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Messaging This Moment: A Handbook for progressive communicators

by Center for Community Change

Published | August 2017

Building narratives


Messaging This Moment: A Handbook for progressive communicators provides a step-by-step strategy to shift from a problem- to a values-oriented narrative. It highlights the importance of a positive communications strategy for civil society actors to achieve better outcomes.

Why read

This handbook is inspired by the multiple examples of values-oriented narratives and guides to change the narratives of organisations which before oriented on problems.


This handbook is the culmination of a set of trainings, technical support and coaching for a talented array of communications professionals across the progressive landscape. It mentions eight steps how to become a progressive communicator that shifts from a negative, problem oriented to a positive, values-oriented narrative.

Thus, it gives various examples on setting new, positive communications compared to negative illustrations of problems. Key points are to focus on values, not problems, to bring people and their stories into the frame and to create something good instead of just reducing something bad.

It is strongly focused on the United States and provides sample narratives on different social topics, like children, immigration, health care, and gender as well as examples of effective narratives that are already in use.

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