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We’re here to help you build the best communications for your organization. Get useful insights and ideas for your work from our Achieve Great Things blog and podcast.

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3 Key Lessons from TikTok Creators: What Change-makers Can Learn from Gen Z

In the wake of worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, we can learn a lot from a group of unlikely but effective communicators who are creating new waves in communications for good: TikTok creators.

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The Importance of Optimism in Communications

President of the Clarendon Group, Christine Heenan, on the importance of solutions-oriented communications to inspire people to engage with your cause.

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Marriage Equality Won by Changing the Narrative

In our inaugural podcast, Doug Hattaway shares how the marriage equality movement won historic victories by changing the narrative.

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The Importance of Talking To Voters Directly

In Episode 2, a pollster explores why facts alone aren’t enough to gain voters’ support.

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What Democrats Can Learn From Trump’s Tweets

In Episode 3, a West Virginia professor shares why communicators can’t afford to ignore Donald Trump’s unorthodox use of technology.

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Want to Advance Gender Equity? Don’t Be Afraid to Show Your Passion.

In Episode 4, Susan Markham discusses why communicators shouldn’t be afraid of showing their passion in the new political landscape.

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Why Do Progressives Have So Much Trouble Talking About National Security?

In Episode 5 of Achieve Great Things, Michael Breen shares why progressives can’t ignore people’s fears in their messaging.

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“Democrats Have to Listen to People”

In Episode 6 of Achieve Great Things, Anna Greenberg says Democrats have to take a step back and listen.

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Messaging Lesson Number One From 2016: The Power of Simplicity

In Episode 7, Joel Payne discusses lessons from the Clinton campaign and how to capture grassroots enthusiasm.

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How Nonprofits and Foundations Can Break Through in a Crowded Landscape

In Episode 8, Sean Gibbons talks about communications that find their way into people’s hearts and minds.

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Challenges for Progressive Communicators in the Trump Era

In Episode 9, the directors of Hattaway Communications discuss why progressives should focus on what affects people — not just what offends them.

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How an Outdated Focus on TV Hurts Good Candidates and Causes

In Episode 10, Brad Jenkins of Funny or Die discusses why strategists have to invest in quality digital content to reach crucial voters.

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What Democrats Can Learn From Viral Comedy

In Episode 11, Brad Jenkins of Funny or Die shares a strategy for turning grassroots energy into electoral wins.

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Advertising Professionals Share Key Insights for Progressive Nonprofits

In episode 12 we sit down with the founders of Starthatching, a new marketplace connecting freelance expertise to nonprofits.

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The Key to Progressive Messages That Don’t Leave People Out? Listening and Humility.

In Episode 13 of Achieve Great Things, Third Way’s Lanae Erickson Hatalsky discusses how Democrats can bridge political divides.

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Analytics with a Heart: Measuring What People Really Care About

In Episode 14 of Achieve Great Things, Emily Norman discusses how to engage people where they are on issues they care about.

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“You Can’t Be What You Can’t Imagine”

In Episode 15 of Achieve Great Things, Jo Miles and Amanda Kloer discuss what political communicators can learn from the world of science fiction.

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After 2016, Politics Can’t Be Someone Else’s Problem

In Episode 16 of Achieve Great Things, Sara-Jayne Terp talks money in politics, disinformation, and why local engagement is key to progress.

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The Science and Strategy Behind Meaningful Events

Caspian Agency Founder and CEO Heather Mason on how to produce events that deliver strategic value to sponsors and attendees.

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The Road to Durable Support for Marriage Equality

Evan Wolfson helped change hearts and minds on same-sex marriage — for good. You can do the same for your cause.

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A Foundation Finds Its Voice

The Packard Foundation’s Meera Mani developed a shared narrative to elevate grantees’ work with children, families, and communities.

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Discerning Truth Through a Web of Online Misinformation

Knight Foundation Vice President of Communities and Impact Sam Gill on how confronting digital pollution can help our democracy overcome a “crisis of trust.”

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The Secret to a Smart Strategy: Clear Objectives and Courageous Choices

EVP of Hattaway Communications Carrie Schum on using strategy to make unexpected choices to connect with your audiences.

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The Importance of Optimism in Communications

President of the Clarendon Group, Christine Heenan, on the importance of solutions-oriented communications to inspire people to engage with your cause.

Read More

3 Key Lessons from TikTok Creators: What Change-makers Can Learn from Gen Z

In the wake of worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, we can learn a lot from a group of unlikely but effective communicators who are creating new waves in communications for good: TikTok creators.

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Persuading the Reluctant to Help Flatten the Curve

How to use social proof and influence to counter harmful actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Helping Beat COVID-19 by Promoting Productive Action

How action-oriented content can help motivate people to stop the spread of COVID-19

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Science-Based Tips for COVID-19 Communications

Insights and Ideas from the CDC’s Crisis Communications Handbook

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Carrie Schum Joins Our Team

Hattaway’s new Executive Vice President talks about her formative experiences on the antismoking truth campaign.

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The Changing Debate Over Marginal Taxes is Only the Beginning

America is ready to rethink the “smaller government, lower taxes” narrative that has dominated policy debates for decades.

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Listening to America with HuffPost

Hattaway’s team of linguists analyzed over 1,700 interviews to map the conversation in America today. A new tool lets you explore it for yourself.

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Putting the “Place” in Pittsburgh Philanthropy

The Pittsburgh Foundation shows how conducting communications research with the people you serve can make philanthropy more inclusive.

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Movement Messaging: Why March For Our Lives Was So Effective

March For Our Lives brought millions into the streets and captivated the nation. Here are six reasons the movement’s message broke through.

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New Year, New Brand?

Three questions that can help nonprofits determine whether it’s time to refresh their brand.

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Six Ways for Funders and Strategists to Fight Trump’s Policies

President Trump’s first six months show that foundations have a key role to play.

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Democrats Should Focus SCOTUS Fight on Gorsuch’s Backing of Big Money in Politics

7 out of 10 voters say the Senate should reject a nominee with Gorsuch’s record of helping wealthy special interests buy elections.

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Are Your Communications Getting the Job Done?

Four steps to begin evaluating communications — no matter your budget.

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Three Lessons for Changing The Conversation About Immigration

How can advocates frame immigration issues in a way that resonates with a majority of Americans?

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Pumpkins in the Sand

An innovative sandbar cropping technique is helping fight hunger and poverty in Bangladesh.

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The Science of Storytelling, Part 2: Harnessing the Power of Patterns

This series explains the science that makes storytelling such a powerful form of communication. Part 2 explores how stories keep us engaged by triggering “pattern recognition” in our brains.

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The Science of Storytelling, Part 1: Understanding Cause and Effect

This series explains the science that makes storytelling such an effective form of communication. We begin by exploring how stories help our brains process the complexity of the world around us.

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Stories Rule Your Brain

Understanding the science behind them can help you build support for your cause.

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What People Are Talking About in America

We’re partnering with HuffPost on their Listen to America bus tour to learn what matters most to Americans.

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Exploring Messages That Get Virginia Women to the Polls

New research offers guidance for motivating women voters to support a Family Friendly Economy.

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Recipe for Success

Green Heat is helping Ugandan households fire their kitchens with environmentally friendly gas...

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How Cable News Allows Donald Trump to Control the Media Conversation

The Republican nominee uses cable news networks to drive an all-consuming narrative...

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The Plant-Powered Tank Turning Ugandans into Fish Farmers

Water Governance Institute’s aquaponics system is bringing income to Ugandan households...

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Lessons From the Frontlines of Marriage Equality

An aspirational narrative helped win historic victories across the country.

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It Can Be Smart to Dumb Things Down

Keeping your message simple helps mobilize people in support of your goals.

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Digital Storytelling for Social Impact

Use the power of narrative and networks to enhance your reach, resources and impact.

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Road Map to Impact: Setting Strategic Communications Objectives

To motivate and mobilize people, you need a strategic communications plan.

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The Power of the Aspirational Narrative

A simple but powerful framework can help you communicate with maximum motivating power.

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Three Elements of Strategic Stories

Stories can convey our vision, influence attitudes, and inspire action—but not without a well-thought-out strategy.

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Meet My Child: Changing the Narrative About Transgender Issues

In less than 48 hours, 1.5 million Facebook users watched a video about three moms and their transgender kids.

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Cutting the Jargon at the World Health Organization

How the world’s leading health watchdog translated its technical vocabulary into everyday language.

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Have a Complex Story to Share? Put People in the Picture

Our minds make sense of situations by creating stories with protagonists.

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The Power of a Winning Word

A single word changed the conversation in the debt ceiling debate.

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Understanding Mental Associations

A single word can create a chain reaction of ideas that can help — or hurt — your cause.

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Can Trump Turn it Around?

Doug Hattaway discusses the possibility of a Trump turnaround on NPR’s Morning Edition.

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Crowdsourcing the Future of a Social Movement

An innovative campaign lifted up the hopes, fears, and ideas of LGBTQ people across the United States.

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Four Ways to Drive Change through Business, Not Government

In the Age of Trump, strategists must look beyond policy to make progress.

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Talking Like Trump: Three Lessons for Hillary Clinton

Mocking Trump’s speech may be entertaining—but the Democratic nominee should pay attention to the way he uses language.

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Putting a Human Face on Government

Storytelling about community-led partnerships is changing the way government works — and creating a new narrative.

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