Media and Messaging Training - WV Regional Policy Workshops 2015
Media and Messaging Training
TEAM for WV Children
WV Community Development Hub
Everyone who is here!
Some Questionable Beliefs
• The facts will set you free.
• The data speak for themselves.
• We need to educate everyone.
• We just need a catchier message/slogan.
• Those who don’t support us don’t make sense.
• What is the problem or issue?
• What is the solution or policy?
• Who has the power to make the necessary
• Who is the opposition? What do they believe?
• Who can be mobilized to apply the necessary
• What messages need to be developed for which
Developing story elements
• Identify authentic voices
• Use evocative symbols
• Use compelling visuals
• Develop media bites
• Calculate social math
Calculating social math
Social math is the process of translating large
numbers to be interesting to journalists and
meaningful to audiences.
Using familiar things, break down numbers by
• Time (# per year, month, week, day, hour)
• Place (enough people to fill classrooms, school
buses, a stadium, a specific city)
• Dollars (spent on ice cream, shoes, coffee)
• Ironic comparisons (highlights value by
comparing to less important things)
Developing media bites
• Keep it short 8 - 10 seconds
• Talk about what is important
• Avoid jargon
• Evoke a picture
• Present a solution
• Frame from the social/policy perspective rather
than individual/behavioral focus
• Smoking a “safer” cigarette is like jumping out of a 10th
floor window rather than a 12th floor window.
• Having a no-smoking section in a restaurant is like having a
no-peeing section in a swimming pool.
• AMC Theater large popcorn has 1,030 calories and 57
grams of saturated fat. That's like eating a pound of baby
back ribs topped with a scoop of Häagen-Dazs ice cream.
•Know how your interview will be used.
•Don’t fight narrative with numbers.
•If they give you a portrait, bridge to a
•Practice, practice, practice.
•Choose your messengers carefully.
•Tell us about what you're working on. What's your idea?
•Do you think this policy has a chance at the legislature?
How's it going to fare this year during the session?
•How much is this going to cost?
•Is there really a need for this?
•When you say _____ what does that mean exactly?”
Using the web and social
media to engage others
with your issue.
•Make a pitch to a member(s) of your local media outlet.
•Share your Policy Idea
•Highight elements of your policy story:
•What is the problem or issue?
•What is the policy solution to address that problem?
•Who has the power to make the necessary change?
•How are you working to enact your policy solution?
•Develop 3 media bites for your issue (and SHARE them!)
•Invite the media to the Policy Summit on Sept. 14-15
List of WV reporters on Twitter:
WV Media Guide
TEAM for WV Children