Communication matters.
Organizations that do it well are
stronger, smarter, and more
effective at creating change.

Read more


This model for effective communication is based on attitudes, beliefs, and practices reported by hundreds of professionals across the social sector.

  • BRAND Every social change organization, no matter its size or purpose, has three key assets that shape its identity: resources, reputation and relationships.

  • CULTURE Communicating organizations cultivate certain qualities that make their work compelling to others. You may not have all in equal measure, but you need a minimum supply of each to succeed.

  • STRATEGY Effective organizations are always strategic (deliberate and intentional) about their communication choices, weighing several distinct, yet related, variables before they act.

  • ACTION Communicating should never be a one-way activity. Success demands a continuous, virtuous, self-correcting cycle of sending and receiving, plus the ability to cede control.

Communication helps drive social change when brand, culture, strategy and action are aligned. Download the model graphic in .pdf or .jpg format below.

MODEL for effective communication

About the project

Communication Matters is a Communications Network initiative to collect, curate and disseminate information that will help everyone in the social sector better understand the unique role strategic communication plays in advancing mission and driving social change. Research and writing by Brotherton Strategies. Site design by AGENCY 3.0 and J. Sherman Studios. To learn more about Communication Matters visit the site credits page.