Finding Commonalities and Solutions With Decision-Makers

Choosing the Messenger & Strategy

Once you understand which archetypes might inform a decision-maker’s values and their decision-making style, integrate this insight into your power mapping to plan who you will meet with, how and when. The Pathways of Influence worksheet is a great place to tactically think through these things.

With this fuller picture about the elected official you want to engage with (and their representative landscape), consider who might be the best person to build a relationship and discourse with them. Is it you, a colleague or someone else? Think also about organizational partners who may already have a relationship with this person. It’s vital that you take time to prepare the best messenger, both in terms of effectiveness and safety, so your policy goals can continue moving forward.

Similarly, coalitions need to strategically determine which partner organizations will play which role. For example, who will clearly describe and/or name structural racism and call for change, even if it may not aid policy passage? Who will focus on the immediate policy goal while building a relationship that allows for deeper conversations around structural racism moving forward? What other strategies are needed across the coalition?

Resources about coalition decision-making and strategy are available here:

More about the value and importance of “choosing the messenger” can be found in the Preparing for Conversation portion of this guide. Technical Assistance is available for those interested in developing these strategic considerations.

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