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Write to the Point

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Relief from paying taxes is good (benefit) Those who oppose tax relief are 'bad' ... the extra mile to fact-check and proofread! Proofread! Proofread! http: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Write to the Point


1
Write to the Point!
  • A Progressives Guide to Writing Letters to
    Editors, Letters to Legislators, Press Releases
    and News Articles

2
Write to the Point!
  • Instructors
  • Dona Jean Gillespie djg602_at_aol.com
  • Scott A. Smith scotty602bylaws_at_aol.com
  • UAW Local 602
  • 2510 W. Michigan Ave.
  • Lansing MI 48917
  • 517-372-4626 ext. 24

3
Write to the Point! Workshop
  • Primary Focus
  • framing the message
  • Write to the Point! manual pages 21-26
  • writing letters to the editor
  • Write to the Point! manual pages 27-28
  • writing letters to legislators
  • Write to the Point! manual pages 29-30

4
Write to the Point! Workshop
  • Part 1 Framing the Message
  • Part 2 Write to the Point!

B r e a k !
5
Write to the Point! Class Norms
  • One speaker at a time, as recognized by
    instructor
  • Questions about course material are encouraged
    during class
  • To ensure we have time to cover all the course
    materials, issues will be parked in a parking
    lot for later discussion Thank you

6
Write to the Point! Part I
W h a t i s f r a m i n g ?
7
Framing Is…
  • Words that promote a vision, such as the title of
    George Lakoffs book Dont think of an elephant
  • What do you automatically think of?

8
(No Transcript)
9
Framing Is…
  • Words that evoke an image or a vision
  • Most frames develop randomly and naturally
  • Common use ingrains frames in the minds of the
    public thru repeated use over time
  • All words come with one or more frames

10
Frames are…
  • Words and phrases that represent a specific
    worldview, and evoke that worldview whenever used.

11
Framing the Message
  • Tax relief
  • Tort reform
  • Partial birth abortion
  • Death tax
  • Marriage penalty

12
Example of Framing the Message
  • Taxes are seen as a burden (negative value)
  • Relief from paying taxes is good (benefit)
  • Those who oppose tax relief are bad

13
Spinning is …
  • Language that evokes frames the users really
    dont believe in but generate public approval
  • Spin is sometimes used to
  • provide addition information/explanation
  • deceive the public

14
Framing the Message
  • The Republican Machine has carefully crafted a
    conservative moral framework over the past 40
    years

15
The Truth Shall Set Them Free!
  • Not so. Voters will reject information that does
    not fit within their established frameset
  • The truth alone will not set you free. You must
    communicate WHY something is true and WHY it
    matters
  • Frames trump truth every time

16
NEVER USE THEIR LANGUAGE
  • EVER!

17
Framing the Message
  • Every word evokes a frame
  • Words used within frames can evoke other frames
  • Negating a frame evokes that frame (Dont think
    of an elephant!)
  • Evoking a frame reinforces that frame

18
The facts …
  • Facts are on our side
  • The truth shall set us free

19
The fact is …
  • Only those willing to accept the truth will be
    set free

20
Progressive Beliefs to Win the Vote
  • The truth shall set you free
  • People will vote in their self-interest
  • Political campaigns are like marketing campaigns
  • To re-take the nation we need access to the media

21
  • WRONG!
  • Frames trump facts!

22
The Progressive (Nurturant Parent) Worldview
Write to the Point! manual pages 15-20
23
Nurturant Parent Write to the Point! manual page
15
  • The world is basically good
  • It can be made better no matter how difficult and
    dangerous it is
  • Caring requires responsibility and empathy
  • In society, nurturant morality is expressed as
    social responsibility
  • Cooperation over competition

24
The Conservative (Strict Father) Worldview Write
to the Point! manual pages 16-20
25
Strict Father
  • The world is and always will be a dangerous and
    difficult place
  • To protect and support his family is a fathers
    job
  • It is the fathers duty to teach his children
    right and wrong

26
Strict Father
  • Children are inherently bad. They do what they
    want because it feels good and not what is moral
  • They must be made good by using discipline
  • Physical and painful punishment is expected when
    they err

27
Strict Father
  • The mother is kept in the background. She is not
    strong enough to protect and support the family
    or to discipline the children on her own
  • Mommies tend to be soft-hearted

28
Strict Father
  • The world is evil and to defend against evil one
    must be morally strong or disciplined
  • Strict father morality demonstrates a natural
    moral order
  • The strict father does not ask permission

29
Nurturant Parent v. Strict Father
  • A Nurturant Parent Desires A Strict Father
    Desires
  • Freedom Control
  • Fairness Competition
  • Cooperation Survival of the fittest
  • Openness Need to know
  • Honesty Action
  • Trust Loyalty
  • It takes a village Individually pull
    yourself up by the bootstraps

30
Are you strict or nurturant?
  • Most people employ the strict father model in
    some settings and the nurturant parent model in
    other settings.
  • Which model represents your predominant
    perception of morality?

31
Reclaim or Reframe?
  • When the oppositions frame clearly promotes the
    strict father morality, re-frame the message to
    reflect the nurturant parent morality
  • When the opposition distorts the true meaning of
    a frame, reclaim it, but …

32
Reclaim the Frame
  • Reclaiming a misused frame is harder than
    reframing a message in progressive terms
  • Readers/listeners will unconsciously resist a new
    definition of a familiar frame
  • Every time you use a reclaimed frame, you must
    define and explain it in progressive terms

33
Five Steps to Framing
  • Define our basic progressive vision
  • Establish our values
  • Define the principles
  • Derive policy directions
  • Establish a ten-word bumper sticker

34
The Progressive Vision
  • The Progressive vision (or morality) is based
    on
  • empathy and
  • responsibility commitment to the common good
    (majority rules, so to speak)

35
Progressive Values
  • When you empathize with someone, you want
  • To protect them from harm
  • To help them reach their full potential
  • To see them treated fairly

36
Progressive Policies
  • Quality, affordable health care
  • Quality public education
  • Renewable energy resources
  • Respect for environment
  • Job creation
  • Fair taxation

37
For more on Framing
  • Framing Primer for a Progressive Revolution
  • By Tom Ball
  • www.demspeak.com

Dont think of an elephant By George
Lakoff Rockridgeinstitute.org
Write to the Point! manual pages 39-40
38
Questions?
39
B r e a k !
40
Write to the Point! manual
  • Terms, tips tools
  • Conservative v. Progressive
  • Evolution of the grunt
  • Framing
  • Letter to the Editor
  • Letter to Legislator
  • Press Release
  • News Article

41
Write to the Point! Part II
Terms, Tips Tools Write to the Point!
manual pages 7-11
42
E E E S
43
EEES What the News Does
  • Educate
  • Entertain
  • Explain
  • Serve

44
EEES What the News Does
  • Educate
  • The news informs its readers
  • Entertain
  • Opinions advice columns, movie critiques, sports
    pages, and comic section all seek to entertain
    the reader

45
EEES What the News Does (Contd)
  • Explain
  • Events can be interpreted (or misinterpreted) in
    many ways
  • Serve
  • Church services, meeting announcements,
    obituaries, classified ads, etc. are examples of
    service-oriented news

46
EEES What Your News Should Do
  • Your news should Educate, Explain, Entertain or
    provide a Service in order to engage your
    readers interest

47
W I I F M ?
48
Whats In It For Me?
W I I F M ?
49
WIIFM? Whats in It for Me?
  • Bullet points are not enough!
  • You must connect the dots
  • Tell your readers how and why your issue affects
    them
  • The sooner you tell whats in it for them, the
    more likely it is theyll read your complete
    article or letter

50
WIIFM - Whats in It for Me?
  • Will your position on an issue make readers
    lives harder or easier?
  • Will your issue position cost them money or save
    money?
  • There must be a benefit to the readers or they
    will turn the page
  • Present the benefit early in your writing

51
5Ws H
52
5Ws H
  • Who?
  • What?
  • Why?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • How?

53
Who?
  • Why should readers care about the
  • who? of your news story?
  • Is who? a neighbor, a co-worker, an elected
    official or celebrity?
  • Readers engage more fully when they can pair a
    face with a name

54
What?
  • What? happened?
  • Did a boat sink?
  • A train derail?
  • A bus crash?
  • Is what? the first or last of something?
  • Is what? something everybody cares about?
  • Will what affect your readers lives?

55
Where?
  • Where something takes place tells readers how
    relevant it is to their lives
  • Something happening on my front porch is usually
    more important to me than something taking place
    on the other side of the planet

56
When?
  • Timeliness is important.
  • Did something just happen?
  • Is something about to happen?
  • Can the reader do anything to stop it from
    happening or help make it happen?
  • Unless youre writing a research paper, biography
    or historical novel, old news carries less impact
    than news hot off the presses

57
Why?
  • Why? something happened is critical
  • To prevent it from happening again
  • To learn from the mistakes of others
  • To adopt, repeat or maintain something beneficial

58
How?
  • Not just How, but
  • How much?
  • How often?
  • How many people does it affect?
  • Howd they do that?
  • How can I do the same thing?

59
T h e 6 C ' s
60
T h e 6 C ' s
  • Good writing is
  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Complete
  • Coordinated
  • Consistent
  • Credible

61
6 Cs - Clear
  • Use everyday English, words every reader will
    understand
  • Avoid big words and acronyms unless you provide
    definitions for them
  • Avoid jargon and technical terms
  • Write as if your audience is a group of Junior
    High School students
  • Write to the Point! manual page 33

62
6 Cs - Concise
  • Concise means short.
  • Short words
  • Short sentences
  • Short paragraphs
  • Short articles, letters etc.
  • Newspaper readers read shorter letters to the
    editor first, longer letters only if they have
    time

63
Flesch-Kincaid Index MS Word
64
Flesch-Kincaid Index for MS Word
65
6 Cs Complete
  • Complete means answering
  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • And WIIFM? (Whats in it for me?)

66
6 Cs Coordinated
  • Use the Inverted Pyramid format
  • Most important news in the first paragraph
  • Increasingly less important information in
    subsequent paragraphs
  • The Inverted Pyramid allows editors to cut to
    fit available space without losing the most
    important information

67
6 Cs - Consistent
  • Be consistentpick a style and stick with it
  • Forms of address
  • Titles
  • Numbers
  • Formatting
  • Spelling
  • Hyphenation

68
6 Cs - Credible
  • Accuracy is everything!
  • Credibility can make or break a writers
    reputation
  • Credibility is easier to maintain than repair
  • One typo, one wrong fact, or one misspelled name
    can discredit the entire work!
  • Go the extra mile to fact-check and proofread!
    Proofread! Proofread!

69
E P I C
70
E P I C
  • Engage
  • Propose
  • Illustrate
  • Call to action

71
Clustering
72
Clustering
  • Clustering is a free-form, self-organizing method
    of collecting your ideas and information before
    you start to write
  • You will not use all the information in your
    cluster in a single letter or article, but do
    save it to recycle for other letters or articles
  • Dont be surprised if your cluster takes you
    somewhere you hadnt planned to go just go with
    it!
  • Write to the Point! manual pages

73
Clustering Step One
74
Clustering Step 2
75
(No Transcript)
76
Clustering
  • If you run out of ideas, draw some connecting
    lines or arrows for a moment or two until
    something else comes to mind.

77
Clustering
  • At some point in the clustering process, youll
    feel a sense of direction and know you are ready
    to write!

78
W r i t e a S a n d w i c h
79
W r i t e a S a n d w i c h
  • A basic story resembles a sandwich it has
  • A beginning
  • A middle, and
  • An end

80
Write a Sandwich Step 1
  • Take three minutes to sketch a quick cluster on
    any topic you choose

81
Write a Sandwich Step 2
  • Pick a target area of your cluster to write about

82
Write a Sandwich Step 3
  • Write three paragraphs in 10 minutes
  • Paragraph 1 introduce your topic (5WsH
    WIIFM)
  • Paragraph 2 support your point of view with
    facts
  • Paragraph 3 conclude your letter with the most
    important thought you want your reader to
    remember or act on
  • Write to the Point! manual pages 27-33

83
Read Letters Aloud
  • Your letter doesnt have to be perfect
  • Your letter doesnt have to be finished
  • You can learn from listening to others
  • Others can learn from listening to you
  • And last, but not least …mail your letter!

84
Questions?
85
Write to the Point!
  • Thank you!
  • From
  • Scott Dona Jean
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