POLICY & ADVOCACY TOOLKIT
Meeting With Legislators
Your brochure, flyer, and website are not just platforms to talk about your program or the achievements you have made. Although it is important information, your communication pieces are vehicles to drive your message home. Your ultimate goal is to move people to act – whether it is getting them to vote, changing their financial management habits, or donating to your organization.
Develop a Winning Message
Your message is the core argument of your campaign or organizing effort. It should reflect how your goals overlap with the desires and motivations of your target audience. Don’t be afraid to strike an emotional chord with your audience; in fact, aim for their emotions. Be sure your message uses a common language, free from jargon, technical terms, and acronyms. This will make it easy to establish a connection with anyone that may hear or read your message.
You will also want to come up with some key points that convince people to support your position. These points will address the issue, why it is important, whom it affects, and what needs to happen for change.
When developing your message, consider storytelling as a method. Storytelling is the way we learn and can greatly persuade your audience by putting a personal spin on your message.
An Effective Message:
Is Clear and Concise
Does the audience get the message, the main idea, the point? What does the message instantly communicate? Makes a Connection. Not only does the audience “get it,” but it resonates with them, has meaning and significance for them, and usually triggers an emotional response. When a connection is there, it will spark new behaviors and actions.
The audience believes who is saying it, what is being said, and how it is being said. Even if the audience understands and connects to your message, they will completely disregard it if they don’t believe it is coming from a credible source.
You want your audience to catch the message and spread it around. To be contagious, a message has to be energetic, new, different, and memorable. It should also evoke a vivid emotional response, have “talk” potential, and motivate the target to do something.