Blog Archives

Planning for impact: five things we learned

Another month, another WonkComms Breakfast Club. The topic this time? That most intractable of WonkComms challenges: planning. As always, there was more discussion than can be summed up in one blog. But we can sum up the key take-aways from the discussion.

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Posted in Events, Guidance

Long-form metrics: what to measure and how to measure it

In wonkworld and elsewhere, communicators are experimenting with long-form content. Lengthier essays, feature articles and thinkpieces are becoming another way of getting across the often complex messages we try to communicate. Of course, writing that goes over the 2,500-word limit

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Posted in Guidance

So you want to be a mentor?

Can WonkComms play a role in mentoring? There are pros and cons, but the key question to consider is: what problem would a mentoring programme be trying to solve?

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Posted in Guidance

Shaping the Debate Through Visual Storytelling

When first asked to make a video on social mobility in America I couldn’t visualize how it would look and work as a video. It was about a week between when I was first approached with the idea and when

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Posted in Guidance

PDFs or not? That isn’t the right question.

This year’s thread questioning the value of PDFs for publishing research has spawned an important discussion (links at the bottom of this thread). On the face of it, the question we are discussing is: Should we publish PDFs, or is

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Posted in Guidance

Finding Home: How The Century Foundation Took Its First Small Step Beyond the PDF

Disclaimer: there’s nothing inherently wrong with PDFs. They work on pretty much any device, and for printing, they’re tough to beat. But PDFs on the web are a hack. They’re born of the web’s early days when putting something online

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Posted in Guidance

Powerful storytelling: how comms stole the show

What revolutionary digital communications tool had a communications specialist at the Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) in Kolkata employed that had single-handedly creating the biggest event buzz in a roomful of 100 academics and activists at the most prestigious university in India? A camera and a 20 year-old technique. That’s what.

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Posted in Guidance, Opinion

Using a rota to manage the @MRCCTU twitter account

I’m writing this blog with trepidation, as I’m very aware that I’m not a Twitter expert, and the @MRCCTU account is tiny in comparison with others. A couple of months ago there was some discussion on the WonkComms LinkedIn group

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Posted in Guidance

Animations: my step-by-step guide

A screenshot from ODI's Development Progress animation

Katy Harris of ODI’s Development Progress project outlines how they created an animation to explain the project to a broad audience, whilst also maintaining our authority to produce credible recommendations to policy-makers that are evidently based on ‘serious’ analysis.

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Posted in Guidance

Providing context: topic pages at research institutions

Topics are usually prominently displayed at research institutions

Although there are many other aspects to developing strong topic pages, in many ways topic pages are a means of providing context on topics. This opportunity is frequently missed by research organizations. Below I make five suggestions for providing better context to your research from topic pages. Note that although the focus (including the examples) is on think tanks, these recommendations apply to other research institutions as well.

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Posted in Guidance