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Crafting and Communicating Your Asset Building Message Rourke O’Brien Policy Analyst, Asset Building Program New America Foundation [email protected] 202-986-2700 2008 Assets Learning Conference September 11-13, 2008 Washington, DC Why get the word out?

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Crafting and communicating your asset building message l.jpg

Crafting and Communicating Your Asset Building Message

Rourke O’Brien

Policy Analyst, Asset Building Program

New America Foundation

[email protected]

202-986-2700

2008 Assets Learning ConferenceSeptember 11-13, 2008

Washington, DC


Why get the word out l.jpg
Why get the word out?

  • Opportunity to share our good work

  • Increased awareness of programs/policies

    • Local community more engaged

    • Potential clients aware of resources available to them

    • Current and potential funders see your work and its impact

  • Potential to affect public policy and public opinion

    • May help secure or increase funding

    • Promotes “Asset Building” concept as an organizing framework for social policy and programs.

  • New America Foundation ♦ Asset Building Program


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    How do we get the word out?

    • Engaging the Mainstream Media

      • Pitching an article to a local, regional or national paper or interest magazine

      • Writing your own article, oped, or letter to the editor.

      • Contacting local television and radio news outfits about potential special interest pieces.

  • Using the web

    • Websites, list serves, digital newsletters

    • Coalition building

    • Blogs

  • New America Foundation ♦ Asset Building Program


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    Pitching A Story

    • Question to Consider

      • Who is your audience?

      • What are you trying to communicate?

      • Does it have news energy?

        • Connect it to a recent event, anniversary, milestone

    • TV, Radio, Newspaper, Community interest magazines/papers/newsletters

    New America Foundation ♦ Asset Building Program


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    Writing and Placing an Oped

    • Pick the news outlet you want to target

      • What is the typical length/writing style?

      • Do they publish pieces by anyone or those with a fancy title/background?

      • Do they tend to be more public policy focused or general commentary?

    • Find a hook – what gives the piece news energy

      • Local, regional or national event

      • Major change in public policy

      • Building on related articles in the news

        • Note a letter to the editor is a direct reaction to a previously printed article/news piece

    New America Foundation ♦ Asset Building Program


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    Writing and Placing an Oped

    • Write like you are having a conversation with someone who have no prior knowledge on the topic

      • Avoid Jargon

        • Instead of “assets” use “wealth” or “savings”

      • Be specific, deliberate and to the point

        • Avoid elaborate metaphors or academic citations – Tell a story!

    • Appeal to broad themes and values

      • Personal responsibility, Economic Security

  • Submit the article with the proper context (who you are, why you feel its relevant, etc.)

  • Don’t Give Up!

  • New America Foundation ♦ Asset Building Program


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    Using the Web

    Basic communication

    • Create a website for your organization (if you haven’t already)

    • Build a list serve of folks who may be interested in receiving updates

      Engaging the Blogosphere

    • Create your own blog, or comment on others

      An update of recent happenings

      Commentary/Analysis http://www.newamerica.net/blog/ladder

      Connecting with similar organizations

    • Coalitions (asset building and other) to share ideas/best practices

      http://communitiesconnect.wikispaces.com/Statewide+Asset+Building+Coalition

    • Issue oriented groups to track legislation, advocate for change, etc.

    New America Foundation ♦ Asset Building Program


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    Crafting and Communicating Your Asset Building Message

    Rourke O’Brien

    Policy Analyst, Asset Building Program

    New America Foundation

    [email protected]

    202-986-2700

    2008 Assets Learning ConferenceSeptember 11-13, 2008

    Washington, DC


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