“Brilliant experts can write compelling policy papers filled with breakthrough ideas to make our society better. But they can’t influence and shape the debate if no one is reading and digesting their work.”
OMG! The folks at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a D.C.-based think tank, get it.
In fact, CAP allocates a full 50% of its operating budget to communications and outreach.
That’s radical for any nonprofit, much less a policy org (even one self-described as not your Grandma’s think tank).
I urge you to run with it—Use this powerful model to boost your org’s marketing investment. Build your talking points from these shared by Daniella Gibbs Léger, CAP’s senior vice president for communications and strategy:
- Our investment in communications is necessary to ensure that people hear the ideas we develop and champion, and that those ideas move.
- Creating change begins with meeting people where they are—[a.k.a. relevance rules].
- We jumped on new and untested conversation spaces, because we knew critical audiences were…sharing ideas and information on social media.
- We created an outreach and event program, but [felt] obliged to break the mold. We launched panel discussions and speeches, plus our Reel Progress film series….There is more than one way to reach an audience.
- EVERYONE at CAP sees communications as part of their work.
Read the full case study for two in-depth examples of how this all-in communications strategy enabled CAP to open minds and shift the conversation. Then, go for it. Daniella and colleagues have paved your way.
More Relevance Rules Case Studies & How-Tos
Match Your Message & Your People
Ray Bradbury Relevance—Ready to Roll: Libraries Take Your Mark
Too Many Choices—Your Greatest Pain Point