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Should Foundations Speak In Human Voices?


In the Communications Network’s debut of a new video feature — our diavlog series (dialog+video+blog) — we explore the question: “Should Foundations speak in human voices?”  Susan Herr, president of PhilanthroMedia, and a regular contributor to the Communications Network website, speaks with Michael Margolis, principal of Get Storied, about how the new communications technologies — notably Twitter — enable foundations to engage in conversations with audiences, not as institutions, but as individuals. Over the course of their wide-ranging conversation, they also discuss Philanthropy 411’s research about which foundations are Twittering, an assessment by social media expert Beth Kanter about the different ways foundations are Twittering, and blogger Sean Stannard-Stockton’s (Tactical Philanthropy) assertion that these human-to-human interactions underscore the difference between sharing knowledge and wisdom.  

Margolis comes to the conversation not as a new media guru but as a consultant who helps organizations harness their internal stories as key to building brands that reflect the values that underscore their work. His work and writings have been featured in Fast CompanyBrandweekStorytelling MagazineLA Business Journal, and Silicon Alley Reporter, among others.  Margolis is the also the author of the forthcoming Believe Me: Why Your Brand, Vision, and Leadership Need a Bigger Story, to be published in October.

Running time of the diavlog is 28 minutes.  To view selected sections, use the guide below to fast forward to the time code indicated:

  • Which Foundations are Twittering and Why (1:05-6:12)
  • Should Anyone Besides Your CEO Represent the Foundation Brand? (6:12-8:39)
  • Existential Crisis: Do We Have to Speak in Human Voices? (8:39-12:00)
  • What’s Authenticity Got to Do, Got to Do with It? (15:30-19:21)
  • Storytelling: It’s Not Just For Outsider Audiences (19:21-28:00)

After viewing the diavlog, feel free to leave a comment. If you have ideas for future topics, email us.

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