The Agenda | Vol. 34 | what’s your agenda?

by the Global Impact Relations Network


Showing the world how impactful storytelling drives behavior

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It’s surreal to think we’re going into year three of producing The Agenda. Whether you’ve been along for the ride since Vol. 1, or you just joined our community recently, you’ll likely agree the world feels like a very different place than it was in 2018. The communications industry feels different, too.

It follows, then, that now is the time for this newsletter to get a bit of a refresh. And we can’t think of anyone better equipped to help shape its direction than you, our readers. Following a year in which people ruthlessly unsubscribed from things to pare down their inboxes, how do we make The Agenda a newsletter you wouldn’t dare miss? Here’s what we’re working on for 2021.

Reader Survey

Open rates can only tell us so much about which topics resonate with you. Can you spare 3-5 minutes to share your insights on why you read The Agenda and what you’d like to see more of? We’d appreciate your feedback here.


New Sections

We discovered early on that a rigid editorial calendar doesn’t work for The Agenda because trending communications stories correspond with the top news of the day. What we can plan for in advance is a monthly value add that gives the impact relations community something to apply to their own work, such as:

  • Insights into successful campaigns and the comms pros behind them
  • Job postings from socially impactful organizations
  • Journalist profiles with notes on how they prefer to be pitched 
  • Behind the scenes looks at the aspects of top stories that haven’t been widely reported on
  • More reader-generated content (check out our submissions guidelines here)

If a survey isn’t your jam but you’ve got thoughts you’d like to share, please email me directly at

Here’s to a safe and impactful year! 

— Ashley Letts, Managing Editor

Sustainable Development Goals covered in this issue:

Lies have consequences

Image: Getty Images

As the last days of the Trump administration wound down, Forbes editor Randall Lane wrote about what the future should not hold for members of its infamous comms team. Sean Spicer, you’ll recall, competed on Dancing With The Stars and Sarah Huckabee Sanders just announced her intention to run for Governor of Arkansas. Lane’s Op-ed warned that, unlike the communicators from administrations before them, this particular pack of former press secretaries should not be allowed to transition easily into cushy roles in corporate America, because “…ultimately, in PR, credibility is the core coin of the realm.”

“Chills” tweet results in hot water, prompting questions about HR at NYT

Not long after tweeting she had chills watching Joe Biden’s plane land at Joint Base Andrews on Inauguration Day, veteran journalist Lauren Wolfe was informed she no longer had a freelance editing job at the New York Times. Wolfe had also tweeted that Trump breaking with tradition to not send a military aircraft for Biden was “mortifying” and “childish,” but deleted it upon discovering it was Biden’s decision to use his own plane. 

The tweets sparked a deluge of hate mail and threats of violence against Wolfe, as well as accusations of anti-conservative bias at the Times. Reps from the paper, who have been criticized for a lack of discipline for male employees involved in scandals, claim there are additional reasons Wolfe was dismissed. High-profile journalists including Wesley Lowery, Anand Giridharadas and Ali Velshi have sprung to her defense, as has Alyssa Milano. 

Did the New York Times fire an editor over a tweet? The Lauren Wolfe controversy, explained.

High Impact Work

Calling all agency PR lovers! A growing agency in the social impact & purpose space, with a strong record of success for an inspiring roster of clients, is seeking a Senior Account Manager or Director to lead employee engagement and external comms for their pharma, biotech and healthcare division. The ideal candidate has a minimum of 6 years’ experience in PR and communications, including employee engagement and impact consulting. This position can be mostly remote, with one week per month spent working in-person in New Jersey. For a confidential conversation about this or other opportunities, please email Steve at and check out

Yulu PR is looking to welcome a Social Impact Strategist to its dynamic team of impact-driven communicators. The Social Impact Strategist will be a key member of the management team and will develop and execute the company’s Impact & sustainability strategies on its path to become an industry leader. The ideal candidate has a minimum of 6 years’ experience in impact consultancy, preferably in an agency or client services capacity. For more information on this opportunity, please visit this link or reach out to Jenna at

Podcasts we love

  • Bad and Bitchy: a straight-to-the-point podcast about politics and pop culture through the lens of intersectional feminism, featuring Erica Ifill, Erin Gee, and Bailey Reid. Hosts debate the trending stories of the day, informed by their backgrounds in digital media, economics, social impact communications and community organizing.

Are you telling socially impactful stories? We want to hear from you! The Global Impact Relations Network will be sharing a Campaign of the Week on social, and standouts may be included in upcoming editions of The Agenda. Submit your story here.

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