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Blog & Portfolio

  • Writer's pictureGabriella Mikiewicz

What exactly is 'social impact communications'?

At The Channels Network, we talk a lot about social impact communications, but what does that even mean? We asked our LinkedIn followers what they thought the definition was, and got some interesting results. Sometimes, it’s useful to go back to basics. So let’s explore…

Social impact communications is the use of communications to generate positive social change. As we see it, this involves two simultaneous processes: communicating about social impact and generating social impact through communications.

And even though comms remains largely undervalued, we believe both simultaneous processes are crucial in creating a better world.

Communicating about social impact

The first process, communicating about social impact, involves sharing information about the work that organizations and individuals are doing to address social issues. This can take many forms, such as:

  • Nonprofits sharing their work on social media, websites, and other platforms to reach new audiences and raise awareness about their causes.

  • Governments and public agencies using communications strategies and platforms to inform citizens about policies, initiatives, and programs that are designed to address social issues.

  • Media outlets covering social issues and causes; using their platforms to inform and educate the public.

Generating social impact through communications

  • The real magic happens when we use communications to generate social impact. This second process of social impact communications involves using communications as a tool for generating positive social change—and this is the part that goes beyond posting your impact work on social media. This can take many forms, such as:

  • Advocacy campaigns that use communications to raise awareness about social issues and advocate for change.

  • Strategic communications that aim to influence public opinion and policy around social issues, or even behaviors.

  • Social media campaigns that engage and mobilize audiences to take action on certain social issues.

The potential for social impact communications is vast, as it has the power to influence public opinion and policy, mobilize communities, raise awareness, and even enact change around important issues. When used effectively, social impact communications can be a powerful tool for creating positive change in society.

For us at Channels, and we’re sure our large community will agree, social impact communications is a largely undervalued but critical tool for addressing social issues and creating positive change in society. By communicating about social impact and using communications as a tool for change, we genuinely believe we can make a meaningful impact on the world around us.

This post was originally written for The Channels Network newsletter. Read the full newsletter here.


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