EXTRACT from an article by Michael D Jones and Deserai Crow, 30 July 2018
There can be little doubt people believe narratives are important and that crafting, manipulating, or influencing them likely shapes public policy. But how does one actually do this?
When people talk about policy, they are often actually talking about “the narrative”. For example, a quick Google search at the time of writing this blog found advice for getting in front of the narrative regarding social justice, a depiction of conflict vying to control a foreign policy narrative, and a plea to reclaim the male gender narrative, to name just a few hits returned from our query. There can be little doubt then that people think narratives are important and that crafting, manipulating, or influencing them likely shapes public policy. But how does one actually do this?
Narrative as your tool for policy change
For any policy issue there are a lot of facts, and relationships between evidence, people, or institutions (e.g. police, schools, governments) that make the issue complex. Given the complexity, not everything is talked about at the same time. Facts are selectively configured in plausible ways.
Shaping the narrative: five easy steps:
- Tell the story
- Set the stage
- Establish the plot
- Cast the characters
- State the moral
SOURCE: Jones, Michael J. and Crow, Deserai. “Mastering the Art of the Narrative: Using stories to shape public policy.” The Mandarin,
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia