Used positively, peer pressure has led teens in America to rebel against cigarettes and teens in Africa to protect themselves from AIDS. It has brought worshippers into a closer relationship with God. It has organized a passive and fearful citizenry subjugated by a dictator into the nonviolent army that overthrew him. It has even led millions of people to quit drinking and drugs.
These examples and others are recounted in a new book by Tina Rosenberg, “Join the Club, How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World,” and our guest for a recent Communications Network webinar.
Guest Post: Barry Scholl, The Commonwealth Fund
“The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.” –George Bernard Shaw
There’s a lot of great news in the results from the latest Communications Network Survey of Foundation Communications Practices: As Bruce Trachtenberg and Michael Remaley write in their blog post about the survey, foundations are quickly embracing new technology, including social media; communications units are garnering more respect and inclusion; and communications strategy is no longer an afterthought for most organizations.
Foundation communications have changed a lot over the past two decades. But probably one thing that has not changed is the fervent desire that a foundation’s grantees develop the expertise and capacity to create and implement effective communications strategies to achieve the goals of their organizations. To help, many foundations have invested considerable money and time into training programs. There’s no question these programs have been well received and those who’ve taken part have appreciated the chance the learn more about how to be an effective communicator.
A more fundamental question, though, is do these programs work?
Since releasing the report on the state of communications practices in foundations, a finding that caught the eye of at least one reviewer concerns the role of planning.
On her blog, Footnotes, Gabriela Fitz, co-founder and co-director of IssueLab, commented on the fact that nearly three-quarters (74%) of foundation communicators surveyed say they go through a process that produces a written communications plan, but that only about a third (36%) say that their communications plan really guides their daily work.
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