From Filling Out forms to Preventing Heart Disease: It’s All About Behavior


There’s a lot of research on why people do things. There are theories that say that behavior is largely rational — that people will copy behaviors if rewarded, and that we can predict behaviors based on attitudes. When trying to change behavior, research says that exploring these rationales by talking with the audience upfront […]

Choose Your Own Adventure/Meaning/Inkblot


Patrick Zornow also contributed to this post.


1) Earlier this month, Patrick and Amy learned that the most effective approach to narrative persuasion is through relying entirely on the reader for meaning.

2) Patrick and Amy learned earlier this month that there are three ways to approach narrative persuasion: telling your reader what to think, inviting your […]

The Teddy Bear


“I love you, baby girl.”

It’s a refrain in the new Duracell battery ad, a weeper that shows how one little girl deals with her daddy’s deployment and how a battery-operated teddy bear with her father’s voice is a source both of hope and of despair, when it reminds her of, but doesn’t quite replace, […]

Storytelling, Wanda Alston and a Spring Fling


The Wanda Alston Foundation

As social marketers who work with nonprofit organizations, Vanguard has seen time and time again that storytelling builds a closer connection between a group’s mission and its constituents. When target audiences better understand whom a group serves, they are more likely to volunteer, donate money, and form a personal bond […]

Not Much for Browsing


I like to tell people that I have had few jobs in my life: the Peace Corps, a public interest not for profit lobbying group, a large D.C.-based government contracting company and Vanguard Communications.

This week, I celebrated 20 years at the latter via a little ceremony at our firm’s monthly staff meeting. And as […]