Blog Archives

Coffee, croissants and comms. What could be a better way to start your day in #wonkcomms?

We’re very pleased to announce the first in a new series of small London-based events for the policy communications community. The first session ‘Targeting Parliament’ looks at how to reach MPs and peers given the changing party political makeup of both Houses, with particular reference to APPGs and select committees.

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Posted in Events

The battle over NHS reform: many shades of grey

This post first appeared on The King’s Fund’s website When we published an audit of the coalition’s health reforms recently, we expected it to generate plenty of interest as health has become such a central and bitterly fought issue in this election –

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Posted in Opinion

Never mind the X Factor this is the So What Factor

Why we shouldn’t let them kill the policy brief like they did the press release.

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Posted in Opinion

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

Find Policy: Why Institutional Websites And Search Still Matter

Find Policy targets the search specifically to policy research organizations, and thus can offer more rewarding results. Ideally we hope that we can contribute to more prominence of think tank research. It’s thus a complement to some of the issues discussed in WonkComms: in addition to highlighting particular research pieces, or the work of an institution, this search engine ideally helps make the work of the entire sector more accessible.

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Posted in 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: 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

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

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

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