The firm is run by Vicky Rideout, a veteran Foundation executive, non-profit program director, and political aide whose career has run the gamut from working with then-State Representative Barack Obama on his historic speech to the 2004 Democratic Convention, to winning an Emmy Award with MTV for most effective public service campaign, to being published in peer-reviewed journals like JAMA, Pediatrics, and the Journal of Marketing and Public Policy (where she received the Thomas Kinnear Award recognizing the article that “makes the most significant contribution to the understanding of marketing and public policy issues within the most recent three-year period).
She spent more than ten years as a vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, where she established and directed the Foundation’s Program for the Study of Media and Health. Prior to joining the Foundation, she founded the Children and Media program at the children’s advocacy group Children Now.
At the Kaiser Foundation, Ms. Rideout negotiated ground-breaking partnerships with the television networks MTV, BET and UPN, securing high-profile, multi-million-dollar donations of media time to conduct youth-oriented public education campaigns. The public service ads, original long-form programming, and online content she helped develop through these partnerships received many awards, including a National Emmy Award for best public service campaign.
Ms. Rideout has also directed numerous media-related studies, including the decade-long Generation M series tracking media use among U.S. children and youth ages 8-18. She has conducted original research and authored reports on topics such as: the role of media in childhood obesity; public service advertising on television; the impact of health messages on the TV shows Grey’s Anatomy and ER; the amount and nature of food advertising on television and the Internet; the amount of sexual content on TV; teens’ use of the Internet for health information; and media multitasking among American youth.
Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Pediatrics, Health Affairs, American Behavioral Scientist, and the Journal of Marketing and Public Policy. It has also been widely reported on in the popular press, including front page stories in the New York Times and Washington Post, and frequent coverage on network evening newscasts. Ms. Rideout has appeared live on programs such as Nightline, Good Morning America, The Today Show, and Talk of the Nation.
Ms. Rideout has been a featured speaker at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Banff World Television Summit, the Youth Mega-Marketing Event, annual conferences of the National Association of Broadcasting and the National Cable Television Association, and at retreats for the Fox Broadcasting Company and PBS Kids. She has testified on youth and media at the U.S. Congress, the Institute of Medicine, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission.
Ms. Rideout also established and hosted a seminar series for staff of public health agencies in Washington, D.C., about trends in social marketing and public service advertising. The forums addressed such topics as The Digital Opportunity: Using New Media for Public Education Campaigns; Public Service Advertising in the U.S. and Great Britain; Shouting to be Heard: Public Service Advertising in a New Media Age; and Assessing the Effectiveness of Public Education Campaigns.
In all, she has produced more than 30 forums on media and health, attracting a diverse group of high-level participants such as then-Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Sam Brownback; the presidents and CEOs of MySpace, Fox Television, and MTV; television producers Dick Wolf (Law & Order) and J.J. Abrams (Lost); rap stars Chuck D. and Common; then-Vice President Al Gore; and several Chairmen of the Federal Communications Commission.
Ms. Rideout also has many years of experience in government and politics, including as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives and as a policy adviser and speechwriter to numerous officeholders and candidates. Most recently, she was the director of speechwriting for the 2004 and 2008 Democratic National Conventions, where she worked closely with the Obama campaigns on Barack Obama’s remarks to the 2004 convention, and on message and strategy for the 2008 convention.
She currently serves as Editor for Reviews and Commentary for the Journal of Children and Media, and is a member of the PBS Kids Advisory Board. She previously served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, the James Irvine Foundation’s Leadership Awards committee, and the Advisory Council for the San Francisco Children’s Creativity Museum.
She graduated with honors from Harvard University and received her MA from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Behind The Scenes In Denver at the Democratic National Convention
February 11, 2009, By Katie Couric, CBS News