ASAP Strategy Brief: Messaging to Policymakers & other Stakeholders on Program Alignment


Published: Spring 2017

A deep well of valuable resources exist on messaging for safety net programs, including SNAP, Medicaid and TANF, that resonate positively with the public. Among them are:

 FrameWorks Institute: Building a New Narrative on Human Services
 FrameWorks Institute Messaging Memo: Talking Human Services
 Center for Community Change: Messaging for Economic Justice
 Topos: Communicating about Poverty and Low-Wage Work
 Ascend at The Aspen Institute: Voices for Two-Generation Success, Top 10 Polling and Messaging Tips
 Center for Social Inclusion: Talking About Race: Communications Tools to Win Racially Equitable Policy Solutions
 The Opportunity Agenda: Media and Public Opinion on Poverty in America
 CBPP: Language that Works
 Lake Research Partners: Fighting Back Attacks on the Safety Net, Insight from Eight Focus Groups
 Feeding America SNAP Messaging Research

These resources are valuable to ASAP advocates as part of your strategy to build public support for improvements and defense of the programs. But a large area of ASAP work relates not to the public but rather to discussions with policymakers, which ASAP grantees understand better than anyone, is a different audience with different motivators than the public.
During the ASAP messaging TA work this spring and summer, while some portions of our messages sought to engage the public and specific partner groups, a large portion of our messaging work focused on engaging policymakers.
To create a streamlined strategy source for ASAP-related messaging, this brief summarizes key findings from the resources cited above as well as additional sources on words and phrases that work as well as those to avoid. It then goes on to address strategy for specific issue areas of interest to ASAP grantees, including messaging specific ASAP issues to policymaker targets.

To read the full brief, click here.

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