Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Innovative approach to evaluation recognized

Nov. 14, 2012, 11:25 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

maconmoney

Hershey Cause Communications and Knight Foundation were recently recognized for an innovative approach to evaluating social impact games.

The publication, Social Impact Games: Do They Work? explored two real-world games funded by Knight: Macon Money, which brought people together from different backgrounds to help catalyze economic impact in Macon, Ga., and Battlestorm, which focused on hurricane preparedness in Biloxi, Miss.

To learn about what worked, the foundation partnered with Hershey Cause Communications and Network Impact to do a comprehensive evaluation of both games, and, to communicate the findings both in real-time over the course of the games and when final analysis was done.

The evaluation, released earlier this year, won in the creative tactics category of the 2012 Prism Awards, which were presented by Public Relations Society of America's Los Angeles chapter. The awards honor agencies, corporations and non-profits who demonstrate an impact through public relations.

Entries were judged by experienced public relations executives selected by the society’s board. Nominees were judged on several categories, including research, objectives, target audiences, execution/implementation, budget, and measurement and evaluation.

The winning entry included a series of interactive data visualizations of Macon Money activity over time, showing how the game catalyzed economic activity in the community and created social connections across neighborhoods.

Another infographic showed four stages of impact for Battlestorm and how it leveraged young people as superconductors of information for their families, friends and communities.  

Both games, which took place in real time, supported ongoing efforts to engage the community in tackling local issues.

A full list of all the award winners is available online.

By Elizabeth R. Miller, communications associate at Knight Foundation

Related: “Seven lessons learned about social impact games” by Mayur Patel, vice president of strategy/assessment at Knight Foundation