Skip to main content

Foundations of Persuasive Progressive Messaging - Module 3 of 7: Common Messaging Mistakes

Civil Liberties Union for Europe

Welcome to Module 3 of Foundations of Persuasive Progressive Messaging. In this module, we’ll look at some of the most common messaging mistakes like myth-busting, using jargon or turning up the doom and gloom. These messaging habits can make our audience tune out or even turn against us, so we need to shake them off and do things differently.

Please note that you should complete Modules 1 and 2 of this course before beginning this module.

About Foundations of Persuasive Progressive Messaging

Course Description

Why should I take this course?

Progress on social justice, human rights and environmental protection is hitting strong and effective resistance from certain political and corporate interests. Among the problems progressives face is the way we communicate, which is often ineffective and counterproductive. This course gives you the skills and know-how you need to message in a way that shifts public opinion in favour of your causes.

Who is this course for?

Anyone working for an organisation that promotes causes related to human rights, social justice and environmental protection. If you work on these topics for an NGO, social movement, international organisation, national human rights institution or a central government department, then this is for you.

I don’t work on communications. Is the course still relevant for me?

Absolutely. The course is useful for staff who work on the substantive legal and policy side of things, as well as colleagues who work mostly on communications, for two reasons. First, the legal and policy experts often have to talk to the public via the media. Second, these folks also need to collaborate with their communications colleagues to translate their technical language for a non-expert audience.


We recommend students prepare for this course by taking LIB001 "How To Message On Human Rights", although it is not a prerequisite.

For the best learning experience, we recommend a stable mobile or desktop connection to view the videos and complete the exercises.

Estimated time to complete this module: 1 hour

Modules in this course: 7 (Diplomas* will be granted after successfully completing all modules.)

Course Staff

Dr. Israel Butler - Head of Narrative and Framing, Liberties

Israel trains and mentors campaigners and civil servants to develop winning messages that build support for progressive causes. Before retraining in strategic communications he led the advocacy teams at Liberties and the Open Society European Policy Institute promoting democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU, and was a legal researcher and speech writer at the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. He has a PhD in international law and began his career as a lecturer. He has published two books, numerous policy papers, peer-reviewed articles and opinion pieces in EU-focused media outlets.

For inquires related to knowledge hub courses, please contact us: knowledgehub at liberties dot eu

Co-funded by the Oak Foundation and the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the granting authority - the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

*Diplomas are granted by Liberties and are not certified by an academic institution or authority.


Privacy Preferences

We use cookies to enhance the functionality of our website, to personalise content, to provide social media features and to understand incoming traffic. You can revise and customise your cookie settings