Founder and Principal of ASO Communications, Anat Shenker-Osorio has spent nearly a decade examining why certain messages falter where others deliver - with campaign wins around the globe to prove it. She's led the research for new messaging on issues ranging from freedom to join together in union to clean energy and from immigrant rights to reforming criminal justice.
Anat delivers her empirically-backed findings with hefty doses of humor at venues such as the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Centre for Australian Progress, Irish Migrant Centre, Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation and LUSH International.
Her writing and research has appeared in The Atlantic, Boston Globe, Salon, The Guardian and Grist among others.
The job of a good message isn't to say what's popular.
The job of a good message is to make popular what needs to be said.
Conventional wisdom says our messaging must "meet people where they are." But where they are is unacceptable. We must understand where they're capable of going - and how to use our words, images and stories to move them there. Applying tools from cognition and linguistics, with rigorous empirical testing, we uncover why certain political messages falter and provide tangible recommendations for what to say instead.
We keep telling the other side's story. Our campaigns are too often a "no" and a "don't." We rely on fear and anger, which do indeed trigger responses. But these emotions are reactive, not creative. To sustain long-term movements that win, we must shift from cataloging what we're resisting to painting a desirable portrait of the world we seek.
If your words don't spread, they don't work. An effective message motivates your base to persuade the middle. Progressive have assumed our base has nowhere else to go. They do - the couch. We need to get better at preaching to the choir, empowering them with the notes to sing. That's how we reach and keep a congregation.
Read the book New York Times Bestseller Van Jones declared "will fundamentally transform how we talk about the economy. This can't happen soon enough."
The Village Voice calls “Don’t Buy It,” “invaluable advice…[linguistic analysis] smartly applied to the failure of progressive writers and policy-makers to make a broad, compelling case against Tea Party deficit hawks.
Daily Kos hails it as “a great handbook.”
And Al-Jazeera declares “you cannot do better than to read ‘Don’t Buy It’!”