Session 3

Session Three

Shifting Public Opinion Through Strategic Messaging and Metaphors

Framing your points to create powerful associations.

Defining problems and solutions in empirically-tested ways that break through to people.

Spreading your message through activating the base, persuading the middle, and distancing the intractable opposition.

How to create messages that resonate where others flounder: Communications expert Anat Shenker-Orosio will focus on concrete skills to build strategic messaging within and among groups, using framing and metaphors to activate your base, persuade the persuadables, and minimize the impact of those who will never agree. By using interactive examples of messaging in political and issue-based campaigns, she will show us how these skills and strategies can most effectively change the conversation and public perception around progressive issue campaigns and goals.

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The Speaker: Anat Shenker-Osorio

Anat Shenker-Osorio is a communications expert, researcher and political pundit whose one-of-a-kind work is challenging the way dozens of organizations and political figures talk about the pressing issues of our time.  She’s the author of the acclaimed book “Don’t Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense About the Economy.”


As a strategic communications consultant, she has conducted multiple studies on how people reason about people seeking asylum, damage to the climate, education, economic justice, immigrants and women’s rights. Past and present clients that have relied on her research to diagnose what’s not working in their messaging and to provide fresh new approaches include: the Ford Foundation, Demos, Jobs with Justice, Ms Foundation, Open Society Foundations, the Centre for Australian Progress, Congressional Progressive Caucus, Caring Across Generations and the AFL-CIO, to name a few.


Always packing some snark, Anat communicates her insights with the kind of practical communications savvy that translates the latest academic findings into practical advice for activists. Anat’s writing and research has appeared in The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Salon, Boston Globe and the Christian Science Monitor, among other publications. She is currently an Open Society Fellow and serves on the board of the Courage Campaign.