EVENT: Wonkcomms teams and skill sets: what does the future hold?

Chatham House, 3.30-5PM GMT, Friday 6 December
10 St James’s Square London SW1Y 4LE

After setting the scene on the future of think tank communications in our first event this April, the last three WonkComms events have considered the ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘where’ of think tank communications. This event turned its attention to ‘who’ – the human resources think tanks can call on for their communications, what skills are needed to progress in the sector and how to develop them.

The panel considered:

  • The different models of communications staffing. From dedicated and large communications teams with lots of specialists to small teams doing everything or using consultants and interns, there are many different models out there. The panel shared their experience of different teams and how these have helped or hindered their efforts to get messages out to their audiences.
  • The skill sets needed from future think tank communications. Is it time to move function or goal specific roles (i.e. from publications, web, social media officers to editorial, production, promotion officers working across many forms of outputs)? Should ‘digital’ be a separate role or should it be mainstreamed? What experience is vital for people working in the sector – do they need to have worked in research and what does that mean? Speakers  considered these key questions and how they affect who is hired and what skills those entering the sector need to develop to succeed.

Keith Burnet, Director of Communications, Chatham House (download presentation)
Carys Afoko, Head of Communications, nef
Joe Miller, VP Communications, The Century Foundation (via video-link from New York – view team diagram)
Max St. John, MD, Nixon McInnes

Nick Scott, Digital Manager, Overseas Development Institute

I am Digital Manager at UNISON. My core area of interest is in digital tools and content strategy. As Digital Manager at the Overseas Development Institute, I developed a digital strategy awarded Online Strategy of the Year at the Digital Communications Awards 2012. I have written extensively on digital strategy and monitoring and evaluation, primarily on how they can support research communications with impact. I am also a founder of WonkComms, a popular community of practice for think tank communications staff. In this capacity, I am a member of the blog editorial board, commissioning and editing blogs and regularly formulate, speak at and chair events held at various UK think tank HQs in London and more widely.

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Posted in Events
9 comments on “EVENT: Wonkcomms teams and skill sets: what does the future hold?
  1. […] note: This is a re-blog. The event can be found at EVENT: Wonkcomms teams and skill sets: what does the future hold?. WonkComms is an initiative that seeks to support think tank communications. For more information […]

  2. Question: Will the event be posted on-line for viewing for those of us who cannot watch it live? Thx. Raymond Struyk

  3. […] those of you attending the WonkComms event this Friday – or anyone in the central London area that is at a loss for something to do this […]

  4. Nick Scott says:

    Hiya Raymond – Yes, the plan is to stream the event. We’re just finalising details.

  5. Susan Koshy says:

    Nick, For those of us who missed the event, is there a video that we can watch on-line? Thank you. Susan

  6. Nick Scott says:

    Hi Susan – the video is now online, in this very post!

  7. […] note: This is a repost from WonkComms: EVENT: Wonkcomms teams and skill sets: what does the future hold? and it was originally written by Nick […]

  8. am really grateful for the article

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