Messages must be value-based, not simply economic. The easy go-to message is about economics. And easy won’t work.
When your leading message is economic - jobs and revenue - you end up being on par with the old tobacco's industry best claim. And you don’t want to be in that position.
While economics will not attract supporters, it will motivate them to act and stay with you once they make the step to support. Most will not sell out the environment for the economy in today's marketplace, yet once they see the benefits beyond economics they join and talk economics (value-based messages unleash the economic message to work).
Keystone is instructive, as they did it just the opposite. They started off with economics and eventually got to productive value-based messages, however, their opening message was about jobs and that is how Keystone remained branded in the public.
The debate throughout the Obama administration was a relatively small number of jobs (on a national basis) verse the potential environmental issues. First impressions last.
A value-based message means we match our strengths with what the public cares about.
Six out of ten Americans like natural gas, our most common answer to why are - “because it is natural.” No lie. Locals also get it - they tell us it's cheaper and cleaner than oil and its cleaner than coal.
Residents like that natural gas make renewables work when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. So we show them that simple chart. (If you don’t know what we refer to let us know and we will email to you.)
Introduce natural gas as a contrast to current fuels and then illustrate how it makes more renewable work.
For clean, they get it when they realize they use it to cook right in their own homes. Show the comparison to other fuels and natural gas - pretty simple chart.
Create a value-based message - meet others where they are and then transition to economics.
Learn more about Public Engagement by watching our video.