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


The Challenge

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. They 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 out-of-school—that support the whole learner.


Digital Strategies
Media Relations
Strategic Communication
Website UI/UX

Our Strategy

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

  • Flooded communication channels—social media, blogs, videos, niche publications, and the wider media
  • Ran targeted social ad campaigns to drive traffic to the report and recommendations and to drive advance registrations for the livestream of the report release
  • Created an online social toolkit for 80-plus partner and other organizations to easily share social content with their constituencies
  • Built and promoted a microsite to house the Commission’s final report and supporting materials
  • Live-tweeted from the Aspen Institute, extending the event presentation to a nationwide audience.

In addition to our 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. And, we earned widespread media coverage of the Commission’s interim report in 2018, and final report in 2019.


Our Impact

  • Earned coverage of the report release in a column by New York Times columnist David Brooks (“Students Learn from People They Love”)
  • The microsite, “From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope,” logged 22,000 visitors and 116,000 page views in the first two weeks post-launch
  • During the first 24 hours, the microsite received 25,500 page views and more than 4,700 visitors
  • We drove more than 1,300 livestream registrations
  • We achieved 64,000 Twitter impressions and more than 1,200 replies and retweets
  • More than 900 contributors used the hashtag #NationAtHope, leading to 28.4 million potential impressions
  • The hashtag trended throughout the day and was at one point the number one hashtag in the nation’s capital
  • The “Learning is Social and Emotional” blog received 70,000 views over the blog’s six-month life
  • We grew the Commission’s Twitter following by 108 percent in its final year
Contact Us

Tell us how we can help YOU inspire change for good.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search