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Strategic Communications in Uncertain Times: Shifting the Narrative


On October 6th, Rise Together hosted nearly 70 change-makers from across the Bay Area to learn with The Opportunity Agenda about strategic communications that flip the script on economic opportunity in the media and public discourse.

Participants working on everything from affordable housing to youth employment identified key themes that influence how people process information and make decisions related to an issue, and how to get to know our audience to shift these dominant narratives. We each considered what our audience was thinking, feeling and hearing in the cultural conversation of our times, and what we needed them to do. We explored how to use values, stories and social math to evoke the right story in their mind to lead them to the solutions we propose.

We learned several key take aways about crafting our message, including:

  • Focus on real world challenges – how it is impacting real people

  • Document unequal obstacles, not just unequal outcomes

  • Tell individual stories with a systemic context – the why, not just the circumstances

  • A shift from myth busting and negating stereotypes to actually talking about a different narrative

And finally we practiced The Opportunity Agenda's tried-and-true framework for communicating our messaging:

Value | Proposition | Solution | Action

Lead with values and vision

Introduce the problem

Pivot quickly to solutions

Assign an action

We are excited to work with our partners to continue to improve our messaging to the public and to the media. Our savvy partners recognize this is a critical ingredient to creating the changes we are working toward and we truly appreciate Opportunity Agenda's partnership on the path to results.

Access to Power Point slides from this training here!

Access additional free tools and resources here!


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