We are excited to announce a new strategic partnership with the San Francisco Bay Area-based impact and innovation consulting firm Multiply Bureau, led by Hannah Eaves.

Hannah has worked with our director, Jessica Clark to develop rigorous methods of media impact assessment on and off over the last five years as part of a field-wide effort to help funders and outlets better track outcomes, experiment with emerging platforms, and become more sustainable. She also brings to the table a wealth of experience in digital project development and innovation, which will help round out our ambition to be not just a media strategy firm, but a studio for making compelling media tools and platforms. We are happy to be formalizing what has been an engaging, fun and complementary partnership.

What will this mean for our clients? Working with Hannah allows us to connect the  innovation research and strategy we are known for with new product development services. She has overseen such efforts for many media clients, including the launches of:

  • VuHaus, a music video collaboration between more than 20 public music discovery radio stations and NPR that features over 7000 HD videos of in-studio sessions;
  • REACH, a VR/AR browser-based editor which recently debuted at Sundance that brings the power to create volumetric VR to anyone, from Nonny de la Peña and Emblematic Group.
  • What Does It Mean to Be an American? — a new curriculum website developed in partnership with Stanford University and the Mineta Legacy Project.

On the impact measurement side, Hannah brings expertise in quantitative analysis that dovetails with our more ethnographic approach to evaluation. She has been working for more than five years with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help the foundation measure the impact of its media grantmaking portfolio. Some of the most interesting insights Hannah has surfaced from this work come from her access to metrics from over 25 media companies, from large-scale (NPR, Guardian, Le Monde) to startups (Upworthy, NewsDeeply). Using experimental approaches to this data, she’s been able to better understand the kinds of content, in terms of storytelling style and format, that often lead to deeper engagement and broader consumption. She has also overseen experimental research on the role of brand on attitudes and quality perception, and network mapping to better understand how different communities engage with different media brands.

We are looking for clients and thought partners interested in expanding on this work to research the relationship between audience engagement and increased ROI for media organizations, particularly taking into account questions about how to deliver on the double bottom line. In addition to continuing the discussion and development of analytic tools we strive to work with foundations to refine their thinking about impact to be more holistic, multi-dimensional, and nimble to meet the pressing demands of today. These are goals many of our current clients, such as the Democracy Fund, the Lenfest Institute and the Knight Foundation are already asking, but much more work is needed, especially as the demand grows for more—and more representative—local news.

Getting a better sense of these dynamics will not just sharpen evaluation methods but allow us to help build more powerful journalism and documentary projects in this moment of civic turmoil. It will also help us in developing new approaches to understanding the impact of the next wave of immersive media platforms: VR, AR, XR and beyond.

We’re also interested in exploring how media-driven social impact measurement has evolved, and what comes next. When we first began working together, there was a concerted, collaborative effort from foundations in particular to move the field forward. Tools such as the: Impact Field Guide, MORI, Metrics for News, and CIR’s Offline Impact Tracker were developed in response to this movement.  But it seems that many foundations have stepped back from this intensive investment in data-driven decision-making. What happened? What is the right path forward?

We’re looking forward to answering some of these questions together. Drop us a line if you’d like to work with us.