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WonkComms 1 year on: two steps forward, one step back?

Time (GMT +01) 15:00 17:00
Welcome and introduction
Nick Scott, Digital Manager, ODI

Two steps forward: the year in think tank communications
Sofie Jenkinson, Media and Digital Officer, IPPR
Natalie Cox, Communications Officer, Resolution Foundation 
Matt Smith, Digital Communications Manager, Policy Exchange 
Joe Miller, Vice President for Communications, The Century Foundation    
Chair: Leonora Merry, Media & External Affairs Manager, Nuffield Trust

One step back: challengers to think tank communications
Nic Seton, Community Strategist, Greenpeace
Brie Rogers Lowery, UK Country Director, Change.org
Chair: Richard Darlington, Head of News, IPPR


​A year ago, WonkComms was launched at an event in London. The blog, LinkedIn group, rotating Twitter account and Pinterest board soon followed. The aim was to bring people together to think about the future of think tank and research communications, and help them move towards that future. 

A year on, WonkComms is thriving - as a community but also as a profession. In the US, UK and globally, there have been some amazing and impactful policy communications packages released. A spirit of collaboration, mixed with a little friendly competition, is leading many think tanks to think again about how they communicate and how to do it better than anyone else. 

But it isn’t time to rest on our laurels. The think tank world isn’t the only one making a success of new and innovative forms of communication to reach new audiences and make a difference. From the media to charities and campaigning organisations, there are many others who are shouting very loud and hard, making it difficult for think tanks to be heard.

This event reviewed the last year, and also looked forward to the challenges ahead. It started with a ’show and tell’ on key trends of the past year from WonkCommers who’ve been producing and delivering communications daily. This was followed by a open discussion on the best communications from outside our WonkComms world, including presentations from experts working in charities and on campaigns.