Message Development

Messages matter, and they are not all created equally. However clever it sounds, the wrong message can undermine an organization’s success by cueing up ideas and frames that impede progress.

The same goes for storytelling. Everyone loves a great story, but the wrong story can work against your mission.

Using the latest techniques in message testing, opinion research, and media analysis, I help our clients develop action-oriented messages that persuade with both fact and emotion.

I have explored many major questions with clients:

  • Will provoking sympathy for the poor make people support anti-poverty programs, or make them question the reasons people are poor in the first place?
  • What do we say to engage Americans in supporting international development and family planning?
  • Why do some parents engage their children in arts activities? Is it to improve educational performance, or for fun?
  • What will make people more supportive of Social Security Disability Insurance – sympathy for others, or fear for their own security and safety?
  • Can we convince people that community colleges are “just as good or better than” four-year schools?
  • What messages work best in undermining support for the death penalty?

I have also researched major identity questions for our clients and uncovered barriers and opportunities that exist with their brands. For example, many organizational names, which made sense when they were originated, are confusing today. Sometimes the names need changing, or the clients need new logos and tag lines to clarify what they stand for.