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

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

The wonkcomms crystal ball: Five things 2015 will bring for think tank communications

This time last year Nick, Richard and I recapped over the year in wonkcomms, looking back at thirteen tools think tank communicators used to promote and publicise their work. I was struck by the sheer diversity and creativity of the

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Posted in Uncategorized

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

Videos and slides from “Rent a quote? Think tanks, media and strategy”

Our third WonkComms event, “Rent a quote? Think tanks, media and strategy”, took place at the Institute for Government on 5 September 2013. Speakers included John Coventry of Change.org, Beatrice Karol Burks of Citizen’s Advice, Kiran Stacey of the Financial Times, and Huw Evans of the Association of British Insurers. The event was chaired by Richard Darlington of the IPPR.

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Posted in Events

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

EVENT: Rent-a-quote? Think tanks, media and strategy

Following our successful launch event last April, WonkComms are bringing you the third in a series of events on think tank communications. We are delighted to have a top line-up of speakers too!

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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

The death of the 00:01h embargo

A bygone era - Capital Journal News Room 16 in 1961. Source: flickr/Marion Doss

Like a zombie, the ‘minute past midnight embargo’ haunts my press releases like an undead spectre. No longer fit for purpose, and yet still a ubiquitous header on the top of most attempts at proactive media relations, the phrase “Embargoed: 00:01h” is dead but not yet buried.

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Posted in Opinion