For instance, let’s say that you are a community activist working for an organization advocating child adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples in the state of Missouri. You are writing a guest editorial to submit to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a large metro daily. You reason that this situation could be viewed as either positive or negative, depending on one’s involvement with the issue and their personal convictions.


Key players in your state include the governor, the state legislature, activists, religious leaders, and community members who have not yet made up their minds. Your arguments would likely include a mix of rational and emotional appeals, including the fact that every child deserves a family, or that people of all backgrounds can love one another and become functioning families. In the above scenario, your organization’s immediate objectives are to encourage successful passage of legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children in the state of Missouri.


If you write a forceful and convincing editorial that helps shift public opinion in favor of the legislation, you will have significantly advanced your organization’s policy agenda.  For example, imagine that you work as a public relations staff member at a major state university that is trying to more effectively promote its online courses and degree programs. You are charged with creating a multimedia campaign to reach out to prospective students and to boost the university’s reputation as a provider of high-quality online education.