Reproductive Health

Amercia the Beautiful, and Other News

June 1, 2012

Digital Advocacy
Remember Komen’s defunding of Planned Parenthood? (Yup, it’s been a few months—ages in our speedy news cycle.) Well, this week The Chronicle of Philanthropy did a piece on Planned Parenthood’s extremely effective social media response. Given how toxic the discourse around family planning can be, Planned Parenthood has spent years and many resources building its advocacy capacity and learning from its efforts along the way. So by the time Komen hit the news, it was able to move quickly, recruit supporters, raise funds, and get its message out. A key takeaway for advocates (and funders): capacity building matters. A whole lot.

There are many folks around the country working on advocacy initiatives to improve community health, like our friends at the California Convergence. To add yet another potential message to their bag of advocacy tricks, The Journal of Psychology just published a new research study linking heavy sugar intake to disruptions in learning and memory. The experiment was done on rats; but healthy eating advocates would do well to stay tuned to follow-up research. Now, if only I could put down this delicious Twinkie

God Bless Amercia!
We’ve packed our bags and are ready to fly—or walk?—to the wonderful land of…Amercia. To the unabashed glee of bloggers and comedians everywhere, Mitt Romney’s new iPhone app released only a few days ago contained a glaring typo. As The Atlantic’s Nancy Scola points out, this episode reminds us that not all (advocacy) outlets are the same: a website, for example, gives you more flexibility to fix errors and tweak your message instantaneously than an app, which requires more time. It’s a lesson online advocates should take to heart. And also this week? The National Spelling Bee.