On Point

For the next time you hear a Conservative complain about how all the Democrats want to do is give handouts to people who don't want to work ...

PERSUASION and MESSAGING Articles and Info


USe your STORY to PERSUADE

"The core concept behind effective organizing is empathy — the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, imagine that her life is your life, take action to help her as if she were you or someone very close to you. You’ve probably read a progressive email that says something like, “Imagine if this were happening to your grandma.” With great storytelling, you don’t have to force that comparison, because your audience is already feeling that connection. Think about your favorite movie — you probably really care what happens to the main character. No one had to convince you to care about that person, because the screenwriter used storytelling technique to get you feeling empathy for the characters. People have so much capacity for empathy and compassion, and storytelling is how you can tap into those emotions and help your audience understand why the issues that are important to you should also be important to them."  - Kate Stayman London

Messaging Toolbox

(c/o The Center for Media Justice)

I. Elements of a Successful Message

★ Frame for Institutional Responsibility
★ Speak in Shared Values
★ Spotlight Racial Justice
★ Evoke Pictures
★ Be Creative
★ Focus on Solutions
★ Keep It Simple

II. Guide Questions for Framing and Messaging

Messaging
1. What is the problem? What stereotypes are associated with this problem?
2. What institution or decisionmaker is responsible for this problem?
3. What’s your vision and solution?
4. What action do you want your target and/or audience to take?
5. What will happen if they don’t take this action (e.g., what’s at stake)?

Soundbites
1. What short, catchy statements can you pull from your frame and
messages?
2. How can you use rhyme, alliteration, metaphors, and clever comparisons
in your soundbites?

Big Idea Framing
1. What question is currently being asked about your issue?
2. What new question do you want to ask about your issue?
3. Why does this issue matter? What’s really going on and why should people care?
4. What values are at the heart of this issue?

Story Framing
1. What specific place, trend, or scene best illustrates your frame?
2. What is the conflict at hand?
3. What’s the historical, social, and/or political context?
4. Who are the good guys and bad guys?
5. What’s the moral of the story?

 

III. Use the Vocabulary of Values

Life
Love
Nourishment
Participation
People
Power
Preservation
Pride
Principle
Progress
Promotion
Protection

Accountability
Balance
Benefit
Change
Community
Compassion
Cooperation
Democracy
Dignity
Diversity
Engagement
Equality

Relief
Representation
Respect
Responsibility
Risk
Safety
Security
Strength
Sustainability
Trust
Work

Fairness
Faith
Family
Harm
Health
Heritage
Honesty
Honor
Hope
Inclusion
Integrity