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Benton Foundation: Strategic Communications

Strategic Communications

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Benton Foundation, 2000 Strategic Communications

Recommended Reading
Effective Language for Discussing Early Childhood Education and Policy
(PDF format, 151K; requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

When the media does stories about child care, it tends to frame them narrowly, focusing in safety and work issues. Effective Language is a collection of articles, published in cooperation with the Human Services Policy Center at the University of Washington, that suggests how parents and other adults can begin to frame child care issues in the terms of child development and early education, and as community issues that require community solutions. A paper entitled, "Why Early Childhood Ed Benefits All of Us" draws on cognitive science to develop an array of new ideas, soundbites, frameworks, and language that advocates can use to reframe child care and childhood education issues. "Public Attitudes About Early Childhood Care and Education" offers a summary of recent survey research data on this key topic. "Communication Strategies for Advocates of Early Childhood Education" presents results from two focus groups and explains how the results may help early childhood advocates mobilize public support.

Values and Voice: Advancing Philanthropy through Strategic Communications
(PDF format, 98K; requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

This working paper is a joint publication of The Communications Network and the Benton Foundation, the first in a series of papers on strategic communications by each institution. Both institutions recognize the essential role of communications - strategically integrated in program planning - in effective organizations, effective grantmaking, effective public policy. In the first part of the paper, Susan Bales of the Benton Foundation articulates five basic principles for strategic communications. In the second part, freelance writer Peg Odell showcases six foundations that illustrate the impact strategic communications on advancing grantmaking and public policy goals.

Prepublication version of Advocacy Video: Producing change