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2010 Report: Communications and Outreach

Hoover took a quantum leap forward in communicating and disseminating the work of its scholars this year. Reaching out to the media with our fellows and their work has been a top priority, and the results have been remarkable. In one year, Hoover has quadrupled its presence on radio and doubled both television appearances and newspaper op-eds by Hoover fellows. We created a presence on Facebook, Twitter, an Internet content channel, and an Internet magazine, all of which are growing exponentially. We are working to make our books available via iPad, finding new media outlets to penetrate, and like-minded organizations with which to partner.

Click the links below to view a slide show of Hoover events and visitors for that year:

Print Media

It all begins with the written word. Hoover is highly visible on newspaper opinion pages. We have more than doubled the number of op-eds that appear in newspapers across the country. On any given day you can find multiple op-eds written by our fellows, which in turn create opportunities in other media. Hoover is driving the ideas that the public reads and responds to, which in turn affects policy makers.

Hoover’s own high-caliber written products showcase the findings of our fellows, including the Hoover Digest, Policy Review, Education Next, books, and essays. We keep pace with new technologies by providing all our content online and also publishing top-quality written publications that can be found on the shelves of bookstores throughout the nation.

Television and Radio

Even in an Internet world, television and radio reach more people. Hoover has quadrupled the number of radio appearances and doubled the number of television interviews in which fellows have participated. We use op-eds, books, and other written works by Hoover fellows to develop media opportunities on radio and television programs.

Our television and radio interviews have increased in both quantity and quality. This year, Hoover fellows appeared on national Sunday shows, the network evening news, and the country’s top cable news programs. Our fellows have guest-hosted national cable news programs as well as having been featured on entire shows. Hoover fellows have appeared and been referenced on more than half of the nation’s top-ten talk radio programs, including those of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill Bennett.

Internet

The Internet not only helps us reach end users but enables and empowers the rest of our media outreach. Hoover has launched a website, Advancing a Free Society, a content channel that highlights the work of Hoover fellows—whether as op-eds, blog posts, or online audio and video. It showcases the breadth and depth of our thinking and policy ideas. We have had great success in leveraging pieces that appear on this site into national television and radio interviews.

We have revamped the Hoover webpage and continue to increase readership by featuring the timely work of Hoover fellows. The Hoover Daily Report has been newly enhanced with a compilation of the top twenty to twenty-five articles, interviews, op-eds, and blogs featuring Hoover fellows. Defining Ideas, a journal highlighting the work of Hoover fellows and affiliates, is now available exclusively online.

Audio and Video

As broadcast media continue to reinvent themselves, Hoover is riding the wave of change. Uncommon Knowledge (UK), Hoover’s original television series, has increased its audience and impact through innovative program content as well as seeking out new distribution platforms. In addition to being carried on National Review Online, UK added ten websites and blogs that regularly feature the show. UK was viewed roughly 1.25 million times in 2009; in 2010 that figure was expected to exceed three million.

Hoover also has a branded page on YouTube on which users can upload and share videos. We are increasingly posting interviews, webcasts, and other relevant videos featuring our fellows. We have also greatly increased the number of podcasts available through iTunes by recording various speeches and lectures by Hoover fellows. We have more than doubled the number of podcasts on iTunes and online that feature our fellows’ remarks; the growing number of downloaded podcasts attests to the success of these efforts.

New Media and Social Networking

Social media are here to stay, and Hoover has embraced them by going viral, launching both a Facebook and a Twitter site.

Hoover’s Facebook site is a forum on which to share a broad range of content and to promote Hoover by highlighting news articles, visual and audio content, and information about our books and fellows. The more often we post high-quality content, the more interaction and feedback are elicited from Hoover’s Facebook friends, the growth in which has been exponential.

One indication of the impact of our Twitter account is the number of times our followers “retweet” (rebroadcast) a message from our page. That number has steadily increased since we launched. The more tweets we post on our Twitter account, the more people view those tweets, and the more people retweet our message, thus expanding our followership and disseminating our message.

Contacting and building relationships with bloggers are other important components of our outreach. We inform bloggers of op-eds, articles, and essays by Hoover fellows; in response, bloggers often post information about Hoover across the “blogosphere.”

Media Outreach

All the new gadgets don’t diminish the value of traditional media relationships. Hoover’s media relations programs—including the Media Fellows Program, Hoover Clubs, and Media Colloquia—remain extremely popular. We continually strive to reach media professionals unacquainted with Hoover to build our network of media relationships. Our strong relationship with leading media professionals allows us to share the work of Hoover fellows and provide unique access to Hoover and our scholars. In Washington, DC, we have partnered with various Capitol Hill offices, think tanks, and other groups to hold events showcasing our fellows’ research and the latest Hoover Press books to the DC press corps, policy makers, and thought leaders.

Student Outreach

Today’s youth is tomorrow’s future. In an effort to engage the youth, and Stanford students in particular, the Communications Office, during the school year, hosts a monthly lunch featuring a Hoover fellow. We continue to improve this program by such enhancements as streaming the remarks online for students who are unable to attend. We also encourage people to submit questions via Facebook. Choosing fellows who have recently published a short book also increases our book dissemination efforts.

Hoover Press

Books aren’t going away, but the format and length that the public appetite demands are changing at lightning speed. The Hoover Press, anticipating this transformation, can now publish a book in three months; other presses typically take a year or more. We have also anticipated the public’s ever-shortening attention span by publishing short books. The biggest change for the industry is electronic books; Hoover books are available for all top-shelf e-readers, including the Amazon Kindle, Google Books, Sony e-reader, and Barnes and Noble Nook and will soon be available on the iPad.

We are also achieving great success—per multiple book reviews and media interviews—with a variety of recently published books about the economy, homeland security, and Social Security reform.

Measuring Outcomes

Results achieved are in direct proportion to the effort applied. To share those results, Hoover offers regular emails informing subscribers of upcoming radio and television interviews by Hoover fellows.

Our new office in Washington, DC, has significantly improved outreach among the beltway media, Capitol Hill, the administration, and other think tanks. Hoover is meeting and exceeding its goal of having our fellows’ work prominent in policy conversations as well as increasing the Institution’s profile.

Making an Impact on Public Policy

Hoover’s Thomas Sowell concludes in his book Intellectuals and Society that modern intellectuals have most influenced the course of events not by shaping the opinions or directing the actions of the holders of power but by shaping public opinion in ways that affect the actions of power holders in democratic societies. Hoover’s focus has been to inform public opinion and thereby contribute to the public policy debate.

Hoover Digest: Research and Opinion on Public Policy
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The covers of Hoover Digest customarily draw on the Hoover Archives’ collection of over one hundred thousand posters from around the world. The posters echo a tumultuous century; they beckon to voters and soldiers, wage political battles, woo travelers, and cry out for revolution. These striking images of persuasion and propaganda—a magnet for scholars—remind the reader that the phrase “ideas have consequences” applies to pictures as well as words.

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