidents, been mistaken for a CIA operative, and remodeled an old family dollhouse.
Follow Kimberly on Twitter at @kacw.
If asked, most executives will say that clear, compelling communication is essential to the success of their enterprise. The reality is that this is an area where so many organizations fall short. It’s not because they don’t try and not because they don’t have the right words or the right approach; rather, they haven’t figured out how to make it happen.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a bold organization that has reshaped health in the United States by taking on tobacco, tackling childhood obesity, and now, embarking on the ambitious goal of creating a culture of health.
Evidence of RWJF’s ability to foster conversations and introduce ideas through their communications abounds.
As RWJF President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey and Fred Mann, VP of Communications, observe in Making Ideas Move, our series produced in partnership with Stanford Social Innovation Review, “Policymakers responded. Educators responded. Industry responded. Even the White House responded.” Read their piece, Bold but Flexible: How to Effectively Share Your Vision.
- Engage parents early and often. They’re the ones who care most deeply about their children’s education, and should have their voices heard in the policy process.
- Offer solutions to the problems you’re addressing. Urgency is needed, but so is a positive attitude toward correcting an issue.
- To win support for your ideas, be concrete when explaining the changes you want to see. Abstractions won’t win new supporters.