Level Up Your Strategic Communications Skills!

Have you noticed that our ROPnets often start with values or a positive vision for our communities? Do you ever scroll past email alerts and mass texts telling you for the 15th time today that the world is falling apart? 

In just four weeks, the Rural Caucus and Strategy Session is happening in Woodburn (Saturday, April 6th), and we want your team there! Register today and read on for more details on the communications trainings you can be part of at the Caucus this year. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for information on registration costs, scholarships, COVID-19 safety, accessibility, and more!

Join ROP’s long-time friend and progressive communications extraordinaire Robert Bray for a values-based messaging training and a spokesperson skills workshop for the second year in a row! Robert has worked as the Director of Communications for many movement organizations, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in the 90s, which is how he got to know ROP and our late founder, Marcy Westerling.

Below you will find stories of the impact that his last Caucus trainings had across Oregon in the past year. You can listen to these stories on SoundCloud (only available in English), or read the full transcripts below!

Salah Miller (he/they), Stop the Sweeps, Benton County:

“I’ve been involved in mutual aid and housing justice policy for the past three years… So I have these experiences [of supporting unhoused members survive forced removal], but I really struggled sharing them in city council testimony for a year or so. The city council was hearing me, but they weren’t listening every time I gave testimony.I had made myself so palatable in a way that they weren’t taking the issue seriously anymore. 

Now, I’m using that fire to speak succinctly and with understanding and passion. And so every time the city manager always has something he feels he has to respond to. 

The push to stop the sweeps is growing in Corvallis. And I think if we have more folks speaking with that same passion and fire for housing justice that hopefully you’ll learn at this training [at the Caucus] and follow my footsteps that we will be unstoppable!”

Listen to Salah’s entire testimonial from our fall training series here.

Finn Franklin (he/they), I Affirm Coalition, Josephine County

“One day [a few years back] we found out that a former friend of our family made a very long and loud Facebook post on a central community group. That is where we got a lot of local news from. And this post was very directly attacking my parents and accusing them of forcing me to be transgender and accusing them of molesting me and just really terrible accusations. At first, the response was a lot of shock. And then there were some people in the community who are like, wait, what if he’s right? And it took a lot of people actively debunking that information and actively speaking for my family in a very public way. And now a couple of years later, that doesn’t come up at all because there was that really effective response where a lot of people spoke clearly and strongly about the truth.

One of the most vital things I think around messaging and organizing is giving you the agency to make changes for people in your life…When you actively fight misinformation, you’re not only doing something good in that moment, you’re helping prevent a terrible snowball of mistreatment from continuing rolling, and that’s really valuable…

When you’re like, ‘I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go.’ You can just foster that skill in yourself and learn and listen and when it does happen, you go, ‘Now I know what to say when people say this.’”

Listen to Finn’s entire testimonial from our fall training series here.

Antonio Gisbert (he/him), Oregon People’s Rebate, Statewide:

“I personally do economic justice work mostly, and a few months ago, I participated in Robert’s VPSA [Values, Problem, Solution, Action] training at the ROP caucus. The following week, I had a really important presentation, and while preparing for it, I said to myself, well, why don’t I just like stop what I’ve been doing for years and start from scratch using values-based messaging?

Why not? What could possibly go wrong? And so I did. And, you know, I am super thankful that I did because it went extremely well, and every time that I use values-based messaging, it sort of seems to get better and better.

Honestly, now, whenever I present to a group, say, they give me 20 minutes to speak, I’m talking about our values for about 15 minutes, and just the last five minutes of the 20 minutes is the actual policy details.

Our values are what drive us to seek to make the change in the world and society that we want to see, right? And when the values drive, the policy details are sort of obvious and just kind of flow out of our values just very naturally.”

Listen to Antonio’s entire testimonial from our fall training series here.

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