PRAC Communication Strategy Workshop a success!

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We’re looking out our window and the day is sunny, warm and full of people on the streets! With such awesome energy it feels like it’s time to get to work and start busting some myths!

In order to keep this energy and build on the momentum from our PRAC meeting and Communications Strategy workshop this week, we’d like to share the discussion we had, so that we can start building a bit of a work plan for getting the campaign off the ground at our next PRAC meeting.

Hope you all are doing great, and please let us know if you have any ideas or comments.

Trish and Gil

Notes from PRAC’s Communications Strategy Workshop
April 30, 2014

We had a packed house at the CCPA board room, with close to 20 people (both from PRAC and new faces) who were keen to learn about communications and had interest in issues of poverty and social justice. Lindsey gave an excellent overview of the steps needed (and the many questions that need answers!) to make sure ideas can be easily understood and actions can be effectively attached to the message in order to achieve the campaign’s goals. Here are Lindsey’s slides, which she kindly agreed to share with all of us. Don’t forget to check out her website as well, where the slides are also available, plus other resources.

For the second part of the workshop we used the Poverty Myth Busters campaign as a way to get people to use the many ideas and steps that Lindsey explained in her presentation (and to help PRAC refine their ideas too!). From that discussion, TONS of great suggestions were offered about how to hone the messages and possible scenarios & images for the Poverty Myth Busters campaign. Here’s a quick run-down of the ideas that came up:

  • To use a tag line such as “I want to get a job that respects me as a single mother. Will you hire me?”
  • To make a split-screen video where two single mothers are going about their daily lives, one is poor and the other is wealthy, and show the many different “choices” and responsibilities that each have. The two stories eventually come together in a moment when the two mother meet (at the market, on the street, etc.) and some judgement or acknowledgement occurs between them, and then they go about their separate lives again.
  • To use a tag line such as “poverty lasts more than a lifetime” to show that this situation also affects children.
  • That we can focus on the idea that poverty is related to the choices people have made, in order to challenge this myth.
  • We could use a scenario of two single mothers running on a track, but one has a clear path while the other needs to get around many obstacles and/or hurdles.
  • To highlight the fact that motherhood is an unpaid job!
  • To use a question for a tag line such as “Does having a job make me a better mother?”
  • To use a scenario where a single mother has to choose between two mutually-exclusive options: 1. Being a good mother, or 2. Being a good employee.
  • To use infographics
  • To make a poster of a decision tree or flow chart where a single mother has to “make choices” in order to “make it” or reach “success”, and see how none of the choices lead there, or there are unsurmountable obstacles to do so.
  • To use the idea of the phrase “stuck between a rock and a hard place” and have fun with it by surrounding a single mother between a rock and a tornado, a mudslide, etc.
  • To try to find a way to switch the stigma or being a “single mother” into an “award” by framing it as being a super hero (perhaps the mother having her super hero outfit in her closet, etc.)
  • To frame the issue around a question such as “How is it possible that X number of women living in poverty is due to the decisions they’ve made?”
  • To use the numbers and statistics (e.g. almost 1 in 2 single mothers are living in poverty in BC)

Phew! Tons of incredible ideas huh? Another interesting idea is this article from Mother Jones that we just found today, which is -amazingly enough- titled “10 poverty myths, busted”!