Entries by Topos Partnership

Two Narrative Strategies for Engaging on Race

As daunting as the challenges are, committed communicators across the country are working hard to address racism in order to create progress. A number of researchers, scholars and practitioners around the country have done great work identifying helpful strategies for different objectives. To this body of work, Topos is adding two additional research-based approaches designed […]

Making the Case for Federal Aid to the States

House Democrats’ HEROES Act proposal puts state fiscal relief in the spotlight. This document is intended to serve as a brief primer on how to make the case for federal aid. We are grateful to our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for providing expertise and insights to inform this primer. Lesson […]

Critiquing Without Undermining

How to critique government without inadvertently undermining its importance, an especially crucial lesson now when the federal government is run by an Administration that is dismantling our democratic institutions.

Empowering Perspectives

An interesting tweet caught our attention: “If we view ourselves as besieged victims who need to go into hiding, then we will cultivate fear and hoarding. If we view ourselves as a community working hard to protect the most vulnerable among us, then we will cultivate courage and helping. Mindset matters.” This perspective strikes us […]

Will COVID-19 Kill Trickle-Down Economics?

Trickle down…Bootstraps…these flawed mental models of the economy – most often used by those speaking from a conservative point of view – might, at long last, show signs of weakness, providing an opening for progressive models of the economy. Communicators can use this quick review of economic models to win arguments for progressive economic policies […]

Health Policy Lesson: Manage the Inevitable

Eat healthy. Exercise. Wash your hands. We have learned a lot of lessons about health and healthcare, and are learning new lessons now from the current crisis. But many of these lessons still feed into the deeply entrenched American assumption that health outcomes are all about the decisions we make as individuals. The current moment […]

Voting Rights: Full Participation

Voting rights advocates are moving quickly to advance a range of reforms that will protect and improve voting rights in light of COVID-19. As the specific policy agenda is taking shape, Topos research provides guidance in how to think about the narrative challenge. While the pandemic should be reason enough to enact pro-voter policies, forces […]

Storytelling in the COVID-19 Moment

Right now there’s lots of great advice about messaging in light of COVID-19 and about how to transform engagement strategies with social distancing in mind. In addition to these critical needs, there is an additional, overlooked need that we, progressive leaders, need to take on. NOW. We need stories that teach truth, create civic engagement, […]

Protecting Public Water: A Public Will Initiative Case Study

“Privatization of our water systems is a threat to democracy and the common good. Topos Partnership understands that and created tools for advocates to fight off attempts by private interests to take control of our water and to advance the larger ideals and values of the public good.” ~ Donald Cohen, Executive Director, In The […]

Framing Science Brief 2: Metaphors

Metaphors can be indispensable tools for conveying complex or abstract ideas in simple, vivid and sticky ways. This Framing Science Brief discusses the power of metaphorical language and imagery, and the challenge of getting it right. Read and download it here.