Blog Archives

From comms chaos to calm: my year-long journey

The line between freedom and chaos is astonishingly thin, I’ve recently discovered. Handed the mandate to set up a communications function for The Social Innovation Partnership, I’ve occasionally struggled to stay the right side of that divide. Now a year

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Posted in Opinion

Prize Question: Why do UK Think Tanks not Communicate Who Funds Them?

Why are British think tanks so much less transparent than those in the U.S., Germany, Kenya or Georgia? Why don’t British think tanks just go ahead and disclose who funds them, with how much, and for what purposes?

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Posted in Opinion

EVENT: Storytelling in Research Communications

Invitation to a ‘WonkComms Practicals’ webinar on 28 May 2014 ECDPM is pleased to announce the next WonkComms event, a ‘WonkComms Practical’ webinar, being broadcast and livestreamed on 28 May 2014 from 15.00-17.00 (Central European Time) on storytelling for research communications. Karen

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Posted in Events

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

An engineering PR campaign unlike any other

While accustomed to the media spotlight, it is fair to say none of us at The Institution of Mechanical Engineers had experienced the the full blown media storm we caused in January 2013 with the launch of the Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not report.

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Posted in Opinion

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

WonkComms event panel

The last three WonkComms events 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.

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Posted in Events

Just. Do. It.

As soon as we at the Chartered Institute of Housing started planning the launch of our latest report – on the impact of the government’s benefit cap in Haringey – I knew I wanted to do something a bit different to our usual report plus press release, maybe a blog and that’s pretty much it model… What convinced me that we did need to do something different was attending a Wonkcomms event earlier this year, on research in the digital age.

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Posted in Opinion

The theory of ‘framing’: useful for think tanks?

The conservative right study cognitive science and work in advertising, they understand the role of emotion in generating values. The progressive left study political science and are stuck in a phony enlightenment form of reasoning. That’s the view of George

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Posted in Opinion

Has twitter killed the media star? (or How I stopped worrying and learned to love social media)

HANCI Donor Committment Index

Back at the end of the last millennium my biggest preoccupation at work was how to secure more column inches for my employer…. Ten years on social media had firmly established itself as a channel through which you could tell your stories and engage key opinion formers. But this was a slow transition and an organisations’ ability to pitch stories into traditional media outlets remained of paramount importance.

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Posted in Opinion

VIDEOS: Research in the digital age: wonk or comms?

David Skelton speaks at Wonkcomms event on research in the digital age: wonk or comms?

Videos from last week’s event are now available. The event considered the following questions: Is there is a danger in modern think tanks that the communications tail wags the research dog? Is there value in preserving the traditional think tank publication? Should communications be seen as a means to an end or as an end in itself? And is the nature of research changing because of the rapidly changing communications environment?

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Posted in Events