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Help applying an established narrative to your issue or campaign.
For many broad issue areas, powerful narratives have already been written. Our Story can help you apply and adopt those narratives to your specific issue or issue campaign. The result will be a narrative guide that you can use in all your work on that issue.
Help developing a new narrative for your key issue areas.
Our Story can work with you to develop and refine a powerful narrative for your key issues. In doing so we will start with your values and core beliefs as you define them. We will be informed by other related, existing narratives and by public opinion research when helpful. The result will be a narrative that guides your organization’s communications.
Help developing a narrative for your state.
One major focus of Our Story is to help state leaders develop a shared narrative for their state. A state narrative is grounded in the shared values of participating organizations and in your state’s particular history, politics and culture. We will provide support, consultation and training, drawing directly on the expertise of other state narrative projects and our extensive grounding in national issue narratives.
- Washington State’s Heroes’ Narrative is one example of a state narrative.
Help you use public opinion research smartly.
Many organizations use public opinion research to develop messages. We can help you get much more out of public opinion research – and avoid common pitfalls. Those include: thinking that the highest tested message is always the best; testing alternative messages instead of combined messages; recommending messages that contradict your values; and misunderstanding key audiences.
How we use public opinion research in narrative development.
Our narratives are aimed at promoting public understanding and support of progressive core beliefs. Public opinion research can be helpful in two ways:
1. It can help us understand the ways that different audiences understand the world now.
2. It can help test how different audiences react to alternative messages that express our core beliefs and our ideas.
Support and Consulting on Using Narratives
Our Story helps you use narrative in the daily work of your organization or as an individual leader.
We believe narrative is a core capacity that should be built into your organization’s work. Like any other capacity, it takes time to learn and strengthen. Our goal is to support organizations and leaders in developing narrative capacity, so that they can employ narrative on their own. Whether it is a fact sheet, oped, blog-post, e-alert, research report, speech, video or any other communications vehicle, we can help with anything from concept to editing.
- Work with your staff to understand key narrative concepts.
- Review and edit communications material to strengthen their narrative power.
- Write communications materials based on your organization’s narrative.
Communications hubs for specific issues.
The following organizations have resources and can also advise you on how to communicate on specific issues.
- Climate – Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions
- Money and Politics and Fair Courts – Rethink Media
- Peace and Security – Rethink Media
- Security and Rights – Rethink Media
- Criminal Justice – Opportunity Agenda
- Immigration – Opportunity Agenda
- Economic Issues – Our Story
- Role of government – Our Story
Training on Narratives
Our Story provides training, in-person or through webinars, on all aspects of narrative.
Our training includes inter-active exercises to help you quickly use narratives in your communication. We train both organizations and individual leaders, including elected officials.
We develop and deliver trainings on:
- The organizational capacities need to develop and use powerful narratives, including using epic story elements.
- Specific issue narratives and how to apply them to the issues you work on.
- Multi-issue narratives that tell a compelling, integrated story about your organization’s mission and work.
- How to create a state narrative, a common story among state organizations and leaders.
Training from other communications organizations.
The following groups specialize in training in the areas listed below.
- Opportunity Agenda – social and racial justice.
- Center for Story Based Strategies – story-based narratives for campaigns.
- Breakthrough Strategies and Solutions – Climate