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.
Guest Post: Mitch Hurst
The idea of “civic journalism” instigated one of the more provocative debates within the mostly collegial world of institutional philanthropy back in the early to mid-‘90s. On one side you had program directors and officers, and maybe a few foundation CEOs, who wanted to poke around to identify ways that foundations could partner with media to infuse their news coverage with some social conscience.
On the other side you had the fourth estate-loving purists who were aghast at the idea of foundations pushing their weight around the newsrooms of America’s finest broadsheets. This camp included many former journalists who had transitioned to the PR departments of private foundations and viewed even those roles as being primarily journalistic.
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