It’s not hard to preach to the choir. Or to mount an argument so agreeable that it won’t offend or challenge anyone. The business of wide-scale change-making affords us neither of these luxuries. Since you’re reading this, let’s assume it’s your job to reach the masses and challenge the status quo. Welcome to fiery opposition hitting you from both sides of the divide.
The more polarizing a topic, the more ‘common ground’ techniques will help you reach the fringes of your audience and keep your message (rather than distracting debates) at the centre of attention. Give up now if your aim is to satisfy everyone. (You can’t. But maybe, you can get close).
The idea is simple: find the intersection of what different factions care about. Frame your message around that.
Let’s put these principles to the test. Here are three scenarios where common ground theory can help make messaging more impactful and inclusive:
When it comes to sensitive topics, broadcast audiences are like tinderboxes. Segmentation can help navigate some polarized territories. But it’s no fail-safe. Common ground messaging can help maximize audience reach, minimize triggers and distracting debates, and keep your supporters focussed on effective action.
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