Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/26226
Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: How to communicate effectively with policymakers: combine insights from psychology and policy studies
Authors: Cairney, Paul
Kwiatkowski, Richard
Issue Date: 28-Nov-2017
Citation: Cairney P & Kwiatkowski R (2017) How to communicate effectively with policymakers: combine insights from psychology and policy studies, Palgrave Communications, 3 (1), Art. No.: 37.
Abstract: To communicate effectively in policymaking systems, actors need to understand how policymakers process evidence and the environment in which they operate. Therefore, we combine psychology and policy studies to produce a three-step strategy. First, do not bombard people with evidence. Human beings have too much information to process, and they use heuristics to filter information to make decisions quickly. Synthesise and frame evidence to help you tailor it to the ways in which policymakers demand and understand information. Second, find the right time to act. Timing matters during key individuals’ patterns of thinking and the alignment of conditions in political systems. Third, engage with real world policymaking rather than waiting for a ‘rational’ and orderly process to appear. To present evidence during mythical stages of a ‘policy cycle’ is misguided, and to ‘speak truth to power’ without establishing legitimacy and building trust may be counterproductive. Our overall message is pragmatic, not Machiavellian: effective communication requires the suppliers of evidence to see the world from the perspective of their audience and understand the policy process in which they engage.
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41599-017-0046-8
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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