Stories activate the core values and emotions that drive our beliefs. They help us make sense of facts, and ultimately guide how we understand and relate to the world around us. As Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman says, “The confidence individuals have in their beliefs depends mostly on the quality of the story they can tell about what they see, even if they see little.”
But not all stories are created equal, particularly when it comes to issue advocacy. While it’s true that good stories need resonant characters, research shows that which and how characters are presented play a major role in how the story influences public perceptions of policy issues. The following tip sheet offers guidance on how to tweak your campaign or organization’s storytelling approach so that it’s working for, not against you.