Hello and welcome to the WonkComms blog! Over the coming months, I hope to have this blog filled with insightful articles and commentary on the future of research communications and communications in think tanks.
To kick us off, I wanted to bring together a few resources and views published around the event organised by the Social Market Foundation last Friday at the Overseas Development Institute. Firstly, we have the actual videos of the event:
Leonora Merry, Social Market Foundation, introduces the topics to be discussed
Richard Darlington, Head of News, IPPR, discusses how think tanks can adapt to an ever changing communications environment and how to ensure that ideas continue to cut through despite stiff competition and scarce resources.
Nick Scott, Digital Manager, ODI, asks whether think tanks can move from being ‘digital by design’ to ‘digital by default’? The full transcript of his talk is available on the WonkComms blog.
John Prideaux, Homepage Editor, The Economist, outlines the experience of the Economist in moving to a more digital output.
The Q&A session.
Leonora Merry, of SMF, chaired the event, and has written a blog on ‘the three things she learned from our #wonkcomms event‘:
1) Professional communicators know how to work Twitter
2) Digital drives collaboration as well as strengthening competition
3) Multichannel communications works
Finally, Jonathan Tanner of ODI has written up his views on the event on this WonkComms blog. In ‘To create or to disseminate, is that the question?‘, he asks whether:
The challenge for think tank communicators [is] as much about clever content creation as it is broader dissemination… Could we see a future think tank in which the core research outputs are digital? Where the research process has been designed from day one to produce digital content? Proper collaboration between research and communications staff from day one? A world where a finished project is not just a pdf but tailor-made data tools or video content? I hope so but it won’t happen overnight.
Lots of food for thought, and lots of avenues for further exploration… let’s hope this is the start of a very useful collaboration between think tank communicators!