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Women's policy institute


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messaging, advocacy, storytelling, bridging, testimony

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Women's policy institute

  1. 1. Women’s Policy Institute: Effective Messaging and Testimony
  2. 2. Easy Steps to Messaging and Testimony <ul><li>AM: Key Messages </li></ul><ul><li>Discover Your Inner Ambassador </li></ul><ul><li>Identify Your Goals for Testimony </li></ul><ul><li>Practice Good Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Identify & Practice Effective Storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>PM: Testimony </li></ul><ul><li>Work on Fact Sheets & Policy Messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Learn How to Frame Discussions Effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the Basics of Testimony </li></ul><ul><li>Practice Q&A </li></ul>
  3. 3. You Can All Do This!
  4. 4. How do we spread the word? <ul><li>You already have the skills. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can think. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can write. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can use a telephone. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of your daily work skills are transferable. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Persuasion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cajoling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consensus building </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5.
  6. 6. YOU have the knowledge base <ul><li>You know the field and understand the issue </li></ul><ul><li>You have the network & are doing the outreach </li></ul><ul><li>You are visible to communities that matter </li></ul><ul><li>You are the frontline of communications </li></ul>
  7. 7. What Informs My Policy? <ul><li>Your Data </li></ul><ul><li>Your Population </li></ul><ul><li>Your Community </li></ul><ul><li>Your Network </li></ul>
  8. 8. Thinking About Your Audience <ul><li>YOUR KEY AUDIENCE IS: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Legislators </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How READY are they to hear what you are saying? </li></ul><ul><li>What are they already thinking about you? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Worksheet - Listening to yourself & others <ul><li>Listening to learn to promote your policy </li></ul><ul><li>Listening to learn about how to speak about your policy issue </li></ul><ul><li>Questions for Listening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What have you heard from others? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How would you respond yourself? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Public Speaking / Stakeholder Engagement <ul><li>Be Prepared </li></ul><ul><li>Do your homework </li></ul><ul><li>Connect – dry facts won’t do it </li></ul><ul><li>Share a story </li></ul><ul><li>Always come home to your key messages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regardless of the question asked, know what you want to discuss and always come back to them. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Be Methodical & Tell Everyone <ul><li>Be Thoughtful </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take your time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate your life experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Present Your Material Methodically </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell them what you are going to tell them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell them what you just told them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improvising is easier when done while walking…not running </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know your key messages. They are your “home” base. Always return, regardless of the question. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Make a Plan to Communicate <ul><li>Make your messages an organizational priority </li></ul><ul><li>Think “Dissemination” even as you testify </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Go beyond the committee hearing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Own your target audience & their supporters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Utilize proven resources/Ask for help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smart Chart </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communications Trainings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask your team – we are living in a communications culture </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. How do you find your voice? Be Strategic <ul><li>Communications Goals should rule </li></ul><ul><li>What is your strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>Does a story help you get there? </li></ul><ul><li>Think “Audience” and “Action” </li></ul><ul><li>Are you listening? </li></ul><ul><li>Starting a discussion? </li></ul><ul><li>Participating actively? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your near-term goal? </li></ul><ul><li>Long-term? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Messaging Tips
  15. 15. Key Messages as a Way to Reach Our Goals <ul><li>What are Your Goals When Speaking About Your Policy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Inform legislators about new data that makes your policy necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: Convince legislators that you have the solution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are some messages that can help us get to those goals? </li></ul>
  16. 16. How Do You Deliver Your Messages Successfully?
  17. 17. Learn from the Pros <ul><li>Passion vs. Getting it Right </li></ul><ul><li>Think 1992 Campaign </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It’s the economy, stupid.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on what works </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You can’t convince everyone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Empower your supporters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate the neutrals (give them a home) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ignore (and/or isolate) the hostiles </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Learn from the Pros Chevron campaign tries to balance need for oil with global warming – SF Chronicle 9/28/07 Chevron executives say they know that an advertising campaign, even one this lavish, won't make everyone love them. The company's market research consistently show that some people approve of oil companies and some despise them. &quot;And it doesn't matter what we say - they're going to feel that way,&quot; said Helen Clark, Chevron manager of corporate brand and reputation . &quot; But there's a large faction in the middle that really is open.&quot;
  19. 19. How Is Your Policy Unique ? “ Only we…”
  20. 20. Worksheet – Finding Your Unique Voice
  21. 21. DEVELOP Your Key Message <ul><li>How do I do it? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you need from the target audience? </li></ul><ul><li>What do they need to hear to do what you need them to do? </li></ul><ul><li>How is your message unique and different? </li></ul><ul><li>Why will you breakthrough with your message? </li></ul>
  22. 22. DEVELOP Your Key Message <ul><li>GOAL: An easily understandable sentence or two that immediately evokes interest and curiosity when spoken to a reporter. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Storytelling – The Importance of Anecdotes <ul><li>Storytelling is common thread through all cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Humanizing – Anecdotes are a way of personalizing the issue </li></ul><ul><li>Impact – Anecdotes are a way for audience to understand your perspective – more powerful than text of your remarks </li></ul><ul><li>Linkage – A story can personalize an issue much faster than reciting statistics, historical facts or personal biases. </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility – anecdotes allow you to “borrow” someone else’s credibility </li></ul>
  24. 24.
  25. 25. Common Types of Effective Stories Applies in Media and Testimony….
  26. 26. What Makes a Story?
  27. 27. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step One: Start with a common assumption and one person </li></ul><ul><li>Find common starting reference point </li></ul><ul><li>Attach details </li></ul><ul><li>Evoke well-known feeling or aspiration </li></ul><ul><li>Share / Validate commonly held belief </li></ul>More info @
  28. 28. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step Two: Introduce a point of conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Name the conflicts and show the conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers promote attachment </li></ul><ul><li>The harder the struggle, the more we remember </li></ul><ul><li>How can you make these real? Describe? Show? </li></ul>More info @
  29. 29. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step Three: Make heroes and villains easy to identify </li></ul><ul><li>You are right. Know that. Feel that. </li></ul><ul><li>Villains – real or imaginary – are essential. </li></ul><ul><li>You define the terms of the debate. </li></ul>More info @
  30. 30. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step Four: Include granular details and one “takeaway” fact </li></ul><ul><li>Hair color? Glasses? Shoes? </li></ul><ul><li>Tell me one memorable item to take with me </li></ul><ul><li>Can you make me FEEL it? See it? </li></ul>More info @
  31. 31. Andy Goodman – What makes a good story <ul><li>Step Five: Show the way to a happy resolution </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t need clear resolution, just a path </li></ul><ul><li>What is the end goal? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the path to get there? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you essential? </li></ul>More info @
  32. 32.
  33. 33. Storytelling – Example <ul><li>Proposed California budget cuts affecting most vulnerable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>County could lose $262 million loss in federal and state money (CC Times 7/3/08) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the end, Nick Robinson just couldn't afford the Bay Area. And with pending state budget cuts threatening the foster care counselor's programs and salary, he decided to pack his belongings and leave Walnut Creek for Boston. </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Storytelling –Example <ul><li>Boy's special medical care imperiled by state budget crunch (Sac Bee 5/11/08) </li></ul><ul><li>Derek Longwell's wheelchair bears all the scars of rough handling by a fully charged 13-year-old boy: scratched metal frame, chipped paint, worn treads and a perpetual coat of dust on the footrest. </li></ul><ul><li>The teen with dark chocolate hair and olive-tinted eyes suffers from spina bifida, a birth defect that has left him with an incomplete spinal cord and an inability to walk. But a committed team of doctors and his devoted parents, backed by a specialized state health care program, have enabled Derek to enjoy an active life outdoors. </li></ul><ul><li>Now the state's ominous fiscal forecast is threatening to disrupt Derek's ability to see his doctors in a timely manner or get leg braces to fit his growing body. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Storytelling – CCHI Storybank for Policymakers <ul><li>The Aguirre Family </li></ul><ul><li>Carlos and Patricia Aguirre legally immigrated to the United States six years ago from El Salvador with the dream of providing their two children. </li></ul><ul><li>Thankfully, they found the Children’s Health Initiative of Greater Los Angeles. </li></ul><ul><li>The Children’s Health Initiative of Greater Los Angeles has helped many families just like the Aguirres secure free and low-cost health care coverage for their children through Healthy Families, Healthy Kids and Medi-Cal. </li></ul>
  36. 37.
  37. 38. Try It! <ul><li>Select One Component of Your Policy Proposal Fact Sheet </li></ul><ul><li>Think about a Personal Story You Can Connect to It </li></ul><ul><li>Think About a Community Story You Can Connect to It </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s Share! </li></ul>Build a “Story”: Integrating Our Policy Into Stories!
  38. 39. Developing Your Fact Sheet and Key Messages
  39. 40. Framing – The SPIN Project Way <ul><li>Frame: Your analysis of the issue. </li></ul><ul><li>The frame defines what’s in your story </li></ul><ul><li>Use your frame </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To advance your position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>put opposition on the defense and you on the offense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>define issue & players to control debate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>focus and clarify your issue </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For maximum media impact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to get reporters interested </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to effect more people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to make your story newsworthy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to create hooks and newsworthiness </li></ul></ul>
  40. 41. Framing – The SPIN Way
  41. 42. Framing – In Action Preschool for all of California’s children Enormous unnecessary public expenditure OR Wise public investment to improve lives, reduce crime & increase college graduates
  42. 43. Framing Our Goals…Together <ul><li>What Goals Did You Develop at the Beginning of the Session </li></ul><ul><li>How do They Relate to the Goals of Legislators? </li></ul><ul><li>How Can You Connect the Two? </li></ul><ul><li>Take Your Partner’s Story – Refine It and Share Back with Them </li></ul><ul><li>Now work on yours and share </li></ul>
  43. 44. The Question & Answer Game
  44. 45. It should NEVER be this way
  45. 46. What a Legislator Needs From You <ul><li>A quick synopsis of the situation as you see it </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty & Forthrightness </li></ul><ul><li>Clear and concise answers </li></ul><ul><li>Quotable quotes & a sense of humor </li></ul><ul><li>Positive & non-defensive attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Mastery of issue(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Become an on-going resource to them and staff </li></ul>
  46. 47. Bridging – The Ultimate Answer
  47. 48. Bridging – A Quick “How-To” <ul><li>Stories & Anecdotes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nothing disarms a hostile or indirect question better than a good story . Think about things you’ve seen in the paper </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Getting back on message </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regardless of the question, listen for one nugget , one item that gives you grounds to go back to your core message </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Get Personal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I believe…” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I’ve seen…” </li></ul></ul>
  48. 49. Knowing When You’ve Said Enough <ul><li>How legislators sometimes operate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confrontation – You will be put on the spot and made uncomfortable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Buddy System” – You can tell me anything. I’m your friend. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Just the Facts” – Asking you for just the statistics without understanding the story/context behind them. Make sure the legislator understands the whole story. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sound bites/quotable quotes ARE effective. </li></ul>
  49. 50. Responding to Questions <ul><li>Answer one question at a time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If an interview asks numerous questions, tell her which you are going to respond to first. Always select the question that best allows you to deliver your message. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be brief and concise. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You should be able to respond to any question in less than one minute, preferably 30 seconds. Let the legislator ask follow-up questions if she wants additional details. Introduce new material only if it lets you restate your message. </li></ul></ul>
  50. 51. Responding to Questions <ul><li>If you don’t know the answer…say so. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t try to bluff your way through with a response that may lead to a new line of questioning. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Restate the question if appropriate. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This allows you the time to think about your response if you are not sure. </li></ul></ul>
  51. 52. Responding to Questions <ul><li>Correct it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to correct misinformation or a false premise. Be firm. If someone paraphrases you incorrectly, politely correct them and restate exactly what you said. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Your Message Rules. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always use the questions to emphasize YOUR message. Build verbal bridges to keep the focus on your strong positive areas. </li></ul></ul>
  52. 53. Responding to Questions <ul><li>Rephrase long & rambling questions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer them in a way that allows you to restate your message. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t be defensive. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If a negative question is asked, start with a positive statement, such as ”you’ve asked an interesting question; however, I believe…” or restate the negative question in a more neutral manner. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bias. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Try discern any bias from the questions. Get the legislator to reveal what he/she is interested in or suggest the important aspect as you see it. </li></ul></ul>
  53. 54. Responding to Questions <ul><li>Know who you are taking to. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Which District? Where does he/she stand on the issue? Has he talked to the “other side” yet? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Know your stuff. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know your key message before you walk into the hearing room. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Target your answer. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always remember your audience on the other side of the legislator (General population? The Governor? Other Political leaders?) Tailor your message to that audience. </li></ul></ul>
  54. 55. Responding to Questions <ul><li>Finally… </li></ul><ul><li>Give the headline first. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At the beginning of your answer, state your conclusion, then support it with facts. </li></ul></ul>
  55. 56. Do’s & Don’ts For Effective Testimony
  56. 57. Do’s for Effective Testimony
  57. 58. Do’s For Effective Testimony
  58. 59. Don’ts for Effective Testimony
  59. 60. Don’ts for Effective Testimony
  60. 61. Types of Questions – Prepare your own
  61. 62. Types of Questions – Prepare your own <ul><li>False Premise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Now that ______ has done _____, what do you plan to do with _________? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correct the false premise immediately, with as much specificity as possible. Use the key message you have developed and wrap it around the false premise. Try: “Actually, there are XXXX people affected by this. Therefore, any movement forward should include ______.” </li></ul></ul>
  62. 63. Types of Questions – Prepare your own <ul><li>Double Question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Isn’t it true that you just want to _____ and that this is just another way your organization is attempting to ____ ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer each question separately and identify which you choose to answer first. Remember to always lead with the question that allows you to deliver your key message. </li></ul></ul>
  63. 64. Types of Questions – Prepare your own <ul><li>Rambling Question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: The legislator attempts to recite a rambling history of the situation as she sees it. The questions lasts over a minute. What do you do? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First, identify any bias or false premise and correct it. Then try to paraphrase the question and respond only to the part that allows you to deliver your message(s). </li></ul></ul>
  64. 65. Types of Questions – Prepare your own <ul><li>Unrelated Question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: How do you feel about greater efforts to pursue _____? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take control by acknowledging the comment and moving on to a different, more relevant topic. If you can build a verbal bridge between the two…great. If not, smile and shrug your shoulders saying “That is an important issue, but not one that we spend a lot of time working on. What we do is…” </li></ul></ul>
  65. 66. Types of Questions – Prepare your own <ul><li>Hostile or Irrelevant Question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Sometimes groups like yours have exploited those they are supposed to help. What have you done? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the question is hostile, calmly, but firmly disagree. Restate the question in a more favorable light and deliver your message. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the question is irrelevant, respond by indicating that the issue is not the point of the discussion and restate one of your messages. </li></ul></ul>
  66. 67. Types of Questions – Prepare your own <ul><li>“ Stab-In-The-Back” Question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “Members of your community have said ______. How do you respond?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try not to criticize. Acknowledge that individual’s right to express her opinion and state your message as a counter. </li></ul></ul>
  67. 68. Let’s Practice!
  68. 69. Now What? Here’s a To-Do List <ul><li>Get to know the legislators who care about your issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Become a resource when you see a relevant issue coming before them. </li></ul><ul><li>Fine-tune no more than THREE to FOUR key messages. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to learn by mistakes. </li></ul>
  69. 70. Additional Resources – resources, templates, & how-to’s – tool for building your communications plan
  70. 71. Dan Cohen, Principal Full Court Press Communications 510-271-0640 @fullcourtpress / @dcstpaul