Blog Archives

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

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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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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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

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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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

Once more, with feeling? Emotional communication in think tanks

Lego men showing emotions

The most effective communication is the one that work on both a rational and an emotional level. The one that engage both your heart and your mind. But in our think tanks, we sometimes downplay our emotional propositions in order to prove how rational we are. Let’s bring our evidence to life and remember that the best communications include both rational and emotional propositions.

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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

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

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