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From the Director's Desk

An introduction to the issue on Strategic Communications by HFRP's Founder & Director, Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.

Theory & Practice

Pitching Policy Change

Marielle Bohan-Baker, from Harvard Family Research Project, presents some of the challenges voiced by communications experts in interviews about the use and evaluation of mass media initiatives.

Promising Practices

Coming of Age in the Information Age

Jacqueline Dugery of the Pew Partnership for Civic Change offers some innovative ways to build on organizational learning to engage in strategic communications campaigns.

Promising Practices

Engaging the Media as Partners in Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Sarah Brown, Director of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, describes the unique way in which the Campaign has enlisted the support of “unusual suspects” in its efforts to improve child well-being and reduce child poverty.

Evaluations to Watch

KIDS COUNT Self-Assessment: Bridging Evaluation With Strategic Communication of Data on Children & Families

Deborah Morgan of KIDS COUNT describes how the initiative used an integrated self-assessment evaluation design to incorporate strategic communications into its long-term vision to improve child well-being.

Evaluations to Watch

Covering Kids: Outcome Evaluation Proves Campaign Value

HFRP offers the Covering Kids strategic communications campaign as an example of how a strategic communications campaign can be strengthened by using a research and evaluation framework.

Questions & Answers

A Conversation With Susan Nall Bales

Susan Bales, President of the FrameWorks Institute, explains strategic frame analysis, a new approach to communications research and practice that she and her colleagues at the Institute were instrumental in developing.

Beyond Basic Training

The Media: A Tool for Change?

Taj James gives examples of how, through the activities of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, young people were empowered to use the media to achieve their organizing goals.


Challenging the Norm in Welfare Reform Reporting

Danielle Hollar and Julia Coffman of HFRP reveals the results of HFRP's review of the ethnic media's coverage of welfare reform and how it suggests the messages can be framed for a greater effect.


The ABCs of Strategic Communications

This article details the process of designing a plan for strategic communications as discussed in The Jossey-Bass Guide to Strategic Communications for Nonprofits, written by Kathy Bonk, Henry Griggs and Emily Tynes, 1999.

Ask the Expert

HFRP asked two experts, Karen Lake, Director of Communications for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Grant Oliphant, Director of Planning and Communications for the Heinz Endowments, to address the role of strategic communications in philanthropy today.

New & Noteworthy

The New & Noteworthy section features an annotated list of papers, organizations, initiatives, and other resources related to the issue's theme of Strategic Communications.

This issue of The Evaluation Exchange was published by Harvard Family Research Project. The managing editor for the issue was Leslie Goodyear and Marielle Bohan-Baker. It was produced by Christine Phelan. All rights reserved. This periodical may not be reproduced whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. To request reprint permission or multiple hard copies of the issue email

Harvard Family Research Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the Heinz Endowments, the F.B. Heron Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of Harvard Family Research Project and do not necessarily reflect the view of our funders. Special Thanks to the Following People Who Helped Frame This Issue of The Evaluation Exchange. Elaine Arkin, Health Communication Consultant, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Lisa Deal, Program Officer, David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Lori Dorfman, Director, Berkeley Media Studies Group, Public Health Institute; Elizabeth Heid Thompson, Vice President, Sutton Social Marketing; Pat Lewis, Former Director, The Communications Network; Patricia Patrizi, Chair, Evaluation Roundtable and Improving the Practices of Philanthropy Project, OMG Center for Collaborative Learning; Tom Reis, Venture Philanthropy Director, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; David Smith, Senior Vice President, Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns, & Associates; Phil Sparks, Vice President, Communications Consortium Media Center.

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