Case Studies, Tips & Examples

Telling an Affirmative Story

We’re all faced with misleading, inaccurate, and untruthful statements about our issues. And we certainly can’t allow misinformation to go unchallenged. But the best way to counter false information is to tell our affirmative story in ways that overcome the other side’s falsehoods. By contrast, we should avoid myth-busting, or restating the false argument and then explaining why it’s wrong. Research and experience show that this only results in deepening the myth in our audiences’ minds. The better approach is to proactively tell our own story.

Instead of:

There’s a myth that affirmative action results in unqualified students being admitted to schools they’re not prepared for, but let me explain why that’s just a myth.

Try:

Affirmative action helps to maintain visibly open pathways to opportunity for well-qualified students from a range of backgrounds. We know it works, because of the improved success of all students who’ve benefitted from diverse classrooms and campuses.

Instead of:

Myth: Immigrants don’t pay taxes. Fact: All immigrants pay taxes, whether income, property, sales, or other.

Try:

Immigrants are significant contributors to our economy, both as consumers and taxpayers, through sales, property, income, and other taxes.