It’s commonly thought that if messages explain the problem, audiences—often broad, loosely defined audiences—will care.
Some of the great myths in communications work:
1) More statistics are not more persuasive. Messages using deeply held, shared values resound more with audiences;
2) There is no such thing as a general public, so target and define your audience and media lists accordingly; and
3) Most people know what the problem is. So, elevate your solutions.
The following questions may help you identify core components of your own compelling messages:
- What’s the problem?
- What are the immediate impacts of the problem on your community?
- What are the immediate causes?
- What are the root causes?
- Who is responsible?
- Why does it matter?
- What is the solution?
Part of your role as an organizer is to advance your community’s own powerful solutions.
Editors note: Check out one example of how communities in Alaska are moving a powerful message for community health. And read more guiding questions for framing and messaging here.