Do you know why your work matters?

Utah group

Why does your work matter? That is the question that 29 professionals sought to answer through the day long training: Three-Stack Approach to Marketing and Messaging Policy Research. This training was part of a pre-session held before the State Policy Network’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah from Oct. 8-12. During this training Atlas Network’s Daniel Anthony and Dr. Lyall Swim delved into the importance of focusing on the meaning of your work and not the features of the work — to focus on the emotional appeal of policy work and the ways it impacts the everyday lives of real people.

“A major challenge is reaching an audience beyond the policy experts,” explained Brooke Medina, the communications director for Civitas Institute. “This training is helping me to distill the ideas into basic language so that it connects with a wider audience.”

“This training is great because it helps us really zero in on how to create the emotional response to the data,” said Bradford Traywick II, Project Coordinator for the Booker T. Washington Initiative for Texas Public Policy Foundation. “As a movement we are not always great at conveying what that emotional connection looks like."

From left: Christy Riggins, Georgia Center for Opportunity (USA); Bradford Traywick II, Texas Public Policy Foundation (USA); Brooke Medina, Civitas Institute (USA); Larry Barsukoff, Alaska Policy Forum (USA); Daniel Anthony, Atlas Network (USA).

The lessons learned are applicable and scalable to organizations of all sizes. However, before communicating outside of the organization, other employees need to be on the same page.

“One of our major challenges is our small size. We are only two full time employees so we rely a lot on volunteers and contractors,” said Larry Barsukoff, director of operations at Alaska Policy Forum. “This is a set of tools that are easy to understand that I can share to quickly get them [volunteers and contractors] thinking about communicating in the way we want.”

“This Atlas Network training not only reaffirms what I already know, but it has given me the tools and procedures to implement a strong communication strategy,” said Christy Riggins, communications director at Georgia Center for Opportunity. “As a small organization we have limited time and resources, so anyway we can maximize our efforts is beneficial.”

Click here to learn more about Atlas Network training opportunities.