What are the best resources to learn political communications skills?
June 23, 2015 3:15 PM   Subscribe

I am starting a job doing social justice organizing and I will be doing a substantial amount of communications work, including drafting emails, updating website content, designing newsletters and flyers, and using social media (twitter and facebook). What are the best resources to improve my skills in these areas?

I have past work experience in these areas, but it hasn't been as much of a focus as it is now. Some of the issues I will be working on are affordable housing and paid sick leave, with a variety of other progressive issues at the municipal and state level.

I'm interested in resources to improve my technical skills as well as my issue area specific abilities.

What are the best resources to learn best practices for Photoshop, InDesign, social media platforms, email newsletters, website content, etc.?

I am currently using a free trial at www.lynda.com, and I am planning to purchase a subscription, unless there is a better option.

Beyond building up my technical skills, I am wondering about any suggestions specifically focused on language and content for liberal/political organizing. While it is easy to find a Photoshop guide that explains technically how to make a text/photo meme, what are the best resources that explain how to make one that will resonate with people and is more likely to be shared online?

Are there any good resources that explain how to draft an email to recruit volunteers/interns? Or to write content for a webpage that will lead people to sign up for future email updates?

I have done this work in the past, but I am largely self taught, and I am looking for resources on best practices to improve my skills. I am open to paying if there are not good free options.

I would appreciate any tips to improve my technical skills and my issue specific skills for progressive organizing communications work.
posted by davidstandaford to Technology (2 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I can't link right now, but this is what the New Organizing Institute is for. They have tons of resources on their website and also do trainings periodically.

There are also some good email list serves to subscribe to. Memail me for info on those.
posted by lunasol at 6:12 AM on June 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

Hmm. Well, when you speak of recruiting emails or sign up pages, you're talking about a call to action (getting people to commit to signing an e-petition, making a donation, or subscribing to an email list).

You should poke around some of the websites of progressive fundraising/political consulting firms because they sometimes share tips. Here's Mal Warwick & Associates -- they specialize in fundraising, but getting folks to take that first step in engagement is really important. Barack Obama's online organization was famous for testing and retesting their message. Here's a blog post about civic tech organizing from earlier this year.

Meme stuff -- that's really hard to do. Well, it's ridiculously easy to do (there are all sorts of online meme generators) but getting anything to go viral (which I assume is your hope) is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. I would go to Facebook and Twitter and see what your peers are sharing. I see Occupy Democrats gets shared a lot.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:53 PM on June 24, 2015

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