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Report 2004: Communications and Outreach

Manufacturing, in and of itself, is an empty undertaking unless the products of those efforts find users. The same is true of an “idea factory” (or think tank) such as the Hoover Institution, which depends not only on its fellows creating ideas but also on disseminating those ideas to end users.

The Hoover Institution continues to enunciate ideas defining a free society. Those ideas are Hoover’s products, and for them to be more than just an intellectual exercise, they must be communicated to interested parties. Ideas relating to societal strategy (in Hoover’s instance, ideas defining a free society) lead to a greater understanding of vital public policy issues and encourage meaningful and vigorous dialogue.

The Institution’s communications and outreach functions advance the ideas and scholarship of Hoover fellows, publicize the library and archives’ holdings, and promote events sponsored by the Institution. The communications and outreach team conducts ongoing efforts to connect with an interested public — which includes lawmakers, policy and opinion leaders, the news media, and peers in the world of universities and think tanks — using traditional methods of communication as well as innovative communication technology. To promulgate the ideas generated at the Hoover Institution to its end users, the intellectual products — the scholarship and the output of the Institution — must be configured into attractive and accessible formats that encourage the public to explore them.


 

Hoover Reference Publications
An Introduction to the Hoover Institution, the Hoover Report, and Guide to Scholars, which comprise the informational publications produced by and about Hoover, provide readers with an understanding of the goals and accomplishments of the Institution and its fellows. In addition, the soon-to-be-released Hoover reference publication Prospectus represents a progress report on institutional strategic thinking.

Guide to Scholars

The Guide to Scholars, published biannually, contains short biographies on the distinguished community at the Hoover Institution. The online version of fellows' biographies is regularly updated and may be found at www.hoover.org/bios.
 


 

Hoover News Dissemination
Key lawmakers, members of the news media, scholars, and Hoover supporters receive “The Daily Report,” an e-mail collection of news clips with Internet links featuring news stories about or quoting Hoover fellows as well as op-ed articles by Hoover fellows. In addition, Hoover’s Public Affairs Office publishes a twice-monthly electronic newsletter, “What’s New at Hoover,” featuring news about the Institution’s fellows and special events and providing Internet links to related articles and additional details. A printed version is published and distributed quarterly.

"The Daily Report" keeps the media and friends of the Institution informed of the latest writings and media appearances of Hoover fellows. It is distributed via e-mail and may be found at www.hoover.org/pubaffairs/dailyreport on the Word Wide Web.
 


 

Scholarly Essays
The highly regarded, informative, and accessible Hoover Digest appeals to a general audience interested in a wide variety of public policy issues. As Hoover’s flagship publication, the Digest features selected writings of Hoover fellows, including original articles, Weekly Essays, previously printed opinion pieces, and adaptations and excerpts from lengthy articles and books. When it first appeared more than eight years ago, the Digest consisted almost entirely of reprinted material. Today, a majority of each issue consists of original material by Hoover fellows, adaptations and excerpts from Hoover Press books, and brief articles about various collections in the Hoover Archives.

The popularity of the Digest’s web page is documented by the increasing number of visits to the site (www.hooverdigest.org), which contains virtually all the articles from the print version. Hoover fellow Peter Robinson continues as the editor of the Digest; Michael Walker is the managing editor.

Through Hoover’s Weekly Essay series, fellows address a variety of timely issues, including national security, American public education, the promotion of democracy, environmental issues, financial markets, race and ethnicity, and Social Security. Since its launch in 2000, more than two hundred essays written by Hoover fellows have been distributed on a weekly basis through the Knight Ridder/Tribune news wire. Syndicated to more than four hundred newspapers throughout the nation (with a total readership that surpasses forty million), essays have regularly appeared in newspapers in Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Selected essays are then placed in several of the most relevant public affairs magazines: Commentary, National Review, New Republic, Reason, and Weekly Standard, the estimated readership of which, taken together, exceeds one million. Like other Hoover communication initiatives, the full text of the Weekly Essays can be found on the Institution’s home web page at www.hoover.org. Hoover research fellow Laura Huggins, in consultation with other Institution fellows and staff members, edits the Weekly Essays.

Hoover fellows also regularly publish commentaries in leading newspapers throughout the nation and the world.


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HOOVER DIGEST
The quarterly Digest, which is the Institution’s flagship publication, has received Gold Ink Awards from PrintMedia and Printing Impressions magazines every year since 1999. The competition is recognized as the leading one for periodicals’ visual effect and print quality.


 

Scholarly Articles
Policy Review®, Hoover’s bimonthly public policy journal, continues to grow in circulation and stature. The journal, which has been a “must read” within the Washington Beltway for many years, provides in-depth analyses of politics, domestic policy, and foreign affairs, as well as incisive social criticism. The Washington Post has called Policy Review “fascinating”; the Los Angeles Times termed it “provocative”; the Washington Times has said it is “prophetic”; and the New Yorker magazine termed it a publication of “vogue and influence.” It promises to continue its presence as an influential source of deep thinking on public policy matters. Policy Review is headed by Hoover fellow Tod Lindberg.

Another noteworthy publishing success for the Hoover Institution has been Education Next ®: A Journal of Opinion and Research. With Hoover’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education serving as the editorial board, the journal is devoted to education reform issues. Hoover fellow and task force member Paul Peterson is editor in chief, Hoover fellow and task force member Chester Finn serves as senior editor, and Hoover fellow Carol Peterson is managing editor. The complete text of the journal appears on Hoover’s website at www.educationnext.org. On its web page, Education Next offers expanded articles with more-detailed data and the advanced statistics and methodology that support articles in the print version.

In addition to being recognized for its content, Education Next, published by the Hoover Press, is acknowledged for the artful and imaginative presentation of its articles, all of which address education reform, and for its thought-provoking covers.
 


 

Books
The Hoover Press, a mainstay of Hoover’s communication efforts, provides general publication and editorial services to the Institution and publishes and markets books under the Hoover Press imprint. The press highlights the work of Hoover scholars as well as Hoover’s seven institutional initiatives. The Hoover Press also publishes the highly acclaimed Studies of Nationalities series, which examines the history, culture, and peoples of Central Europe, the Baltics, and the republics of the former Soviet Union.

In a new outreach effort, the Hoover Press has begun publishing a series of single-author books, Hoover Studies in Economics, Politics and Society. Typically smaller than the large, edited volumes published during the past several years, these books aim to be timely and accessible.

With the expanding research activities of the Institution, the number of books published by the press has increased as well. In addition, the press maintains an extensive backlist of titles, which is available at its recently launched website, www.hooverpress.org, where buyers can now order and pay for books from the entire Hoover Press catalog online.

The Hoover Press offers online ordering from its full catalog of books through its secure server found at www.hooverpress.org.
 


 

Television
Since 1996, the Hoover Institution’s television series, Uncommon KnowledgeTM, has provided viewers with informed and civil discussion on vital public policy issues. Carried on Public Broadcasting System stations throughout the United States, the program is carried on radio — around the globe — by the Armed Forces Radio Network and National Public Radio Worldwide. The program, which brings together experts from across the nation to tackle policy issues, is also available via streaming video at the program’s website, www.uncommonknowledge.org. The site offers full transcripts, streaming video, and downloadable MP3 files from its archive of broadcasts.

PBS broadcasts the thirty-nine-program series nationally, and viewers may also connect to the Uncommon Knowledge website, www.uncommonknowledge.org, to read transcripts of the programs and to view programs using streaming video technology, which allows access to the series on a 24/7 basis. Information about which PBS stations carry the series may also be found on the web page.


 

 

Hoover Press, previously honored for print and design work on the Hoover Digest, was recognized with two awards given for "the highest standards of book design and manufacturing" in the prestigious Bookbuilders West competition. The publications, Competing with the Government: Anticompetitive Behavior and Public Enterprise, edited by R. Richard Geddes, and Education and Capitalism: How Overcoming Our Fear of Markets and Economics Can Improve America’s Schools, edited by Herbert J. Walberg and Joseph L. Bast, won in the Reference and Scholarly Books category. The awards were given for the cover designs by Hoover Press designer Kathryn Nunes.
 


 

Radio
As the popularity of radio continues to skyrocket, the number of radio appearances by Hoover fellows has increased — particularly in debates and discussions of public policy issues. Fellows regularly appear as commentators or guests on some of the nation’s most highly rated talk radio shows. Among the more notable venues are the National Public Radio Worldwide service and the Voice of America Radio News, both of which also broadcast Uncommon Knowledge.

In 2004, the Hoover Institution’s web page was redesigned to improve navigation, providing better access to the more than ten thousand pages on the site, and to incorporate new design elements that use attractive images from throughout the Institution.
 


 

Internet
Just a few short years ago, using the Internet as a communications tool was considered cutting edge and even experimental. Today, nearly all communications and outreach efforts focus on the growing number of users who derive their information from the Internet.

Hoover’s website, www.hoover.org, continues to be sought out first for the latest on public policy matters. Its web pages have evolved from a handful of text-only pages that simply reproduced previously published, factual information about the Institution to a dynamic site consisting of more than twelve thousand unique web pages and links to the Institution’s publications, video streaming, and high-resolution graphics.

Once linked to the Hoover page, one can obtain information on the library and archives, research programs, and events; review “The Daily Report”; read the latest Weekly Essay; watch or listen to an episode of Uncommon Knowledge; browse the Hoover Digest; purchase books from the Hoover Press catalog; take a virtual tour of the current exhibition in the Herbert Hoover Exhibit Pavilion; or engage in an in-depth review of a public policy issue covered in one of the Institution’s topical web pages. The site also offers an archive of the articles published in Policy Review, Education Next, and China Leadership Monitor.

The Institution’s pages now receive more than two million hits each week, growing at the rate of about 5 percent a month. In addition to the standard fare, the Hoover site offers streaming video of Uncommon Knowledge. As interest in the series continues to grow, streaming video is an effective way to maintain a video archive of the series for the public and news media.

The family of Hoover Institution websites receives nearly two million hits per week—more than doubling its hit rate over a two-year period.
 


 

Media Relations
One significant and successful aspect of Hoover’s outreach to members of the news media has been its Media Fellows Program. Another means of disseminating Hoover scholarship, the program continues to create and solidify long-lasting relationships with media professionals. Offering print, broadcast, and Internet journalists the opportunity to spend time in residence at Hoover, the program has been remarkably successful in increasing the Institution’s impact on public policy discussions through the media.

Building a bridge between those who generate public policy ideas, Hoover fellows, and those who present those ideas to the public, the program provides a forum in which they can all exchange ideas and viewpoints. Media fellows meet with their Hoover colleagues to pursue new and ongoing projects in an environment removed from their day-to-day work settings. They discuss the results of their research in small forums with Hoover colleagues and friends and in presentations open to the public. In addition to making presentations at the Institution, media fellows have contributed numerous articles to the Hoover Digest.

Approximately sixty journalists each year visit Hoover; this number has increased substantially in the past several years. The program continues to rise in popularity, as evidenced by increased requests of media fellow alumni wishing to return and of other journalists desiring to participate.

As part of their visit to the Hoover Institution, media fellows make presentations to Stanford students and friends of the Institution at media forums. Here, Doyle McManus, Washington bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times, makes a presentation to Hoover donors.
 


 

Public Affairs
Typically, the news media’s first contact with Hoover is through its Office of Public Affairs. Its primary areas of focus are on relations with the news media and providing Hoover Institution fellows and staff with relevant and timely information from the news media.

Public Affairs generates “The Daily Report,” an e-mail summary of news stories by or about Hoover fellows and the Institution, with direct links to the articles. In addition, lists of experts willing to discuss and provide background on breaking news stories are distributed regularly to news media outlets around the world. Public Affairs also writes and publishes “What’s New at Hoover,” online and in print, and distributes press releases to more than twenty thousand news outlets.

With the assistance of the White House Writers Group in Washington, D.C., Public Affairs coordinates Hoover’s op-ed program, which is considered among the best in its peer group. More than one thousand opinion pieces by Hoover scholars are placed in newspapers every year. Public Affairs and the White House Writers Group work closely with the members of editorial boards throughout the country to accomplish this remarkable record.

SOME MEDIA OUTLETS REPRESENTED IN THE MEDIA FELLOWS PROGRAM
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Times, Houston Chronicle, USA Today, Investors Business Daily, Newsweek, Fortune, U.S. News & World Report, National Review Online, Time, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Weekly Standard, NBC News, ABC Radio, BBC Radio, National Public Radio, and Reuters Television

HOOVER IN WASHINGTON
Through the years, the Institution has presented programs on public policy issues in the nation's capital. Often, these large-scale events were aimed at influential audiences inside the Washington Beltway: policymakers, opinion leaders, scholars, and members of the news media. In an attempt to reach these groups in a more efficient and focused manner, Hoover created its Hoover in Washington program in late 2004. Select members of those groups are invited to small gatherings to hear presentations from Hoover fellows. The response has been positive, and the results, including several stories in the media, have been promising.