GOP Candidates and Political Activists Must Embrace Messaging Experts Like Melanie Sturm

The Democrats are far better at messaging than Republicans, primarily because they know how to communicate using compassion-framed arguments and stories that emotionally resonate with people across the political spectrum. It's natural for Democrats to wax compassionate since they tend to be moved by emotional appeals. Republicans miss that sweet spot by sticking to facts and logic, which the average person often tunes out as dull. 

Fixing our messaging should be a high priority, but sadly it isn't. There's usually no one talking to political candidates about their messaging except their campaign consultants, and they have too many areas to cover — including getting sidelined crafting messaging to deal with bad publicity. Hence, winning messaging is a low priority receiving minimal attention. 

Enter Engage to Win communications expert Melanie Sturm. Known as "the Win Coach," she gives talks on how to messaging persuasively. She got started by writing a column for The Aspen Times called "Think Again, You Might Change Your Mind." Adopting a persuasive writing style different from standard op-eds, her column not only became the most popular, but people didn't perceive her as ideological. Having learned how to be readable in the blue town of Aspen, she teaches others to be hearable – or as her son jokes, to sound like Democrats.

Sturm said the goal of political speech should be to simultaneously "appeal to persuadables," avoid giving "hostiles" ammunition to use against us and unite "friendlies" on the right. She said that in order to enact our morally superior ideas, we need to diffuse polarization with messaging that brings people to common ground. We do that by showing how bad ideas hurt people and are unfair and uncompassionate, and how our good ideas help people and are fair and compassionate. 

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