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Posts by Nick Scott

ODI’s award-winning online strategy explained

The ODI digital strategy, first outlined in a series of blogs for onthinktanks.org, was awarded Online Strategy of the Year 2012 at the prestigious Digital Communications Awards, held in Berlin on Friday. ODI beat off competition from multinational corporations and specialist digital agencies to claim this major award. This post is based on the speech give to the jury and explains very succinctly what the strategy is and where/why it has worked.

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What social media and digital tools are think tanks using in their work? Views from a short clinic at the Think Tank Initiative Exchange 2012

What is the state of play for the use of digital tools in African, Asian and Latin American think tanks? A clinic I ran at the Think Tank Initiative Exchange 2012 in Cape Town found a good range of experiences with numerous tools and left me feeling positive that think tanks aren’t sticking their head in the sand in the face of the changes wrought by ‘digital disruption’ (at least for the self-selecting think tanks in the room).

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Digital strategy can support communications in think tanks. But can it also improve their research and management too?

What is a ‘digital strategy’? This post investigates what a digital strategy can do for think tanks, arguing that it can bring agility, buy extra time for staff and improve opportunities for collaboration.

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The decline of the corporate website (and rise of a social internet)

The online world is evolving in ways that will eventually see the demise of corporate websites as communications mediums. Specialised sites are already the best way to get certain types of content seen. And entire platforms, like the Apple or Android apps ecosystem, or Facebook, are rising. These work in a fundamentally different way, favouring social recommendation and interaction over the primacy of content.

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A pragmatic guide to monitoring and evaluating research communications using digital tools

M&E of research communications isn’t easy. Given the complexity of policy cycles, examples of one particular action making a difference are often disappointingly rare, and it is even harder to attribute each to the quality of the research, the management of it, or the delivery of communications around it. This blog outlines some of the lessons I’ve learnt in the process of creating the dashboard and investigating the data, a framework I’ve developed for assessing success, and list some of the key digital tools I’ve encountered that are useful for M&E of research communications.

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Responding to digital disruption of traditional communications: ‘reusing the wheel’

This is the fourth in a series of blogs looking at the challenges of ‘digital disruption’ and ODI’s strategy in responding to them. The first blog set the scene, and the second and third outlined in more detail two planks of ODI’s strategy, namely, ‘being there communications’ and ‘cradle to grey content’. This blog looks at the final strand of ODI’s strategy, ‘reusing the wheel’ (as opposed to reinventing it): the free (or cheap) digital content, technology and tools that can improve the quality and delivery of all communications products.

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Responding to digital disruption of traditional communications: ‘cradle to grey content’ strategy

This is the third in a series of blogs looking at the challenges of ‘digital disruption’ and ODI’s strategy in responding to them. The first blog set the scene, and the second outlined in more detail one of three planks of ODI’s strategy: ‘being there communications’. If ‘being there’ outlines the channel the message is delivered through, this blog looks at the content of the message itself, and how the Internet is changing the format of the message and time horizons for which a message can be relevant.

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Responding to digital disruption of traditional communications: ‘being there’ communications

In the first blog in this series on digital strategy, I introduced some of the challenges that ODI and other think tanks are responding to in dealing with ‘digital disruption’. This blog outlines in more detail one of three planks of ODI’s response to this, which we’ve termed ‘being there communications’. This is an attempt to bring a more strategic vision to digital distribution of communications outputs by explicitly linking efforts to be heard and found.

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Responding to digital disruption of traditional communications: three planks to ODI’s digital strategy

This first blog in a series on digital strategy and how it has developed at ODI introduces key issues the strategy is responding to, and why it is so important for a think tank like ODI.

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