Strategic Advocacy for Public Media

As the entire media environment has undergone dramatic disruption in just the last few years, the role and value of public service media (PSM) has come under the microscope. Since PSM derives most, if not all, of its funding from public sources allocated by politicians, there is an urgent need to strengthen the ability to influence civil society to sustain and grow PSM.

Advocacy is the art of persuading those with power to act in a new way. This Master Class will be structured around the 4 key advocacy skills, each with a theoretical discussion of ideas and techniques, culminating in a practical exercise and group critique. Professionals will be introduced to the best in current advocacy methods, with reference to key theoretical texts and case studies, and will put these methods to work right away.

Lex Paulson will drive the Master Class. He has worked as an attorney, professor, writer, and political strategist, including for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 campaign, and global projects for UNICEF, the U.S. State Department, and the National Democratic Institute.

Who it's for

Directors and executives in charge of:

  • Communication
  • Strategy
  • Marketing

Course objectives

  • Meet the challenges facing PSM today – global players, dramatic consumption changes, lack of trust for institutions – and learn how to prioritize them.
  • Analyse stakeholders’ views, ideas and criticisms (political parties, civil society, industry, audience, etc.)
  • Use the knowledge to devise new attitudes and strategies and help to define a clear message about their existence and role
  • Equip senior PSM leaders with the tools and frameworks of strategic advocacy to enable them to communicate their value proposition effectively.


Day 1: 14.00 – 18.00
Day 2: 9.00 – 18.00
Day 3: 9.00 – 12.00

Content outline

5 February, afternoon

Key skill #1: Public narrative

  • Theory: the cognitive science behind effective storytelling; discussion of the narrative framework developed by Harvard professor Marshall Ganz: how to tell an effective “story of self,” “story of us,” and “story of now”.

  • Exercise: Scenario role‐play in which each participant develops the “three stories” that best encapsulate the identity and challenges of his or her organization.

6 February

Key skill #2: Power analysis

  • Theory: the roots of power analysis theory in the Greek historian Polybius and his “powermapping” of the Roman Republic; contemporary powermapping techniques in political lobbying and community‐level network analysis.

  • Exercise: powermapping principles applied to the EU (Council, Commission, and Parliament)

Key skill #3: Data visualization

  • Theory: the cognitive science behind “visual” storytelling; key methods and best practices in data visualization science, including the work of Prof. Hans Rosling and David McCandless; case studies and cultural adaptation of visual messages.

  • Exercise: group critique of highly visible American and EU advocacy campaigns; distillation of practical lessons learned.

7 February, morning

Key skill #4: Face‐to‐face persuasion

  • Theory: best practices in lobbying and personal advocacy from professor’s experience in the U.S. Congress and on political projects in 14 countries (EU, Africa, and Middle East).

  • Exercise: “Oval office” simulation, how to maximize a five‐minute advocacy opportunity with a key policymaker.


Key learnings and how they will be used:

"I will use CHALLENGE - CHOICE - OUTCOME as a framework to create clear and impactful messages. We must build relationships with diverse audiences instead of promoting institutions, to maintain the bond and the dialogue", Kirsi Brück, Head of development, Yle

"I learnt the new way to advocacy, how it can help you and your organization to be more effective in communicating values and get a better outcome. I intend to rewrite our stratgeic plan to go forward and avoid communications clichés", Vera Roquette, Head of research and audience marketing & communication, RTP

"I look forward to using what I learnt on a daily basis and share it with my colleagues. I will also use the notion of simplicity of message more often", Veronique Desroches, Senior advisor strategy and develoment, Radio Canada



Audience Business Storytelling Strategy


05 - 07 févr. 2019


SciencesPo Paris Campus, Paris

Date limite d'inscription

04 févr. 2019


All participants are responsible for their own accommodation during the course.

Langues de travail


Information Complémentaires


  • EUR 1'450 per participant
  • Special group rate: 4 colleagues for the price of 3

The price includes tuition, course materials, one lunch and coffee breaks. It does not include any other meals, travel or hotel costs.

Payment and cancellation policy

Partenaires et Sponsors

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Frederic Frantz
Responsable Développement - Formation des Membres
+41 22 717 21 48

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