5 Questions with Sacha Evans

“Throughout my career I hope to remain curious, humble, and adaptable.”

During your time at DG+CO, what have been a couple of your favorite projects and why?

I absolutely love doing news analysis. Our recent work with the ACLU and Planned Parenthood Global was fascinating. Essentially what we did in these projects was turn the news into numbers. We read hundreds (if not thousands!) of news stories and recorded the most common actors, perspectives, and themes. From there, we could see big picture, statistical trends about what prompts and influences media coverage.

For example, when we did an online news analysis of the ACLU, we were able to establish that nearly half(!) of all blog posts about the organization referenced reporting from a traditional news source. Similarly, a quarter of all social media posts about the ACLU referenced coverage from a traditional news outlet. If you’re like me, and you’ve really grappled with the influence that legacy media still has on online conversations, these were exactly the kind of hard numbers I needed. Analysis like this lets you (in the words of one of my journalism professors) “see the water in the goldfish bowl.”

What would you say are consistent necessities for effective communications campaigns?

Reach people early and often. Venture out of your comfort zone. Test (and re-test) your assumptions.

Who are a couple of your career or personal role models and why?

I hope it’s not a cop out to say: my mom! She’s worked as a Russian translator, trained in technical writing at MIT, and graduated in the top of her high school class despite an itinerant upbringing – traveling with circuses throughout the country (her parents were acrobats). She is truly a Renaissance woman. Throughout my career I hope to remain half as curious, humble, and adaptable as she has always been.

In an alternative universe, what non-communications career do you have?

When we had “career day” at elementary school, I came dressed as the United States president. Funny enough, I just wore the hand-me-down clothes that my sister had from when she dressed as a “teacher.”

So I guess the moral of the story is: a teacher can be president. And so can I!

What is getting you through this presidential campaign season?

Michelle Obama (for courage), Meredith Monk (for humanity), Robert Walser (for absurdity), the Economist (for an international perspective, and to remember that conservatives can still be sane), and Samantha Bee (because she’s just killing it).