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Messaging Child Health Care Issues


Related values: Financial obligation to care for family; obligation to care for ... Ego-centered: being creative; materialism; learning; and aesthetic enjoyment. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Messaging Child Health Care Issues

Messaging Child Health Care Issues
Phil Sparks Communications Consortium Media
Center January 24, 2007
Primary Values Groups (Developed by Belden
Russonello Stewart)
  • Responsibility to care for ones family
  • Related values Financial obligation to care
    for family obligation to care for emotional well
    being of family obligation to educate, guide and
    discipline children and obligation to care for
    the physical health and safety of ones children.
  • Responsibility to care for oneself
  • Related values Self-reliance financial
    security taking responsibility for ones
    actions and self-discipline.
  • Personal liberty
  • Related values Freedom of expression
    individuality independence freedom from
    obligations reproductive freedom and sexual
  • Work
  • Related values Working hard is good and
    everyone should work.
  • Belief in God
  • Honesty/Integrity
  • Fairness/Equality
  • Related values Justice Golden Rule equal
    opportunity tolerance and respect for others.

Secondary Values Groups (Developed by Belden
Russonello Stewart)
  • Responsibility to care for others
  • Related values Care for less fortunate leave
    the world a better place for others care for
    other species and care for the earth.
  • Personal fulfillment
  • Related values Ego-centered being creative
    materialism learning and aesthetic enjoyment.
    Relationship-centered friendship having
    emotionally supportive relationships being
    married and having children.
  • Respect for authority
  • Related values Obedience to law respect for
    institutions and respect for order.
  • Love of country or culture
  • Related values National pride loyalty to
    country and cultural pride.

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Levels of Thinking
  • Level One Big ideas justice, family, democracy,
    rights, responsibilities, equality, opportunity,
    core values
  • Level Two Issue-types movements like
    womens/civil rights, economic justice, the
    environment, voter mobilization, childrens
  • Level Three Specific policy proposals
    Estate/death tax, family and medical leave, tax
    reform, early education, minimum wage, paid sick
  • Source George Lakoff for the Frameworks

Open the Right Door
  • Advocates too often operate at level three
  • But the public is usually up at level one
  • Can we open the conversation at level one?
  • What frame or door should we open to get the
    conversation started down a path that produces
    support for our policieseven in the face of
  • Prime the conversation with the right level
    focusing on one or two ideas

Message Points
Four Key Message Points
 Overview of Issue in Big Picture/Values Language

Summary of Specific Program
Why Action is Needed
Action Steps for Your Audience
Example of a winning frame incorporating values
  • Minimum Wage
  • Part of the American Dream is that if you work
    hard and play by the rules you ought to be able
    to support yourself and your family. Its just
    not fair that the federal minimum wage has not
    been raised by Congress from its present 5.15 an
    hour in ten years. Meanwhile, Congress has raised
    its own salary seven times in the last decade.
  • You cant even buy a quart of milk and a gallon
    of gasoline for 5.15 an hour. Its not right!  

Competing Values
  • In regards to low-wage work issues like health
    care -- we are talking about children of low-wage
    workers receiving health care first.
  • Challenges because of certain values people
    hold regarding these issues
  • each individual is responsible for his or her own
    success or failure
  • with hard work comes reward
  • the goal is equal opportunity, not equal outcomes
  • anyone can achieve the American Dream

The Power of Stories
  • Storytelling is both an art and a science.
  • Stories reflect and evoke core values and
    widely held beliefs.
  • Storytelling has become the norm for most mass
    media. Reporters say I need to put a face on my

Storytelling, A Blessing and a Curse
  • Many stories about low-wage work issues,
    including childrens health care, focus on the
    plight of an individual child or the family of a
    young child.
  • The Challenge Move the story from an article/TV
    or radio program about the individual to an
    article/TV or radio program about the systemic
    problem suggested by the individual story.
  • Shift the frame of the story from the
    child/family to focus on systemic problems that
    cause children not to have health insurance.

So, how do I proceed?
  • start the discussion with a focus on values, not
    specific policies
  • focus on the system, not the individual
  • stress that health care decisions are not a
    force of nature made by accident. On the
    contrary, health care adjustments are very
  • and, when you use stories, focus on compelling
    stories that illustrate systemic problems and
    their solutions

A Final Point
  • involve key groups and individuals to achieve
    investment in the frame/message
  • encourage feedback and comments
  • make message dissemination a bottom up, rather
    than a top down process
  • understand that there will be some pushback when
    you suggest that the message lead with a values

Starting The Message Process on Childrens Health
  • All children should have the tools to grow and
    flourish (value).
  • The problem is that millions of children do not
    have access to adequate healthcare (the problem).
  • We need to provide all children with adequate
    health care so they can grow and flourish( the
  • Therefore, we are urging the policymakers to….
    (the action).

Critical Elements for Media Outreach
  • Message development and framing
  • Strong written materials in one page, ten pages,
    papers and books
  • Reporter-friendly Web sites
  • Local mainstream and new media
  • Editorial and op-ed strategies
  • Visuals and good television stories pitched to
    producers on a regular basis
  • Radio strategy (AM and FM)
  • Cultivate a reporter corps (with connections)
  • Made-for-cable events and forums

Tools of the Trade
  • One-on-one relationships
  • Press briefings and informal sessions
  • Press conferences
  • Press kits and written materials
  • Editorial board meetings
  • Op-ed pieces

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