Policy Communications Resources

The Policy Lab teaches communications skills that translate complex analysis into written, oral, and digital modes of assessment, action, and persuasion. A series of workshops introduce exercises in writing, speaking, and graphic design that refine students’ abilities to communicate complex policy ideas concisely and effectively for diverse audiences. Students learn the styles and genres of policy writing, including proposals, position papers, and briefing books, as well as variations of the short memo. With particular focus on the ethics of persuasion, students also gain insight on how competing constituencies and stakeholders may frame and communicate key ideas and values. In addition to writing and speaking skills, workshops also feature strategies for leveraging online and digital technologies on behalf of law and policy. Students learn techniques that will help them develop online policy presences, improve their use of graphic representations of complex data, and master the basics of op-ed and advocacy writing. The Policy Lab teaches the skills necessary to communicate complex policy assessments to elite decision makers and policy scholars and to translate those assessments in ethical, accessible terms for diverse non-professional and lay audiences.

Workshops are offered throughout the academic year upon request:

Writing Workshops

Media Relations Workshops

Public Speaking Workshops

  • “What’s Your Elevator Pitch?”
  • “Oral Briefings and Briefing Books”
  • “Presenting Your Work at a Professional Conference”
  • “The Art of the Ask: Strategies for Effective Fundraising”

Digital Communications Workshops

  • “Effective PowerPoint for Policy Briefings”
  • “Visualizing Data: Effective Graphics for Policy Briefings and Presentations”
  • “Using Twitter Effectively for Law and Policy”
  • “Storytelling with a Video Camera: Part I – Basic Principles”
  • “Writing and Maintaining a Policy Blog”
  • “Strategic Social Media Tools for Public Engagement on Policy Debates”

Advocacy Communications

  • “Framing for Politics and Policy”
  • “Persuasive Argument Through Psychological Heuristics”

Workshops are offered upon request throughout the academic year. Practicums may request workshops adapted to their specific needs. Students may also request workshops according to their needs and schedules. Please contact Lecturer Luciana Herman (lherman@stanford.edu) to schedule a workshop.