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Moving Issues: How messaging can change the game at the state capitol

When advocating for an issue, it’s not enough to just reach your audience - you must also move your audience to action. Storytelling is a tried and true method to advance a cause, but it must be done correctly to be effective. Take the time to cover these basics before you distribute that release, write that letter or pitch that interview.

Identify your audience. Who are you trying to reach and what do you want them to do? Identify the opinion makers you want to reach and understand what action you want them to take once they hear from you.

Craft your narrative. A compelling story captures your audience’s attention, focusing them on your issue or idea. Statistics and figures can be important (be sure you can back them up), but numbers alone won’t tell the whole story. What does that data mean in the everyday lives of your audience? How does it impact real people in your community? When you build your story with your audience in mind, you create a compelling narrative that gives your data life, turning hard numbers into a motivating call to action.

Find your voice. Who delivers your message is just as important as the message you craft. The right spokesperson can give your message instant credibility. Just the opposite can be true as well. Choose the “face and voice” of your campaign carefully.

Reach your audience where they are. Picking the right channel to deliver your story is vital if you are to communicate effectively. It does no good to scream at the top of your lungs if the right people don’t hear you. So, make sure you tell your story in the right place at the right time. It might be a statewide news release, a strategic op-ed in the local newspaper, a story on the 10 p.m. news, a social media video or a myriad of other outreach methods. Identifying where your audience can be reached is critical to success.



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