Communications Learning Exchanges
The goals of the communications learning exchanges are to coordinate and improve communications work and strategies used by state-based advocacy organizations; hone technical assistance provided by communications firms and national intermediaries; speed up the analysis and transmission of lessons learned to the field; and identify emerging areas for short-term investment/assistance.
Coming Together Around a National Narrative
January 30, 2012
Cognitive and social science research indicate that all of us carry around narratives (or, stories) that help us interpret new information and help us decide what we do with that new information. Communications experts across the political spectrum have been using communications research to develop and test communications narratives, frames and messages that connect to and move audiences. There is tremendous amount of communications and outreach work going on to reengage Americans in the decisions about our future through the development of a larger narrative that supports shared prosperity and an economy that works for all. What communications firms are working on narratives and what are the discovering? How has that narrative work been influenced by recent events? Is there more than one narrative and is that a good or bad for the field? What are we learning about the success (or failure) of these narratives? The purpose of this conversation will be to help charitable foundations and the field understand what a narrative is and how it relates to other communications devices and strategies, what key communications partners are exploring and learning, and the work ahead.
Using Video to Inform and Engage
January 12, 2012
As the old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand worlds." This is truer than ever before. Today, YouTube is the second most popular search engine and on internet searches video ranks three times higher than text. While using video to document, educate and activate has been a practice of international human rights efforts for years, U.S., state-based policy groups are just starting to use this tactic more regularly. How are state based-policy advocacy groups bringing this tactic into their communications arsenal? How does it work in tandem with other communications tactics? What are they learning? The goal of this Communications Learning Exchange is to provide an opportunity to learn about and discuss how state-based policy and advocacy efforts are using videos to inform and engage key constituents.
The nation's largest health insurance program, Medicaid enables millions of Americans to access free or low-cost health care services. While this program is a fundamental element of health care coverage in the United States, it is increasingly under attack in states. Faced with difficult state budgets, lawmakers are taking a close look at Medicaid and proposing reductions in eligibility and covered services. The Medicaid battles currently being fought in the states are a proxy for attacks on the role of government as well as a precursor to the implementation of health care reform in the states in the years to come. The goal of this learning exchange is to provide an opportunity to debrief on Medicaid battles in selected states, share information on successful (and less successful) communications efforts, and discuss the work ahead.
TABOR and the Anti-Tax Crusade
July 11, 2011
State policymaker efforts to create limits on revenue generation and spending are not new. The best known TABOR (or Taxpayer Bill of Rights) legislation was approved by Colorado voters 1992. In recent years, state legislatures around the country have tried to follow suit by creating TABOR-like efforts (either by ballot or legislation) as well as simply limiting policy conversations about the importance of revenue generation (through raising taxes). Why do these efforts have so much traction? How do we stop them? The goals of this learning exchange are to provide an opportunity to debrief on recent TABOR and anti-tax battles in selected states, share information on successful (and less successful) communications efforts as well as communications and tactics used by the opposition, and discuss the work ahead. Contact Cema Siegel for a link to the recording and resources shared during the call.
The Battle Over State EITCs
May 24, 2011
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia now have a state EITC. As states are facing some of the worst budgets in years, some state policy makers have used this past legislative session as an opportunity to reduce or attempt to eliminate the state EITC and others have been exploring expanding the state EITC. The goals of this learning exchange are to provide an opportunity to debrief on recent state EITC battles in selected states, share information on successful (and less successful) communications efforts as well as communications and tactics used by the opposition, and discuss the work ahead. Contact Cema Siegel for a link to the recording and resources shared during the call.