Brian Pagels is a strategic and digital communications professional with more than a decade of experience as a consultant for influential organizations. He has designed multi-channel campaigns for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that led to hundreds of press clips, helped the Brady Campaign increase end-of-year fundraising, and co-produced a local music festival that was featured on NPR and the Washington Post.
He's conducted scores of surveys, interviews, and usability tests to inform clients on brand awareness and perception, web and mobile user behavior, information architecture, content programming, and other topics related to communications and program efficacy. For example, he conducted a series of in-depth interviews and usability tests to inform the design of the first-ever public release of greenhouse gas data from the largest emitting facilities in the United States. He's also crafted online community strategies and trained AARP, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and World Bank staff on best practices in community management. For more than two years he served as community manager for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Alumni Network, and advised United Way Worldwide on the development and maintenance of their global intranet platform. For several years he also helped organize and run a series of events for online community practitioners. The Online Community Unconference series used “open space technology” to allow hundreds of community managers to convene and discuss topics of interest.
Most recently, Brian served as Chief Impact Officer & Director of Data Services at Forum One, a digital agency that works for mission-focused organizations. In this role Brian helped nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies measure the impact of their digital efforts and explore opportunities to manage, visualize, and share data more effectively. In 2016, he conducted an original research study on nonprofit communications effectiveness and wrote the corresponding white paper Do Your Communications Efforts Measure Up?: Measuring the Impact of Nonprofit Communications.
He also co-authored the white paper Communicating Data for Impact published by Forum One and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and the tutorial Worth a Thousand Words: How to Display Health Data published by the California HealthCare Foundation. He's a sought-after speaker and has presented on a range of communications and data-related topics at events including the Communications Network webinar series, Do Good Data Conference, Health Datapalooza, the Nonprofit Technology Conference, the Healthy Communities Data Summit, Aligning Forces 4 Quality Annual Meeting, TechChange, Transparency Camp and more.
Brian holds a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Richmond, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, and an MA in communication, culture, and technology from Georgetown. He wrote his thesis on the political media habits of youth voters, focusing on the 2004 presidential election, and conducted additional research for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ New Voters Project. Outside of his day job, he plays guitar and sings in the Washington, DC-based band The Beanstalk Library and co-produces the Magnificent Intentions Music Festival.
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