Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

Supporting the Whole Learner

Award Winner


The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development sought communications help in garnering support for their core belief that learning is social and emotional. The Commission wanted to move people beyond thinking of “social and emotional learning” as a program, or something that’s nice to have, by building demand for fundamental changes in education — both during and after school — that support the whole learner.


Earned Media

Public Affairs

Strategic Communications

Strategic Events



Digital Engagement

Paid Media


Multimedia Production

Website UI/UX


The Hatcher Group team saw an opportunity to capitalize on widespread interest in the topic of social and emotional learning. By targeting a variety of audiences — including researchers, philanthropists, policymakers, business leaders, youth development experts, educators, parents, students, and our partner organizations — we knew we could create a more comprehensive portrayal of the roles that social and emotional skills play in learning.

Social Media

Hatcher ran targeted ad campaigns on social media to drive traffic to the report and recommendations and to drive registrations for the report release livestream. We created an online social media toolkit so that more than 80 partner and other organizations could easily share social content with their constituencies. Our digital team also live-tweeted from the Aspen Institute, bringing the event presentation to a nationwide audience.

Microsite Development

Hatcher built and promoted a microsite to house the Commission’s final report and supporting materials.

Report Creation and Design

In addition to providing PR and strategic communications support, we edited, designed, and produced 13 Commission publications, all aimed at different key audiences. We managed the Learning Is Social and Emotional blog on Education Week, conceptualizing, writing, and editing posts.

Our Impact

  • The report release received coverage in a column by New York Times columnist David Brooks (“Students Learn From People They Love”).
  • The Commission’s interim report in 2018 and final report in 2019 both earned widespread media coverage.
  • The microsite, “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope,” logged 22,000 visitors and 116,000 page views in the two weeks after its launch.
  • During the first 24 hours, the microsite received more than 4,700 visitors and 25,500 page views.
  • Hatcher’s ads drove more than 1,300 livestream registrations.
  • We achieved 64,000 Twitter impressions and more than 1,200 replies and retweets.
  • The hashtag #NationAtHope was used by more than 900 contributors, earning up to 28.4 million impressions.
  • The hashtag trended throughout the day and was at one point the No. 1 hashtag in the nation’s capital.
  • The Learning Is Social and Emotional blog received 70,000 views over the six months it was active.
  • Hatcher grew the Commission’s Twitter following by 108% in the Commission’s final year.

Next Case Study