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Crafting Your Message

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  1. Crafting Your Message April 29, 2013 AAP Legislative ConferenceWashington, D.C. AAP Staff, Title

  2. Agenda 2:00 PM Crafting Your Message 2:00-2:05 Welcome and Introductions – Dr Droge 2:05-2:20 Building Blocks – Dr Perez 2:20-2:35 Personal Examples – Dr Sriram 2:35-2:50 Reaction – Dr Filice 2:50-3:15 Exercise and Discussion – Dr Droge

  3. We have no relevant financial relationships with the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) and/or provider of commercial services discussed in this CME activity

  4. BUILDING BLOCKS • Your message is the core statement of why your issue is important and should be the underpinning of all your media and communications work. EFFECTIVE MESSAGES: • Create consistency and cut across the many stories that relate to your issue. • Are easily understood and can be internalized and repeated by others. • Convince people that your issue is something they can support.

  5. CRAFTING YOUR MESSAGE • Essentially, your message is what follows because…. Consider the following example of a message: “Medicaid and CHIP are indispensable health programs because they provide health insurance coverage to over 25 million low-income children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to critical and much needed health care services.” • This message makes the case about the importance of Medicaid and CHIP funding. Your personal experiences and stories of working with children who are uninsured can then help support this message.

  6. CREATING AN EFFECTIVE MESSAGE Consider the following points as a guide to creating an effective message: • clear • concise • memorable and relatable • persuasive • repeat, repeat, repeat

  7. REMEMBER… • You are a pediatrician. Trust yourself to communicate effectively – you’ve been trained to! • You are also a constituent, voter and taxpayer. • Be ready to communicate your position on the issue • Your goal is to inform and persuade • Do your homework – check background information on or about the elected official

  8. HOW TO DELIVER YOUR MESSAGE • Combine your message with personal stories to illustrate the importance of and to put a human face on an issue. • Connect your message to what is happening locally. • Highlight solutions and inform others of how they can help bring about a solution.

  9. Message Example – Fact Sheet • Be simple, brief, and straightforward • Do not get too detailed or too technical • Avoid medical jargon or acronyms • Generally just one page • Brief and simple statistics (demographics, data, e.g., injuries or fatalities) • Firm and persuasive, not confrontational or abrasive • Consider: Who is your opposition?

  10. Message Example – Letter to a Public Official • The timing of your communication can be important • Use the proper address heading and greetings • Be brief! Use your own words on your own letterhead • One page and one issue per letter – be courteous; have a clear presentation of your opinion; use your own experiences; include facts and example of how children benefit; state reasons for supporting/opposing • Offer your expertise -personal qualifications or request the elected official to visit your health care facility, institution or office • Include your contact information – address, phone number, email address, business card • Conclude by thanking elected official for his/her attention and offer to provide additional information and offer ongoing contact

  11. Message Example – Testimony • Can be technical; still needs examples • Recognize your experiences could be new to audience • You don’t have to know all of the details of the law • Legislators need to be reminded of a child advocacy perspective

  12. Message Example – Talking Points • Get to the point immediately • Should not be a “script” • Can contain lots of information because it’s not meant to be shared

  13. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES & INFORMATION • AAP Advocacy Guide ( • AAP Member Media Center ( • AAP Chapters ( • AAP Division of State Government Affairs ( • AAP Department of Federal Affairs ( • AAP Community Pediatrics Training Initiative (