by Brad Fox
"Tell me a fact and I'll learn, tell me a truth and I'll believe, but tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever." – Ed Sabol
Political commentator, former portfolio manager, and CEO of Independent Women's Voice, Heather Higgins spoke at this years CPAC conference on the importance of messaging strategy in order to win hearts and minds.
"On the right, our strategists focus too much on talking to our base, with messages that may or may not be effective with other voters; in fact sometimes are counterproductive."
Democratic strategist's are always targeting the swing voters she says.
Ms. Higgins then tells us about the non-profit she runs, Independent Women's Forum uses business tactics to compose effective messaging strategies.
"Since IWV's mission is to expand our base, we do original research, message development, then test it in the real world, and make an investment decision about whether or not to deploy it."
Ms. Higgins puts it another way, obviously speaking to Republican strategists, "Use the right bait for the fish you want to catch, don't use the bait that is comfortable for you."
She mentions Jonathan Hadit's book, "The Righteous Mind", which taught her that often we (Conservatives) speak to values that resonate with at best 30% of the country, or worse talk about money which isn't a value, and fail to speak to those values compassion and fairness which nearly 100% of the country respond to."
Simen Sinek's book, "Start With Why," teaches us that Conservatives are leading with their products instead of their purpose which is, "No way to win and make a sale to anyone who isn't already a fan."
Welfare reform is the example she gives about how messaging strategy can play a major role in changing the way your message is encoded to help people see your ideas in a different, less negative light.
Instead of talking about cheating, fraud, and wasteful spending focus the facts on (What Charles Murray figured out) the fact that welfare is hurting people and trapping them in poverty. This changed the context from fighting against people and for money, to fighting for people having better lives.
Changing the way one encodes a message has a powerful impact on the perception of your ideas.