From “Climate Change” to “Damage to the Climate”

by Elaine Mejia on December 17, 2015 in December 2015 eNewsletter

climate changeThis recent article in Grist Magazine does a great job of summarizing the latest recommendations on how to talk about our warming planet. The report comes from a stellar communications research team that included Celinda Lake, Anat Shenker-Osorio and others we admire and look to for credible advice on talking about public issues.

Here’s how the article summarized the recommendations:

“Let’s Talk Climate” is very, very detailed, but not in an academic way. Mostly, it is a collection of handy “Dos and Don’ts” lists, which are full of opinions on what not to say to those you are trying to climate-educate (“climate change, climate crisis, climate risk, global warming”) and what you should say (“damage to the climate”).

Other rewordings to consider:

  • Stop it with “stop/mitigate/slow down climate change” talk. Instead, say things like “create healthy and safe communities” and “protect our families’ and children’s health.”
  • No more “renewable energy,” “green energy,” or “domestic energy.” Instead, try “locally made clean energy,” or the even more America-and-apple-pie version—“clean energy, made right at home.”
  • Cut out the talk about how doing something about climate change will make things better for you or the person who you are trying to persuade as individuals. It’s much more inspiring to say, “better for families, our children, and future generations.”


Talking Human Services

by Elaine Mejia on December 17, 2015 in Child Well-being

We know that many of our partners are working hard to help the public understand the importance of human services. To that end we highly recommend this new Message Memo from The Frameworks Institute. The memo characterizes the fundamental challenge … Continue reading

Webinar: Talking Race, Talking Place: The Relationship between Our Government, Our Communities, and Changing Our Racial Narratives

by Public Works on December 3, 2015 in December 2015 eNewsletter

In December 2015, Public Works hosted its most popular webinar to date.  In case you missed it, here’s your chance to watch a recording of it. You can also view the presentation slides here.  Later in the webinar, the presenters … Continue reading

Economic Security on Tumblr

by Public Works on September 28, 2015 in Making the Case

The Insight Center for Community and Economic Development is using tumblr to create and promote a new vision for economic security in America. Check it out! There are already numerous videos up of people finishing the sentence, “Economic security is…,” … Continue reading

Explicit Talk about Race

by Public Works on September 28, 2015 in Making the Case

The Center for Social Inclusion has an exciting new report out called “Let’s Talk about Race: How Racially Explicit Messaging Can Advance Equity.” That’s right—no more dancing around race because we’re afraid of alienating people or making them uncomfortable. CSI’s … Continue reading

Good Messaging about Education Funding

by Public Works on September 28, 2015 in Making the Case

Chandra Villanueva of the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Texas provides a great example of how to talk about public school finance. For example, she starts with the shared values of the people of Texas and how good schools … Continue reading

Advancing Equity in Washington State

by Public Works on July 28, 2015 in July 2015 eNewsletter

We have to give a shout out to our friends at the Washington Budget and Policy Center for this report, which lays out what lawmakers in the state of Washington can do to improve racial equity. The piece connects to … Continue reading