Case Studies

Early Education Leaders, an Institute at UMass Boston

Since 2016, Influence Consulting has represented Early Education Leaders. We help drive program attendance and philanthropic support by highlighting the impact of the institute’s leadership development and research.

We work closely with Early Education Leaders’s program leads to identify stories of impact and share them through blog profiles, videos, social media posts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Threads), and media coverage. We also promote the impact of the institute’s research on the field with easy to understand one-pagers that are shared with early educators, policymakers, and media. 

Thought leadership is a key component of our work with Early Education Leaders. Working closely with Anne Douglass, PhD, the founder and executive director of Early Education Leaders, we place opeds and letters to the editor. Examples include:

  • An oped for The Conversation about the impact of entrepreneurial leadership training on the childcare and early education workforce.
  • An oped for Commonwealth Beacon about the impact of Early Education Leaders’s proprietary entrepreneurial leadership training program.
  • A letter to the Boston Globe in response to an oped claiming that the gender wage gap is a “myth” explains that the devaluation of work typically performed by women, such as the provision of early care and education, is a contributing factor to the gender wage gap.
  • An interview with the Preschool Podcast in which Dr. Douglass talks about the need for training in entrepreneurial leadership in the early education workforce.
  • An oped for Commonwealth Beacon about how low pay is driving the current shortage of educators for youngest children in Massachusetts.
  • A blog post for New America cautioning that early educators are being ignored in the push to enact reforms in the field of early care and education.
  • An oped for the Boston Globe detailing the forces working against the success of quality early care and education programs in Massachusetts.

Fenway Health

Since 2014, Influence Consulting has represented Fenway Health. We generate media coverage of The Fenway Institute’s science and research. By creating key messages from papers published in scientific journals, we help journalists, lawmakers, and policymakers understand the significance of the work. A paper by The Fenway Institute scientists published in Pediatrics disputed the right-wing theory of “social contagion” as a root cause of gender dysphoria. Our key messages from the paper generated coverage in US News, People magazine, NBC News, Scary Mommy, and LGBTQ Nation.  

Thought leadership is a key component of our work with Fenway Health. Working closely with Sean Cahill, PhD, the Director of Health Policy Research for The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health, we place opeds and pitch media interviews. Examples include: 

  • During the 2022 outbreak of mpox, we assisted Dr. Cahill in highlighting the need for a more robust federal response to the crisis with news coverage in CNN, Boston Globe, US News, Washington Blade, New York Magazine, and The Hill; an oped in the Boston Globe; participation in webinar hosted by BU School of Public Health; and a profile of Dr. Cahill based on mpox advocacy in The Hill.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, we assisted Dr. Cahill in advocating for data collection related to sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to race and ethnicity with news coverage in NECN and an oped in Boston Globe.

Using Social Media for Issue Advocacy

In the spring of 2017, Congress considered numerous bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act and one was approved by the House in May of that year. The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) wanted to educate policymakers and lawmakers about the potential impact that repeal of the law could have on survivors of sexual assault, who are vulnerable to numerous health conditions over the course of their life. 

Prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act, health insurers routinely denied coverage to sexual assault survivors who had been previously treated for health conditions related to the assault on the grounds that these were pre-existing conditions. BARCC placed an oped explaining this issue in the Washington, DC-based online publication The Hill. The Hill was chosen because it is read each morning by Congressional staffers and policy makers, as well as online political news aggregators including Raw Story, Talking Points Memo, BuzzFeed, Vice, and Mic.

The oped was picked up by Raw Story and Vice, both of which published summaries of it and emphasized the piece’s most important point: People of all genders who have survived rape are at higher risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, and therefore vulnerable to health insurer discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions.

Over the next 48 hours the idea that health treatment for rape could be treated as a pre-existing condition was shared via memes and posts on Twitter and Facebook. House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted it out as did California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome.

As the idea went viral on social media, other media began reporting on it including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, The Independent, and New York Magazine.

One week after The Hill oped was published, the idea of whether sexual assault survivors would be once again subjected to health insurance discrimination if the Affordable Care Act was repealed came up in Congressman Tom MacArthur of New Jersey’s town hall meeting with constituents. MacArthur was subsequently defeated in the 2018 midterm elections.