Our Services

Advocacy Campaigns

Advocating for ways to improve the human condition is at the heart of what many of our clients do. We collaborate with organizations to help them create small and big campaigns, mobilize partners to help power movements, and move to action those who will ultimately make the changes desired.

Our advocacy services include:

  • Creating strategies and plans to promote campaigns;
  • Connecting organizations and leaders to achieve success;
  • Using media and social media to move policy;
  • Developing powerful stories that illustrate problems and solutions;
  • Engaging leaders and champions who can spark local, state and federal action;
  • Educating policymakers about critical issues; and
  • Engaging leaders and champions who can spark local, state, federal and global action.

View our Advocacy Campaigns work

Event Planning

Convening leaders and organizations in one place either on-site or online is an important way to raise visibility and generate excitement for a solution to a problem, new research findings, or the mobilization of a new campaign for change. We have extensive experience organizing, planning and promoting both large and small events on-site or online.

Our event planning services include:

  • Helping to identify goals, audiences, messages and event strategies;
  • Developing agendas, and identifying and securing speakers and moderators;
  • Drafting talking points, issue briefs, press materials and other materials;
  • Managing all logistical details, including venue, equipment and distribution lists;
  • Promoting events to targeted audiences and filling the room or the webcast with the right people;
  • Developing and executing social media strategies to stimulate dialogue and debate; and
  • Staffing events on-site.

View our Event Planning work

Graphic Design

With design, we set out to engage diverse audiences by telling visual stories that spur action and make an impact. We expand the reach of our work by coordinating with our team of digital strategists to reach target audiences through online and social media.

Our design services include:

  • Branding,
  • Illustration,
  • Information graphics,
  • Presentation design,
  • Publication design and
  • Website design.

View our Graphic Design work

Media Relations

We have longstanding relationships with leading journalists in the United States and globally, as well as with foreign correspondents around the world. With numerous former journalists on staff, we know what makes news and how to capture journalists’ attention with carefully presented stories.

Our multilingual staff and global network of consultants provide media relations services that include:

  • Developing traditional and digital media outreach strategies;
  • Writing promotional materials, which we translate into target languages when relevant;
  • Organizing media events worldwide;
  • Pitching and directly engaging media in the US and around the world;
  • Taking advantage of opportunities with breaking news to promote interviews with experts; and
  • Responding to crises.

View our Media Relations work

Message Development

Having a set of messages that are clear, concise and compelling are vital to mobilize change. We help our clients craft persuasive messages and communicate them so audiences understand the meaning of their work and why it matters.

Our messaging services include:

  • Conducting message development sessions;
  • Developing core message platforms and playbooks;
  • Organizing focus group message testing;
  • Teaching leaders how to deliver messages;
  • Teaching the art of staying on message; and
  • Making sure messages are diffused for broad impact.

View our Message Development work

Public Policy Engagement

We help our partners develop and deliver messages that not only educate policymakers and key advocates about their issues but also inspire them to become champions. We know the issues. We execute creative outreach strategies. We coach our partners through every stage of the process. And we help build long-lasting, impactful relationships.

Our policy engagement services include:

  • Advising on how and when to engage with policymakers at all levels of government;
  • Developing strategies for working with policymakers, their staff and the advocates who influence the policy process;
  • Translating research into policy-relevant products—including briefs, fact sheets and infographics—and disseminating to target audiences;
  • Leading in-person and virtual trainings and workshops that teach nonprofits how to engage policymakers;
  • Facilitating meetings with policymakers and guiding follow-up;
  • Organizing briefings, roundtables and other policy forums; and
  • Using media advocacy to target messages and policymakers.

View our Public Policy Engagement work

Social Media

We conduct social media campaigns to spread important messages, garner support for causes and increase awareness. We have expertise in running organic and paid campaigns on social media platforms such as Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Our team balances the art and science of what is successful online, testing and experimenting to learn which content resonates best with specific audiences.

Our social media services include:

  • Creating social media messaging and graphics;
  • Strategizing and implementing paid digital campaigns;
  • Targeting content to specific audiences;
  • Monitoring and reporting on social media campaigns; and
  • Researching the social media landscape.

View our Social Media work

Strategic Communications

An effective communications strategy is based on knowing what you want to communicate, who you want to reach, and what you want to achieve.

Our strategic communications services include:

  • Creating large-scale strategic communications plans that identify an organization’s goals, target audiences, key messages and effective activities;
  • Conducting audits to assess current communications activities; and
  • Providing timely and nuanced counsel in response to urgent communications problems.

View our Strategic Communications work

Training Workshops

In our increasingly “connected” society, we are bombarded by 24-hour news, tweets, texting, status updates and online banter. How can you influence people so they don’t just hear you but are motivated to act? It takes message development and practice to find a voice that truly connects with media, policymakers, peers and the public in a memorable way.

We focus on messaging—what to say and how and when to say it—so that you can educate, secure funding, move policy, and be part of creating social change. We train with personalized and intensive in-person exercises and coaching and also offer sessions by webinar.

Our curriculum options include:

  • Being memorable,
  • Messaging,
  • Controlling an interview,
  • Working with policymakers,
  • Storytelling,
  • Persuasive writing (op-eds or blogs),
  • Social media overview,
  • Social media 201: How to use specific tools,
  • Panel discussions with journalists and policymakers,
  • Strategic communications,
  • Crisis communications and
  • Effective presentations.

View our Training Workshops work

Video Production

We approach video with the same goal that drives our work company-wide: communicating important information and engaging the right audiences in conversations to advance social change.

We work to craft impactful stories and capture compelling visuals. Whether it is an animated short or a mini-documentary, we produce the stories that empower people to take action.

Our video production services include:

  • Storyboarding and messaging,
  • Conducting interviews,
  • Filming in High Definition,
  • Post-production and editing,
  • Motion graphics and
  • Distribution strategy.

View our Video Production work

Web Development

At the core of every organization and successful campaign lies a clear, compelling website that drives audiences to action. We plan, prototype, design and build organized, beautiful websites that work seamlessly across devices to help you grab attention and achieve your communications goals.

Our website development services include:

  • Planning and audience research;
  • Leading discovery processes to assess creative and technical needs;
  • Designing information architecture and using rapid prototyping to build the site’s structure;
  • Creating clean, compelling designs that match your brand and mission;
  • Developing responsive, user-friendly sites that share your stories and engage key audiences; and
  • Strategizing to maximize the social impact of the site.

View our Web Development work

Writing and Content Creation

Many Burness writers were reporters or seasoned freelance writers before joining our staff. We are adept at translating complicated health and science topics into compelling documents that move people and inspire action.

Our writing and content creation services include:

  • Feature stories, in-depth profiles, case studies and issue briefs;
  • Marketing materials, including brochures, annual reports and newsletter articles;
  • Media kit materials;
  • Online content, including web site copy and blog posts;
  • Op-eds and letters-to-the-editor; and
  • Conference proceedings, including background papers and executive summaries.

View our Writing and Content Creation work