How can I use values to Frame my Comms?


How can I use values to Frame my Comms?

Learning Outcomes

- You will get familiar with the notion of "Framing"
- You will develop a more subtle understanding of the pros and cons of activating certain values
- You will increase your proficiency in identifying campaign frames

What is a Frame?

A frame is a cultural model. It’s a “preformatted way” of understanding things.

Each time you communicate, you are (consciously or not), using frames. By mentioning some facts, by choosing some words, by selecting some images, you will trigger the cultural models that people hold.

Each individual lives in a cultural environment made of many different cultural models. A cultural model might be for example “gay people are unhappy, sad, isolated. Nobody likes them”. But there is often a wide range of cultural models, with some of them conflicting. In our example, a same culture might also bear the opposite cultural model “gay people have all the fun, they party, have a great life, live in tight communities that support each other” (this model can also be expressed in much more negative terms like “gay people are a mafia”). These cultural models are activated in people depending on how a discourse is framed. For example if you picture isolated angry activists, you are likely to activate the former cultural model. An image of a Pride march will likely activate the latter.

So Campaigns Communication is all about activating pre-existing Frames. So how do you do this Framing?

Campaigners luckily have many weapons for their fight: They can do this by focusing on the appropriate values, choosing the right words, finding the right images, using effective metaphors and comparisons, using an appropriate tone, getting the stories delivered by relevant messengers.

In this course, we will concentrate on some of these factors. In future courses we will expand on the others.

Let’s start here with VALUES. We’ve seen in previous lessons how to identify our target group’s values. Let’s see now how we can (or maybe shouldn’t???) activate them.

TOOL: ILGA Europe and the Public Interest Research Center have published a most useful toolkit for SOGI campaigners :"Framing Equality". It should be on every campaigners bedside table!

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