Blog Archives

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

Why Think Tank Review?

Think tanks exist to find the best ideas for the good of society. How can they do that if no-one reads what they are producing? Or if their only metric of success is the amount of coverage they generate? Think tanks are much more than publishers, but reports are one of their principal outputs – and right now they are not working. This is the problem Think Tank Review was created to solve.

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Posted in Opinion

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

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: What can science learn from the cutting edge of think tank communication?

A quick notice that WonkComms is on the road again – this time running a session at SpotOn London, an annual conference for anyone interested in how science is carried out and communicated online. Find out more or register to

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Posted in Events

Moving beyond the report + media coverage communications model (or why Prospect’s ‘Publication of the Year’ award should be ‘Research Communications Project of the Year’)

That ‘appropriate way’ of communicating to get action and change will never be – has never been – a report alone. Though media coverage has always been central to think tank communications, changes to the way information is broadcast, found and consumed in the digital age will usher in a new understanding of what products are used in think tank communications.

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Posted in Opinion

Finding Digital Publishing Solutions for Research Organizations

John Osterman, publications manager at the Center for Global Development, reports back from the Digital Publishing Fair and Roundtable they hosted last week. Participants discussed strategies for staying at the forefront of the shift from delivering content digitally to creating digital content. Five years ago perhaps they could PDF a report and call it a day. Today, it’s not enough.

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Posted in Events