On Our Radar

1 min read

Americans are Turning Off the News

By Pat Heffernan on Nov 5, 2021 6:32:28 PM

If you find yourself skimming the morning news and skipping the evening news, you're not alone. Columbia Journalism Review reports that there is a clear pattern of decline regardless of media format — online, print, or TV. What are the implications for change makers?

1 min read

Slowly Ever So Slowly More Female CEOs

By Pat Heffernan on Jun 4, 2021 5:31:19 PM

Over the past 20 years, the number of female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies has increased by nearly 14-fold. Sounds good until you realize in 2021 that represents only 8 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. Improvement but far from the more than 50 percent of the population and the workforce who identify as female.

2 min read

Ageism, Economic Development and Entrepreneurship

By Pat Heffernan on Mar 31, 2021 11:15:00 AM

The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Are...
Does age predict entrepreneurial success? Yes, say many Americans, and they would be right. But they would be wrong about the age that predicts success. According to a recent study, it's not youthfulness that leads to entrepreneurial success...
3 min read

Is Your Trust in the CDC Eroding?

By Pat Heffernan on Sep 13, 2020 8:42:54 PM

Despite missteps amid a charged political season, I believe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remains a public health institution worthy of our trust. Here is why.

A Steady Stream of Essential Information

For decades I have relied on the CDC for timely, important public health information, helpful resources, and useful tools to help spread the word near and far. For example, as we head into flu season, the CDC offers the following animation in its public media library.

 

1 min read

Public Health-Food System-Public Interest Communication Challenge

By Pat Heffernan on Apr 7, 2019 1:32:24 PM

The most compelling and convincing of the many pieces I've seen during National Public Health Week 2019 are an article and a video in The New York Times. The excellent, brief video captures (without oversimplifying) the interrelated problems of:

  • antibiotic resistance,
  • the lack of animal ID-tracking,
  • access to farms for outbreak investigations,
  • and timely hospital reporting in the U.S..

The State of Vermont, which prides itself for leading on public policy solutions for farm-to-plate, organic farming, and public health issues, is likely to find taking the lead here challenging.

1 min read

Toxic Chemicals: States Are Doing What EPA Won’t

By Pat Heffernan on Jun 28, 2018 9:43:44 AM

 

Image Credit Patrick Kyle

Since residents of Bennington, Vermont found PFOA in their tap water last year, it seemed a given to many of us that a broad, preventive response to chemical contamination would be crafted and approved by the State Legislature and Administration in 2018.

1 min read

Unplugging: How To Power Down In A Wired World

By Pat Heffernan on Feb 12, 2018 4:50:00 PM

 

Ryan Johnson for NPR

NPR shared an excellent piece today on the impact of technologies on our brains. This is the subject of near-daily discussion in our offices because marketing communication has become a technology-driven field -- and we find ourselves coaching our clients, particularly the nonprofits and government agencies, to add more so-called martech (marketing technology) to their world in order to advance their cause cost effectively.

5 min read

How to Support Women Entrepreneurs in Rural Areas

By Pat Heffernan on Jun 6, 2017 11:12:00 AM

 

The need is well documented. The Kauffman Foundation and others have detailed the female-male gap in business startup rates, gross revenues and number of employees for comparable businesses, even within the same industry. The challenge has become identifying promising, practical solutions -- especially in non-metro areas.

1 min read

Targeting “Millennials” means targeting no-one

By Pat Heffernan on May 29, 2017 7:01:00 AM

 

"If I were to tell you that marketers were using astrological signs as a way to understand/target specific groups of people, you’d tell me that’s a ridiculous strategy." So begins a rant post by Adam Singer on Search Engine Watch. And I couldn't agree more.

1 min read

Growth in U.S. Working-Age Population Driven by Immigration

By Pat Heffernan on Mar 27, 2017 10:03:00 PM

Amidst all the talk about the declining population of younger working-age people in Vermont and much of the Northeast, this research finding from the Pew Research Center Fact Tank struck me: "Immigration projected to drive growth in U.S. working-age population through at least 2035." 

 

To me, this is yet one more reason to increase our awareness, knowledge, and communication competencies around cultural differences, diversity and inclusion.

1 min read

Advertising run amok...

By Pat Heffernan on Dec 4, 2016 10:05:00 AM

 

Say it isn't so.

We often work with public sector government agencies, so we are acutely aware of the financial and political pressures they experience. (To our way of thinking, our client's pain is our pain.) But recent news that paid advertising placements were being sold in U.S. national parks startled us.

1 min read

Ethical Investing (and Shopping) Made Easy?

By Pat Heffernan on Nov 29, 2016 10:03:00 AM

 

I've watched with excitement the trend to make it easier for ordinary investors to identify sustainable, carbon-free, ethical or socially responsible investments. Nationally — see An Investment Strategy to Save the Planet, New York Times' Fixes column), and locally — see Is Your Money Invested Where Your Values are? — our options are increasing.

Yet the reality is that for most people, more of their money is spent day-to-day than is invested. So Wired's article Want to Be an Ethical Shopper? Get DoneGood’s Chrome Extension caught my eye.

1 min read

An Event Done Well: #StateOfWomen

By Pat Heffernan on Jun 15, 2016 10:05:00 AM

 

The White House hosted the United State of Women Summit on June 14, inspiring those participating both in real life and virtually. #StateOfWomen is a case study in an event done well. This photo of 11-year-old Mikaila Ulmer, founder of Me & the Bees Lemonade, as she introduced President Obama explains one reason why.

That reason is a consistent focus on the why — in this case, equality, diversity, and inclusion. As noted by attendees ranging from Wired magazine to the League of Women Voters, in addition to "political heavy weights such a President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Representative and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Loretta Lynch as well as Hollywood elites, including Oprah, Tina Fey, Mariska Hargitay, Kerry Washington, Patricia Arquette, and national business leaders like Warren Buffett and Dina Habib gracing the stage," participants from around the country were all ages and more diverse than your every-day star-studded White House event. The #StateOfWomen consistently demonstrated the why of the summit.

5 min read

Ouch! Women Are Being Recognized Again

By Pat Heffernan on Mar 25, 2016 12:53:00 PM

 

March marks Women’s History Month again, but I am not celebrating. Stories and images of courageous women of the past are everywhere. These women deserve recognition — they fought hard to advance equal rights and access for the majority of the U.S. population who happen to have been born female. Yet in 2016, I find it increasingly difficult to talk about celebrating for one month a year when there are so few signs of positive progress to improve the lives of women. How can we better harness attention, social change innovations, and sustainable economy principles to advance gender equity?

10 min read

10 Policy Solutions for Women and Minority-Owned Businesses

By Pat Heffernan on Sep 28, 2015 11:25:00 PM

 

Ready to go... Ten policy solutions to close the funding and opportunities gaps for women and minority-owned businesses are being presented at the 4th Annual Sustainable Business Summit in Washington, D.C. this week. The American Sustainable Business Council's Working Group for Women (WGFW) and its Diversity & Inclusion Working Group (D&IWG) developed the policy solutions together over the past year. As an ASBC board member and co-chair of the Working Group for Women, I have been deeply involved in this work with my colleagues here in Vermont, and nationally. The subject is definitely "on our radar" and I look forward to the evolving discussion as we move forward.

1 min read

Values in Action: Sustainable Local Food in Vermont

By Pat Heffernan on Aug 22, 2015 12:31:00 PM

It's likely that your eyes glaze over as quickly as mine do when you hear lofty sustainable local food system goals and "walking the talk" rhetoric from large institutions. So it's a delight when you see sustainability values in action like the recent news that the Intervale Food Hub is now an approved local food supplier to the local behemoth, University of Vermont Dining Services. Kudos to all involved!

1 min read

Act On Climate

By Pat Heffernan on Aug 2, 2015 1:08:00 AM


From The White House:

Action on climate change? In what some may consider a long overdue move, the White House announced at midnight the final version of America's Clean Power Plan—the biggest, most important step ever taken by the United States to combat climate change.

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    About On Our Radar

    On Our Radar highlights issues of interest to the MPI Team, our clients and friends. We tend to pick topics of particular relevance to Vermont, whether or not they have emerged in national awareness yet.

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