Framing the Issues with John Tillman CW 12

This week John Tillman joins me on the podcast to discuss framing the issues to win people to your side. John is the CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute and one of the best people I know at framing issues and winning the debate.

I am thrilled to discuss this essential topic with John today. Whether you plan on running for office one day or you are an outspoken advocate, you need to learn the vital skill of framing issues. 

In this episode, you’ll learn: 

  • Why framing issues is important– what it means to frame an issue and why you need to learn to do it
  • How to best think about policies- how you need to think about issues in order make framing easy
  • Where to start framing issues- what two questions you need to answer so that you can begin to frame issues
  • How to find stories- what you need to be doing all of the time so that you have stories ready when you need them
  • How to frame issues to win independents- why wording matters when talking to people in the center and left of center


Illinois Policy Institute:

Think Freely Media:

Americans For Prosperity:

Open the Books:

Truth in Accounting:

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

Contact Information: 

John Tillman


John Tsarpalas


John Tillman’s Bio: 

John TillmanJohn Tillman is one of the nation’s most prominent leaders of a state-based think tank. As CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, he has transformed what many wrote off as a blue state into a place ripe for free market reform.

John has founded or co-founded a variety of key organizations in Illinois to create the competitive capacity needed to turn Illinois around.  In addition to leading the re-launch of the Illinois Policy Institute, John founded Illinois Policy Action (c4), the Liberty Justice Center (c3, public interest law), Illinois Opportunity Project (c4), Illinois Liberty PAC and more.

John also serves as the President of Think Freely Media and is the founder of the Great Communicators Tournament, two projects dedicated to helping advocates for free enterprise and liberty make the moral case in public policy debates.  Think Freely launched the first ever Great Communicators Tournament this year – you can see a summary video here.  John also serves on the board of the National Taxpayers Union, National Taxpayers Union Foundation and American’s Future Foundation.

John’s success has become a model for liberty-based organizations across the country. John is frequently asked to consult with other nonprofit, free market organizations on marketing and organizational strategy.

In 2011, John won the prestigious Roe Award for his leadership, innovation and accomplishments in the world of public policy. This annual award pays tribute to those in the state public policy movement whose achievements have greatly advanced the free market philosophy.

John is regularly featured in the media, and has appeared on FOX News Channel, FOX Business, the BBC and NPR, as well as in The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times and other news outlets. You can see a summary of his media work here.

Before joining the world of public policy, John was (and continues to be) a businessman and entrepreneur. He resides in Chicago’s north suburbs with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Lauren.

Transcript: Available here

Thanks for listening!

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