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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

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
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

how do we get the word out
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

pitching a story
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

writing and placing an oped
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

writing and placing an oped6
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

using the web
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

crafting and communicating your asset building message8

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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