This section introduces the second step of the “Five Ds” Strategic Communications Framework: the Design stage, where basically we want to develop a message. There are various levels to think of when developing such message:
- Attributes (the elements of the reform);
- Issue benefits;
- Personal consequences (what will the consequences of the issue be for me?);
- Values – they are universal and core to people’s behavior.
The section also looks at and conducts an exercise about the Message Box, which helps to “keep tabs” on potential challenges with opponents and do a periodic “pulse check” on what messages are being sent about the reform — it also identifies what supporters and opponents are saying about each other. Other techniques on how to develop a single message, factors to consider and how to create equity to offset costs are introduced.