You might be curious to know if your work with pop culture is doing anything beneficial for society – that is, if your Tweets, memes or events that dovetail with film and TV shows are helping you recruit people to your cause, educate people to take action, getting action, or just turning up the volume on valuable conversations.
The good news is that many smart people have spent a lot of time thinking about how to evaluate the impact of film and television on the world. The bad news is that many smart people have spent a lot of time thinking about how to evaluate the impact of film and television on the world. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all solution out there. The magic of film and TV doesn’t always fit into tidy boxes.
Here are some especially smart resources for more information on impact evaluation.
- Active Voice Labs is a great place to start. Check out How Do We Know? – their site devoted entirely devoted to evaluation. The Horticulture page (for matching the right film to the right type of desired impact) and the extensive list of evaluation tools and guides are both especially useful.
- The Harmony Institute is devoted to media science. Be sure to download their Media Impact Playbook, which offers a guide on how to do impact evaluations.
- The Media Impact Project, based at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, has many valuable resources listed here.
All three of the organizations above are also available for hire, if the idea of evaluating your own impact gives you nightmares. (There is also something to be said, in the name of objectivity, for hiring an outside firm when it comes to impact evaluation.)
Also worth checking out:
Media Impact Funders is a funders collaborative that works to get foundations (and their grantees) to be better at impact evaluation. Be sure to peruse the Assessing Impact of Media section as well as their Tools portal.
As always, if you want to pick our brains, feel free to reach out – we’ll try to point you in the right direction!