Latest Open Framing posts:
For Black History Month, here are our top ten Black inspirations for framing & narrative for the future.
In no particular order, because #hierarchyispatriarchy… Read more
A guest blog by Ralph Underhill, PIRC Associate and Director of Framing Matters. Framing Matters and Health Poverty Action have just published ‘A Practical Guide for Communicating Global Justice and Solidarity’. Here he introduces common communication traps.
President Nixon famously said, “I am not a crook”.
With those 5 words, he managed to reinforce the idea, in the minds of millions of Americans, that he was, in fact, a crook. What he should have said is “I am an honest man”. When he used the word ‘crook’, he was parroting the language of his opponents, and simply reinforcing that negative association in people’s minds.
This is the first communications trap, which I call the… Read more
Ralph Underhill is Director of Framing Matters and a PIRC Associate. Along with HPA he’s just published ‘A Practical Guide for Communicating Global Justice & Solidarity’.
Giving to charity is supposed to be a good thing. That is pretty uncontroversial, most people accept that. But what about the word itself? What associations does it bring to mind? And most importantly, are these associations actually helpful to your cause?
The world outside Wakada—our world—is rife with poverty, violence, oppression, fear, corporate power. Wakanda cannot remain immune to this forever.
The beliefs that maintain oppression and violence are widespread and common. But there’s another set of widely-held core beliefs where we see the potential for change. These beliefs sit side by side: toxic and oppressive, liberatory and compassionate. We may all hold these contradictory beliefs to some degree.
The choice—for Wakanda, and for us—is which set of beliefs we should build on.
What follows are the key lessons we learn on this journey. Read more
Read the Wakanda Version of The Narratives We Need.
Social movements across Europe face some common framing challenges. We asked over 200 campaigners—environmentalists, feminists, anti-racists, new economists, and many more—what we’re up against, analysed the trends and pulled together the key lessons.
If you’re part of a group organising for social change, we’re sure you’ll be familiar with times of fear, grief and despair in the face of the rhetoric from those in power in the UK, Europe, and across the Atlantic. But then we see bright flashes of hope in social movements changing the story: Black Lives Matter and #MeToo; activists refusing to lie down in the face of horrendous corporate and state failures, such as in the case of the Grenfell activists or the women’s strikes in Spain and Poland; and campaigners worldwide fighting tirelessly for the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
We at PIRC spent the past year talking with activists and advocates from across Europe about framing.* In workshops and interviews, we dug into the framing challenges and opportunities our movements are facing.
When you communicate you usually have a good idea of what you want to say and the change you want to make. But when it comes to crafting a message, how do you know whether it will work?
Testing helps you find out whether your choice of framing (the emphasis you put on particular concepts) is likely to lead to the outcomes you are aiming for.
We believe that every campaigner can improve their communications with testing, and we insist that it’s possible to do this even on a low budget!
It’s just seven days until the polling stations close.
Depending on your constitution (and/or the most recent poll you have seen), you might feel we are living in exciting (or terrifying) political times, or you might agree with Brenda in Bristol that there is just too much politics these days. Either way, it’s important not to lose sight of the long-term changes we are working towards. Knowing how to communicate effectively is a key part of creating this change.
At PIRC, we work with others to explore how to best frame the issues we care about (creating a nicer, more equal, happier, greener world). From the varied groups and issues we’ve worked on (including our current work on Framing the Economy), we’ve summarised five things anyone working for a more equitable, democratic and sustainable society should keep in mind when communicating with people in this week before the election (whether you’re out door-knocking, sending your final email campaigns or writing blogs). Read more
Where does poverty come from?
Whatever your answer, it’ll shape what you think we should do about it. If you think it’s natural, for example, then perhaps all we can do about it is alleviate suffering rather than get rid of it. Perhaps we shouldn’t do anything about it at all.
Your answer will subsequently have an impact on how effective you are at addressing poverty. Will you introduce incentive schemes because you believe poor people are just not trying hard enough; or higher taxes for the rich because you believe historically there has been an unfair allocation of resources? Do you reduce or increase social benefits, like unemployment or child benefits?
In other words, the way we ‘frame’ poverty has a direct link with our political response.
It’s worrying, then, that an upcoming report from /The Rules suggests that the understanding of poverty that underpins the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is faulty. Worrying because the SDGs, which replace the Millenium Development Goals, represent the political response of the entire international community to global poverty. Read more