TALKING POINTS, all the political parties, candidates, and politicians use them. But where do they come from, what good are they, and what are the downsides? Talking points are one of the types of CONVENTIONAL WISDOM that was featured earlier this month. Conventional Wisdom describes ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field but are not necessarily true. The term talking points is used pejoratively to refer to the idea that statements which are repeated over and over become conventional wisdom regardless of whether or not they are true.
A talking point in debate or discussion is a succinct statement designed to persuasively support one side taken on an issue. Statements can either be free-standing or created as retorts to the opposition’s talking points and are frequently used in public relations, particularly in areas heavy in debate such as politics and marketing. They are often created by political think tanks that strategize the most effective informational attack on a target topic and launch talking points from media personalities to saturate discussions to frame a debate in their favor, standardizing the responses of sympathizers to their unique cause. These lists of talking points are disseminated to those sympathizers who frame their responses in interviews with media outlets to reflect the info contained in the talking points memo. That’s why when media folks ask questions during interviews, the answers don’t fit the questions sometimes.
Tomorrow, PR Points Related to Talking Points. Rita Bay