We are talking effective communication for the new gun rights activist. The struggle is real and you can win this thing if you are properly prepared to do battle. The opportunity to make a difference can come at any time and I want to share some stuff I have learned over the years about communicating. The USCCA is having a three day expo next week and I got a chance to snag my friend Tim Schmidt for an interview. http://uscca.blackmanwithagun.com to join up. Michael J. Woodland has a commentary about the attack on the Second Amendment. Atty. Andrew Branca is back with a Law of Self Defense tip and story of the week.
Pro-rights people are under attack every day. We are demonized, vilified, and maligned by people that get their point across more effectively than we do. Communicating effectively is more important than talking. The facts can get lost in the presentation. I want to share with you how to say the right thing at the right time. Communicating is secret sauce of life.
There are a lot of smart people that are not great communicators. If you can communicate with others, the opposite sex, other folks in our community or when you get the opportunity to speak against gun control, effectively it makes a difference. The newest tool of the anti-gun movement has been children. The only thing more precious might be your pets.
So what do you do? For many of us it is to counter-protest. The media will be selective and chose someone from our side that they can ridicule or discredit if possible. You won’t get chosen to speak if you are wearing a suit, clean shaven and not wearing a baseball hat. If they don’t have a choice they may still give you some camera time but edit what you say. You speak for 30 minutes and they put .30 seconds of that on the air.
I’ve been doing this since 1991 and would like to give you some tips. In addition to that I just so happened to get a copy of the anti-gunner playbook that I will gladly share with you if you ask. It’s an 80 page PDF I’ll exchange for a working email address from you. I am trying to grow an email list of leaders in our community so if you want a free copy, click here
Context is king for communication.
It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to. — Jean-Luc Godard
Context helps you listen. Think of context as anticipating your reader’s questions, and answering them. Get into their heads and hearts: You need to really understand how and when your messages are going to be in front of your audience and what they are thinking and feeling in that moment. Every word you use or visual you include is filtered through their state of mind at that moment. Some of you call that “emotion.” Don’t ever ignore the context of how, where and when your communication will fall into the audience’s day.
A Consistent Message
It’s where, how, when, and to whom, and how often you say it. For the pro-gun community, we have facts on our side but often lack the power of persuasion. We need to be as relentless as our opponents. If your message actually matters, then surely the time, place and tone you say it will matter equally.
Your communication requires a high level of accuracy in reporting information. Characteristics of effective interviews in media include clear dates, facts, resources and schedules that should be double-checked for completeness and clarity. Effective messages are also free of jargon, and slang.
For example, the reporter says: What is your response to the fact that more children are shot and killed in the US than anywhere in the industrialized world?
YOU say passionately that I heard that too but I know it’s not true, did you know that criminals are included? Yeah according to the CDC, over half of all homicides of victims aged 15-19 are gang-related. The same study found that gang-related homicides are more likely to involve firearms than those that are not (95% versus 69%).
Effective messages include a clear purpose to inform, persuade or collaborate with the intended audience. The message should be designed according to the audience’s level of understanding, potential reaction and relationship with the composer. Generally, it’s best to include only one main idea in each message, unless there are closely related issues that must be addressed together. Having a clear purpose in mind for this communication will also help determine the medium used to deliver the message.
Prepare at least three solid points for when the reporter sticks a microphone into your face or attaches you a lapel mic. Knowing that you will be edited, keep your message succinct, know that the camera is rolling if you are in their presence. Nothing is off camera for you. If the question is off base deliver your points, regardless of what was asked. If they want to use your sound byte give them the complete message of what you prepared. For example, the reporter says,
Thank you for agreeing to speak with us. What do you have to say in response to the uniquely destructive role that the NRA plays in America?
You respond with a smile, and say, I’m not sure where you get your facts but as a good neighbor, an active recreational and competition shooter I know that though the number of firearms owned by private citizens has been increasing steadily since 1970, and that the overall rate of homicides and suicides has not risen.
The most effective messages are short, engaging and to the point. Figure out how to provide infotainment. Don’t deliver or respond to the sound bite the same dry, I know more than you, you are an idiot look. Look at Wayne LaPierre, don’t be him. There is only one Wayne. You be you. To be effective your communication should include a bit of creativity but not buffoonery.
Overall, and more important than the truth here is getting your message across. The other side knows this. That is why they are pimping kid victims and indoctrinating them with the PDF I want to share with you.
Socialist youth are made not born. – Kenn Blanchard
Draw attention to their ridiculousness of their claims. Illustrate it, tell a story, everyone, even the ignorant care about personal safety. Frame your response so you don’t look like a smarty pants, know it all but a concerned responsible father, brother, mother, sister. Be self-deprecating if possible, appeal to the audience not the reporter or speaker. Be as emotional as you have to be to be true to you. You know this stuff matters. You know the truth. I am not saying you have to go for it like a Pentecostal preacher but …
I want the truth… you can’t handle the truth.
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