This piece from Deepak Puri, which first appeared on The Democracy Lab blog, hits home quite literally for me. As I’m working today, I’m sitting in my long-ago hometown of Palestine, Texas, where at the moment we have electricity but not water — apparently, the power to the pumping station has failed. Meanwhile, the state’s “leaders” are busy blaming everything but their own underinvestment in our infrastructure. Take it away, Deepak:
Fighting Disinformation Requires a Rapid, Widely Spread Response.
To get talking points to supporters for them to use to spread the truth and have their messages reinforce each other, a free teleprompter with a script integrated into their videoconferencing platform makes the process easier and helps them give more-effective press interviews.
Scroll to the end of this post for information about groups helping Texans in need and a live map of power outages in Texas.
Fighting Texas-Sized Disinformation
Millions of people in Texas have been without power for days after winter storms slammed the region and devastated the state’s electricity grid. Nearly 3 million Texans were without power, according to poweroutage.us. Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), say the cause of the outages appeared to be natural gas providers, many of which are not designed to operate in such low temperatures, according to The Texas Tribune. [Ed. note: see also Why Texas Is Experiencing Such Widespread Power Outages.]
Texas Gov. Abbott Blames Solar Energy and Wind Turbines for Blackouts!
Meanwhile, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “I go offline a few days and return to a GOP Gov blaming policies he hasn’t even implemented for his own failures. Gov. Abbott doesn’t seem to have a grasp on his state, so here’s a reminder: Texas runs 80-90% on fossil fuels. The real ‘deadly deal’ is his failed leadership. So many Texans are in desperate conditions without heat, water, and little relief. Gov Abbott needs to get off TV pointing fingers & start helping people.”
[Ed. note: see also What Texas Governor Greg Abbott Gets Wrong About His State’s Power Failures, The latest GOP nonsense on Texas shows us the future Republicans want and last night’s Daily Show episode.]
Idea: Use a Teleprompter App To Share Talking Points
Why Use a Teleprompter?
Using a teleprompter app:
- Helps spokespeople present better in online interviews (over ZOOM, WebEx Microsoft Team, Google Meet) and stay coordinated by having talking points scroll on the screen as they talk with reporters online.
- Shares talking points with supporters so their interviews reinforce each other and amplify a message.
- Allows you to update the script as needed and have your changes appear immediately in all your supporters’ teleprompters simultaneously.
The BigStage Teleprompter is a free app for scripts up to 300 words.
Creating a Teleprompter Script
- Cut & paste your pre-written script into the free BigStage Teleprompter app.
- Adjust the font size and scroll speed to your preference.
- Save the script and shared it with a link like this one
- Share the link by email, social media or text.
Counter disinformation with a rapid response. Share talking points so your supporters’ messages and interviews reinforce each other. Use the free BigStage Teleprompter to keep them on script and perform better in press interviews.
Help Folks Struggling in Texas
Help support relief efforts with donations or by calling vulnerable people.
- Love Thy Neighbor – Austin Area Urban League #LoveThyNeighborTX campaign to raise money for hotel rooms, food, water, clothing, and other basic needs of the housing insecure communities.
- Powered by People – Call Texas seniors affected by the weather crisis to help them find the resources they need to get through the next few days safely.
- Austin Pets Alive! – Working to keep pets across Texas warm and safe during the freezing conditions. The group needs heating pads, Styrofoam coolers, dog beds, heat lamps, and monetary donations.
- Caritas of Austin also helps those experiencing housing insecurity in the Austin area. You can support their work by making a monetary donation or ordering items from their Amazon wish list to be shipped directly to the center.
- Lucille’s 1913 Community Kitchen Prepares and distributes meals in the Houston area.
- Dallas based groups (listed by CNN)
- Oak Lawn United Methodist Church
- The Stewpot
- Austin Street Center
- Oak Lawn United Methodist Church
- More resources on Twitter