Effective Persuasion Requires Great Communication by Evan Sutton

By at August 1, 2012 | 1:40 pm | Print

Effective Persuasion Requires Great Communication by Evan Sutton

Evan Sutton, NOI

We all need a strong public narrative to connect with people on a values-based level. But it’s also important that we’re able to explain our positions on the issues clearly, and that we’re on-message with our campaign narrative. Here are some suggestions for getting your staff comfortable with the details.

  • Educate. Every campaign has policy sheets (or should). Each staff member must take the time to really study them, and ask questions if they don’t understand.
  • Start with their passion. A policy portfolio can be huge, especially in elections or multi-issue groups. Start with topics that really matter to the staff – they’ll be easier to learn because they are invested in them already.
  • Educate your volunteers. Give volunteers the policy papers, highlight the most commonly asked-about issues, ask them to read through it, and follow up with questions to help them learn the material.
  • Always follow up. You’ll get questions you can’t answer. If you don’t know, say, “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you.” Take a good note, and make sure you follow up quickly.
  • Everyone must know the talking points. It’s important that you know the message of the day/week/month, too, so read the talking points your campaign sends out. Being on message isn’t just nice – you’re driving home the narrative people are seeing in email and social media, direct mail, and TV.

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Evan Sutton, Communications Manager, New Organizing Institute (NOI).  Evan oversees NOI’s online content.  NOI trains organizers to build and manage effective movements by integrating tried-and-true community organizing, cutting-edge digital strategy, and data-driven decision making. NOI provide free access to revolutionary tools, technologies, and research to help campaigns reach the next level.

New Organizing Institute Education Fund          1850 M St. NW, Suite 1100            Washington, D.C. 20036    suttnutz  on Twitter


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