Both external and internal communications are derived from a broader communications plan around key audiences, messaging, goals and specific products. This plan supports larger policy organizing efforts. The tools included here will help you and your chapter craft an effective communications plan that reaches various audiences effectively.
Effectively conveying policy ideas to various audiences is a crucial part of the policy making process. Up to date and consistent branding, especially with the Roosevelt logo, is important for consistent messaging. Roosevelt also provides opportunities for students to write for the Roosevelt Forward blog and to get placed to external outlets. If you are interested in writing, please fill out this form.
Keys terms to understand:
Audiences: Strategically targeting the key audiences for your communications is vital to its success. You should consider the impact of word and design choices on your audience with each communication material and look to consistently engage your audience. Remember though, as you move your audience from observers to advocates of your policy, transition them into being producers, rather than simply consumers of your content.
Call to action: A call to action is designed to push the audience of your communication toward a specific outcome. Example: a tweet that prompts an audience to sign up for your newsletter or an Op-ed that asks readers to reach out to their local Congressman. Whether implicitly or explicitly all of your communications should be infused with a direct call to action for your audience.
Communications Coordinator: The Communications Coordinator position on the Roosevelt network’s National Leadership is charged with supporting the communications growth of all policy change projects in the network, focusing on digital communications and press/promotion
Communications Plan: Here are 4 steps to help you build a strong communications plan:
Step 1: Choose your audience and craft a frame for your message
Step 2: Outline all possible content+ choose platforms
Step 3: Build your communications plan & reach out to your Communications Coordinators
Step 4: Execute the plan by engaging your audiences and joining the conversation
Elevator Pitch: An elevator pitch is a 30 second to 1 minute description of your policy change project that compels the listener to follow up or ask for more information. A good elevator pitch is tailored specifically to its audience.
Media packet/kit: A social media packet provides basic materials -- including sample tweets, Facebook posts, email copy, graphics and more -- for your audience and coalition to share your message with their personal and organizational networks. Remember any good sample form of communication should link back to you or your project in some form and should be timed with your broader communications plan.
Message frame: A frame for your message is the lens through which your audience views and understands your initiative. Any policy change initiative can be communicated through a host of economic, political or social lenses, so you should choose a clear and consistent frame for your communications relevant to your audiences. Example: A Rethinking Communities project can be framed as a national attack on inequality, a community’s fight toward local economic development or a student initiative for greater accountability from a University administration.
National vs. Local targets: Most of the work done on campus should be pitched to local press because it is a policy solution to a local problem. National press outreach will be for projects that apply to an ongoing national conversation.
One pagers and infographics: One pagers and info-graphics are simple visual materials that serve as an introduction to your project and can be shared with new & existing supporters online and through events. A good one pager/graphic contains specific bullet points on the nature of the problem, 3-4 point specifics on the solution and contact/follow up information.
Press resources: For a full description and how to guides on all press resources including Letter to the editor, Op-ed, Phone RAP, media list, media pitch, press release, press advisory refer to Loft > Guides > Roosevelt Policy Guide > Branding and Communications > Files.
Story of Self: a version of story telling where you tell a story about yourself, and/or the communities you are part of or organize with. A successful story of self calls an audience to do something. Visit the Files section for a Story of Self explainer.
Roosevelt chapters should follow the Roosevelt branding guide and Roosevelt branding communications. For more information, please see your Communications Coordinators or a member of National Staff. presentation found here: Loft > Guides > Roosevelt Policy Guide > Branding and Communications > Files. Chapters should request a logo created by National Staff and should follow the correct messaging, fonts and colors.
1. Telling your Roosevelt @ Story -
- Branding Guide – Roosevelt’s Branding Guide has vital information, including external messaging guidelines and visual design guidelines.
- Digital Organizing Guide - This guide is a helpful go-to to leverage online communication tools (social media, email, and web) for social change
2. Building Policy Change with Communications -
- Media Pitch Guide – After you’ve developed your message, this guide will help you craft a compelling pitch for a policy and/or upcoming event.
- Letter to the Editor Guide - What if you come across a story that’s already been written, but leaves out some crucial detail or perspective that you think your work could bring to light? In that case, it’s time to write a Letter to the Editor.
3. Engage with your network –
- Roosevelt Writing Guide – These guidelines will ensure that your idea is concise, compelling, and carefully formatted for our Next New Deal and Roosevelt Forward blogs.