Whether you will work in government, in an NGO, a political party, on parliamentary staff or at a think tank – you will always strive to put forward public policy ideas. Public policy ideas, however, can only really succeed when their goals get recognised and understood by the public. Therefore, they need to be explained clearly to the news media. To that end, policymakers should package their ideas into one of the two main products that can be processed by journalists and editors: The press release and the article. The press release is written like an objective, factual report highlighting the new aspects of the policy idea and putting it into the larger political context. The article (often referred to as an Op-Ed) gives a strong, well-argued opinion about the policy idea and is supposed to be published under the name of the policymaker - be it in the New York Times or at huffingtonpost.com.
Of course, offering these two products to the media does not guarantee that they will cover your work or that your policy idea will be readily embraced by the public. It does, however, give you a fair chance of making your voice heard. Hence, everyone working in public policy should be confident in structuring their thoughts like this and in writing them down in an easy-to-comprehend fashion. To prepare you for this, the course will teach you the basic techniques of these two types of texts. At the same time, it aims to help you sharpen your writing skills overall. Ultimately, this course should also strengthen your sense of developing storylines and narratives that resonate with the public.
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