Blog Archives

What’s wrong with think tank bulk emails, and how can it be put right?

A recent exchange around bulk email providers over on the WonkComms LinkedIn group got me thinking about what think tanks are doing with bulk emails. Though I might write about the best and worst bulk emails next time (a bit of naming and shaming never hurt anyone) for now here’s the bigger picture and some ideas for how things could be done better.

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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

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

Design Content for All Platforms, Not Just the Desktop

The web continues to fragment. Most observers estimate that the mobile web will overtake the desktop world sometime in the next 12 months. While visitors to think tanks may not be out on the leading edge of the tide, they’re assuredly

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Posted in Opinion

50,000 @jrf_uk Twitter followers can’t be wrong

How did the Joseph Rowntree Foundation build their corporate Twitter account to reach 50,000 followers? Through tweeting links to the latest news and developments relevant to a specific subject; then splicing in their own messages, content and media coverage.

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Posted in Opinion

What even is a blog?

In a recent blog on From Poverty to Power, Duncan Green asked: ‘is blogging an established part of the landscape and is there a successor waiting in the wings?’, assuming that if blogs are a part of the furniture then everybody should be encouraged to get comfortable with them. My answer is ‘yes they are and no there’s probably not’.

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Posted in Opinion

Virtual conferences: not in the future, but now

Over on the International Institute for Environment and Development blog, Suzanne Fisher explains how a virtual conference they held allowed online participants to follow and take part in an IIED conference, cutting carbon footprints and expense.

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Posted in Found on the web

The future of think tank communications

A few resources and views published around the event on the future of think tank communications organised by the Social Market Foundation last Friday at the Overseas Development Institute.

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Posted in Events

Can think tanks move from ‘digital by design’ to ‘digital by default’?

The transcript of a talk given by Nick Scott on the place of digital in the future of think tank communications.

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Posted in Events