Messaging: Skill-building resources

Progressives’ trust in and respect for others explains why we’re so emphatic in our concern for the common welfare, but it also explains why we don’t naturally possess strong persuasion skills.  We seem to be so tolerant of others’ right to hold their own ideas and values that we fail to communicate our own. This, of course, leaves the corporate-funded political spinners in charge of most of America’s political discourse.

‘Messaging’ means articulating your values and meaning in a way that is likely be be heard by your listener. Much work has been done in the past few years, led by University of California linguistics professor George Lakoff, to help progressives develop the ‘messaging’ skills that don’t seem to come naturally.

The Wisconsin Grassroots Network has developed a messaging how-to online booklet, which contains the basics.

Authentic Framing for the Future (AF2) is a Wisconsin-based firm, led by Scott Witkopf, that offers training and more. Check out the AF2 website for more information, and consider signing up for their  Progressive Messaging Subscription Service.  Wittkopf cites these three important reasons to subscribe:

  1. We need to empower a community of people who can effectively communicate a forward-looking, progressive vision for the future. It’s the only way to counter the corporate, conservative self-interest frame of fear and divisiveness.
  1. The only way to overcome our societal empathy deficit is to change the dominant frame, to evoke a more progressive worldview of community and responsibility toward others.
  1. Through this service, we can start connecting those people and communities who will lead the necessary shift in our communities.