Annie Neimand Comments on How to Craft a Message for Positive Change
Annie Neimand, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Center for Public Interest Communications research director, is featured in “How to Build a Transformative Narrative” published in the Canadian magazine Raccords on Sept. 9.
Neimand offers tips on how social-impact organizations can engage stakeholders to move them into action and attain objectives. They include defining your audience and tailoring the message directly to them, using visual language and emotion with intention, providing clear calls to action and building better stories.
According to Neiman, “Research tells us that when we’re emotionally invested in a great story, it can change us and drive us to take action. Yet even a really great story won’t create meaningful social change if it’s not paired with a smart strategy. People will say, ‘That was a great story. Wow! What do we do now?’”
She suggests focusing on the specific change you want and how you want the target audience to react, narrowing your scope of impact to a specific person or group that you want to communicate to, speaking to their beliefs and what will motivate them to react, and on how can you get their attention.
“We should all work collectively, as movements, to shift the narrative environment of communities. When we do that, the culture of those communities, their norms and their policies, will begin to change,” Neimand said.