Research by Topic

Messaging Research

Quality, effective communication is a key to making the Northwest a sustainable role model for the globe. Sightline provides messaging tips to policymakers, thought leaders, and engaged citizens to make sure our words have weight. Our researchers comb through polls, books, and research to distill the best practices for strategic communications, available here. Learn more about Sightline’s strategic communications program.

In addition to the memos and reports below, Sightline also provides free monthly emails–Flashcards–devoted to messaging tips. Subscribe and read past issues of Sightline Flashcards.

Channel Surfing: An Online Writing Guide

Tips for maximizing your blog, email, and social media.

ZeRo 'SKiLL, flickr

In today’s rapid-fire digital landscape, it’s not unusual to find ourselves writing for a bunch of different platforms—websites, blogs, emails, Facebook, Twitter, and others—during any given day (or hour). To save time, we take shortcuts. When we hastily copy and paste, we often miss opportunities to expand our audience and boost the impact of our work. Read more »

Talking Points: Reframing “Big Business”

Skyscrapers and clouds

The term “big business” works as a sledgehammer, when what’s often needed is a more refined tool—if not a scalpel, then perhaps a carving knife. The task for progressive communicators, then,
is to identify powerful language that evokes the negatives behind the “big business” frame, without reinforcing the (false) idea that all business is bad business. Read more »

Green Jobs Messaging Guide

There’s work to be done to counteract lingering skepticism and ensure that the buzz about green jobs is perceived as more than mere hype. By analyzing news media coverage of green collar jobs in 2009, we identify best practices as well as the biggest messaging opportunities moving forward. Read more »

Conversations about Climate

Engaging teachers and policymakers through photography and narrative.

Photovoice is a technique where people are given cameras and asked to capture images of events, problems, or concerns in their community in ways that can encourage dialog and change. With the support of the Sightline Institute and theWalterChapinSimpsonCenterfor the Humanities we conducted a Photovoice project in September 2008 involving local K-12 schoolteachers and environmental professionals. Read more »

Messaging Checklist: Energy Policy

Roller Coaster Making a Loop

Whatever stock you do (or don’t) put in public opinion polling, it can serve as a good gauge of progress on certain issues or ideas over time. The good news is that the American public’s concern about climate change and desire for action is strong. Polling data can also serve as a gauge of the public’s open-mindedness to policies and ideas and help us communicate in terms that most effectively resonate with their thinking. Sightline has studied polling trends related to energy policy, and reports on some of the most powerful messaging implications we can draw from them. For example, … Read more »

Talking Points on Climate Fairness

Family smiling at baby

As we speak, climate policy is being written–nationally and locally. It’s imperative that we make sure policy is fair and works for everybody. Sightline offers tips for winning the debate on climate fairness and the economic benefits and opportunities in smart energy policy. Read more »