To successfully achieve big social change goals, it’s not enough to just identify the key decision makers. You also need a strategy for influencing them to do what you need them to do. In our latest Zero to Ninety segment, Kristen Grimm (@headspitfire), president of Spitfire Strategies, walks you through a field-tested approach for wielding influence to create change.
Guest Post: Kate Emanuel, The Ad Council
Climate change, education reform, obesity prevention, cancer … name your issue. As communication professionals, we’re all tackling very complex social problems that call for very complex solutions.
I don’t have to tell you–grabbing the attention of target audiences you need to engage, regardless of your issue, is an uphill climb. You have to overcome a fragmented media landscape and substantial message clutter.
That’s why, no matter to whom you are talking—consumers, donors, volunteers or policymakers—you need to be clear and single minded.
That’s where research can make the difference.
At our Fall 2013 Annual Conference in New Orleans, Minna Jung, communications director for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, was elected chair of the Communications Network. Jung, who joined the board in 2005, had been serving as the Network’s vice chair since September 2011. In the following post, she shares her thoughts on why it matters to be passionate about doing great communications for good causes.
I’m back in the office after spending most of last week at the Communications Network conference, and the re-entry has been harder than usual, post-conference. I always think the Network conference is a success when I’ve carried away two or three good ideas with me to take to my home practice of strategic communications. But on top of getting those good ideas, this latest conference was one of the best times I can recall EVER having at a conference. The speakers were outstanding, everyone seemed especially energized and eager to connect with each other, and the surrounding atmosphere provided by NOLA was tasty and rich and giddy.
Post by: Paul VanDeCarr
Your name is Naomi, you live in Cape Town, South Africa. Now age 35, you’ve been a sex worker for 6 years, ever since your husband left you with a young daughter to raise and all the bills to pay. You project a strong image, but you worry a lot about violent clients, dishonest cops and your health. You need to make $25 to pay for your daughter’s school fees. So you go out on the streets. But you face some tough choices between protecting your health and avoiding trouble with the police.
You can play out this scenario in “Cops and Rubbers,” a table-top game funded by the Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP) at Open Society Foundations (OSF), and now available for free download. The goal is to put players in the shoes of sex workers in the many cities and countries worldwide—including OSF’s home base of New York City—where just having a condom is evidence enough of sex work to get you arrested or extorted by the police.
Guest Post: Susan Promislo and Eric Antebi
The year was 1995. Jill Vialet was sitting outside the principal’s office at Santa Fe Elementary School in Oakland, Calif. Vialet, then head of the local children’s museum, had come to talk about arts in school. The principal wanted to talk about something else.
Outside the door was a line of kids who had gotten in trouble on the playground at recess. “Can you help me with THAT?” the principal asked Vialet.