2021 Organizing Guide

Table of Contents

DSA Brand Voice

DSA’s brand voice should be clear, direct, and engaging.

Reading Level

Outward facing communications should be geared toward a middle-school reading level. 50% of U.S. adults struggle with books written at an eighth grade level. Keep this in mind when drafting communications pieces. We want to bring in people at all levels of education.

Assume no background knowledge

For most Americans, the concept of Socialism is still distant and vague. Assume that the reader knows nothing of Medicare for All, Green New Deal, the workings of electoral politics. When writing for external audiences spell out what these things mean or do not include.


Assume that readers do not know DSA’s acronyms. The following official acronyms can be used but they should always be written out when first appearing in your text.

Example: The National Political Committee (NPC) issued a statement today.

NPC - National Political Committee
DSLC - Democratic Socialist Labor Committee
NEC - National Electoral Committee
AFROSOC - Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus
YDSA - Young Democratic Socialists of America
NCC - National Coordinating Committee

Personal statements vs Organizational Statements

Be wary of when you are writing on behalf of a chapter or working vs when you are writing on behalf of yourself. If you are hoping to flood local media with OpEds it can be useful to publish under your own name. This can humanize the writer more than a statement from an organization can. When writing a press release, these should be written on behalf of the organization. Remember that any statement written on behalf of an organization's needs to be properly vetted to ensure that it represents the consensus of the group.

Giving Credit/Permission

The DSA believes strongly in crediting workers for the product of their labor. If using language or images originally created by someone else you must credit the original creator unless the creator has opted to remain anonymous.


Always check any facts you are using before printing. Make sure that the facts come from a reputable source. It is wise to link to the original source. These links will make it more likely for a press or OpEd to be published. Note that if you are unsure about the source of a fact it should not be included. The ability to verify the information you present helps build the credibility of both your local chapter and the national DSA brand.

Using website names

When writing out a website link remove the https:// that comes in front. When referring to the website of the DSA, remove the www.

Example: dsausa.org/join

When referring to a non-DSA site it is advisable to include the www. to make the reader clear you are referring to a website.

Example: www.labornotes.org/