Element Descriptor

Being able to give a succinct, vivid summation of your crucial campaigning point(s) isn’t a lack of authenticity, it’s an expression of competence. Not being able to do this means you will be regarded as irrelevant and/or Quixotic

Level descriptors

You can, with preparation and someone to bounce it off, come up with an entirely servicable short quote to give to a journalist (via email or pre-booked phone call) that they can use in a story (or even a headline!)You can give, in a face-to-face interview on a topic you know a lot about/with a little forethought given, a vivid soundbite that the journalist can’t resist using for their hook.You can give a perfectly phrased, inflammatory but non-libellous soundbite in the immediate aftermath of a confusing/depressing/irritating event (meeting, protest etc)You can give a perfectly phrased inflammatory but non-libellous soundbite while dodging batons and teargas

Element Overview Essay

This is a draft. If something doesn’t make sense, or you see typos, or if you have further ideas, please email us on contact@activecitizenshiptoolkit.net

The reason the most non hierarchical, small social movement organisations are bad at soundbite is that either they’ve not received any training or understanding in them or they think that these are somehow inauthentic and demeaning. There’s an argument about the latter

The consequences are that you don’t get to give sound bites. Your group doesn’t get phoned up by journalists because when they do phoned you up instead of getting the 20 word soundbite that they want, they get a 15 page disquisition which is of no use to them. 

What is to be done? Get better giving soundbites. practice them. Figure out what the rhythms are. Prepare some knock them around with the other people in your core group come up with consistent zingers and be willing and able to share them with journalists either via Twitter, or direct message or email or on the phone. 

Perhaps have a comedy contest “Whose Line is it Anyway” around this…

Development Resources

Assessment Resources