A Quick Word With… is our ongoing series in which Communications Network members from a range of organizations tell us about themselves, their work and where they draw their inspiration. This installment features Bill Hanson, director of communications and technology at the Skillman Foundation.
What is a recent communications success you are particularly proud of?
Hiring communications officer Krista Jahnke, who was a rising star at the Detroit Free Press. She’s a talented storyteller, and has hit the ground running since joining the foundation in July.
When you were 13 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Understood. The dream of 13-year-olds everywhere.
Earlier this month, the Communications Network and Spitfire Strategies kicked off the Science of Communication series – in-person talks, webcasts and webinars designed to examine communications through a scientific lens. Our first presenter was Dan Kahan, Professor of Law and Psychology at Yale University and a member of the Cultural Cognition Project – a team of scholars who examine how our cultural values shape our beliefs and perceptions of risk.
Guest Post: Katya Andresen
This is a post about “cultural cognition.” I know what you’re thinking. But wait! Don’t stop reading! You need to read this post. If you work for a good cause in this polarized United States, this is vitally important.
Pop Quiz: If you wanted to find the latest published research on arts and culture, immigration reform, health care children and youth – or any other of the many program areas in which foundations and their grantees work – where would go?
Before you answer that – here’s a bonus question: If you had research on those – and other topics – where would you turn for help in getting this knowledge into the hands of people who need to see it?
Guest Post: Michael Hamill Remaley
No matter where you live, disaster can strike. If not a major hurricane like we had here on the east coast last week it will be an earthquake, a cyclone or a massive storm that causes historic flooding. Regardless, just a little bit of forethought and planning can make a big difference to your ability to keep communicating during a disaster.
Still, even the best of plans aren’t going to cover everything that can go wrong – especially when you can’t anticipate the full extent of nature’s wrath. But it can help a lot. And once you go through a disaster you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect next time trouble strikes.
Guest Post: Tony Proscio
By raising this question, I risk putting myself out of business. But it’s a sincere question, and I honestly don’t know the answer:
Is there a future for the long-form report in philanthropy? Does anyone read even the most crisply written Big White Paper? Fifty or sixty pages on the benefits of preventive family medicine in Oakland? Or the economic development multiplier of community arts organizations in Cincinnati? If, as we’re constantly being told, the attention span of even the most educated and sophisticated person is plunging, do we still have an appetite for 25,000 words on the intricacies of foundation affinity groups or high-engagement philanthropy? Or do we need to start breaking most topics down into 400-word blog posts and 5-page fact sheets?
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