(Special webcast January 15th at 3 pm ET. Details below.)
In a recent opinion piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Vince Stehle, executive director of Media Impact Funders, asked why so few foundations had “made any notable calls for action” on gun control or gun violence in the wake of the “horrific bloodbath” at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Stehle argued that instead of sitting on the sidelines and letting others shape the debate and discussion, “foundations need to pay attention to the high cost of gun violence to our nation.”
Is — as Stehle suggests — philanthropy missing an opportunity to contribute to the gun violence debate similar to the ways it has addressed other major social issues, ranging from health care to immigration reform to climate change to education reform? Should — and can — foundations, in particular, do more?
That question will be explored during a special event — to be webcast nationally on January 15, beginning at 3 pm ET.
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: Anjula Carrier and Vanessa Schnaidt
Have you jumped on the “data analytics” bandwagon yet? Or are you worried it has passed you by?
If you haven’t made the leap, you’re not alone. Data analytics – the use of tools that can help you better understand the effectiveness of your communications strategies (or any organizational strategies) – are still in the “emerging state.” A recent Bloomberg Businessweek study notes that despite the growth of powerful and relatively easy-to-use software that can help organizations make meaning of valuable data (such as the well-known Google Analytics), spreadsheets are still the number one tool used for data analytics.
That said, there’s neither a reason to fear nor to be overly cautious about integrating data analytics into your work. The most important reason is that by making a better effort to analyze the data your work is yielding, you (and your organization) can move from a “measure and respond” mentality to “predict and act.”
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.
- About the Network
- Our Board Members
- Sean Gibbons, Executive Director
- Fall Conference