Why do Democrats suck at messaging?
It's a question whined about millions of times. We're not here for more whining.
I've been exploring the activist world that is trying to improve progressive communications for ten years now: and we're almost there. The pieces have been built. Communication experts are already out there — people who are really good at teaching you heart-opening and community-binding techniques that let you slowly change votes. Social media algorithms and election cycles make it hard to bring those pieces together. Every politician or communications webinar is fighting for short-term attention, no one is bringing the pieces together. Scaling Progressive Communications intends to fix that.
We're here to figure out how folks adjacent to the Democrats could get better at messaging, using resources that already exist plus what a few volunteers can build into a working prototype.
1. Gather existing communication experts. They are out there. Our job is to create a syllabus of the resources.
2. Create issue-by-issue guides. Our job is to run a Zoom for the experts, one issue at a time. Then polish their advice for each issue, and get it out to groups like MoveOn and Indivisible. Create a mailing list of people who care about messaging, who care about actually changing minds.
Algorithms today mean that all the communication experts are fighting for the same audience. We can play the editors and publishers, and switch that to cooperation.
Once we get started, once there are half dozen people lightly involved plus the folks already running webinars and trainings, this whole project will be much easier to see and describe. Once it is clear what can be done, more hands and funding will help us scale. Want to be one of the founders who pulls a new reality out of the current whining?
Take a look at the video introduction or below for more details — and send me feedback and questions, this is all a first draft. Help me make a less nerdy version, or get started!
Gather existing communication experts — the "roots" in the image below — to regularly talk to each other and combine ideas into high quality suggestions, issue by issue. Volunteers at Scaling Communication for Progressives will index the webinars and techniques from a variety of experts.
People seeking to improve political communication skills can use this ready-to-consume content — the "fruit" of the tree. This might include advice on framing, listening, resources, and questions you might post to start better conversations. The hope is that something recommended by the experts works for someone, and afterwards they get curious enough to listen to a webinar or take a training. Instead of being asked up front to learn new communication skills, people will witness successes using the prepared content, and then get curious about what worked for them.
Activists act as gardeners: Promote those suggestions where millions of progressives will see them in progressive social media communities. , and see links back to the trainings materials of the experts, over and over.
Think this needs to happen? Pick one small piece you'd like to work on, and join us.
This is the first draft map for the people who want to set up the garden others can plant seeds in. This could transform a lot of the struggles progressives complain about it. If not you, who?