Comcast NBCUniversal partnered with GOOD Inc. to host a GOOD Lab on March 23rd in New York. The GOOD Lab is an invite-only network of over 150 leaders from the business world, foundations, nonprofits and creative fields. The New York GOOD Lab featured a panel of industry leaders who began their discussion with this question: What opportunities do media companies have to enhance their social impact?
Speakers included Dalila Wilson-Scott of Comcast NBCUniversal, Civic Hall’s Elizabeth Stewart, Vince Stehle of Media Impact Funders, and GOOD’s Grace Kim. Together, they formed an expert panel representing media and impact experiences across a range of sectors. Anchored by Managing Director at Good Corps, Grant Garrison, the ensuing discussion explored the complexities, consistent challenges, and recent shifts encountered by media companies looking to connect with a values-driven generation.
The night’s discussion revealed important lessons and truths that panel speakers have realized over the course of their varied careers:
- Every brand wants to build a movement. Instead, we need to focus on building shifts in cultural understanding.
- The construction of narratives and stories is key to social change but is often underappreciated.
- If you try to speak to everyone, you will speak to no one. Know your audience, authentically.
- When people read, there is a spike in interest that immediately makes an impact. Media companies should be prepared to leverage that moment.
- Erosion of institutional trust has led to a rise in civic technology and solutions at the local level.
- There’s a lot of potential for collaboration between media companies and civic technology organizations. They can work together in ways that get people to take real action.
The discussion closed with insightful tips and questions media companies can ask when creating partnerships that straddle the dynamic media and impact space:
- When developing new narratives, ask questions to make sure we aren't leaving groups behind.
- If you’re asking people to take action, consider: Does your brand have an authentic relationship with them? Why should they take action because your brand asked them to?
- Rather than trying to follow digital trends, determine the pain point you’re solving for and ensure your approach allows you to effectively impact that issue.
- When thinking about future campaigns, ask, Have we done enough in past years to prevent today’s challenges? How did our absence of action contribute to our reality?
- Always ask: Is your impact goal BIG enough?
With over 80 in attendance and an abundance of questions and conversation, it was exciting to meet members of the GOOD Lab community whose work touches the intersection of media, technology, and social impact.