My frames are perfect. But…Do they work ???


My frames are perfect. But...Do they work ???

Lesson objective

- You will learn the basics of testing some main elements of your message
- You will access some essential tools for testing

Now you have developed understanding on your frames and started to get your story in place, there’s one last thing to do. Test it.

Framing is just a beautiful idea until you see how it works in the real world. We need to find out whether that story actually works with others.

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Advice from the Movement Advancement Project

“If your budget is thinner than single-ply toilet paper, even a quick-and-dirty test is better than nothing. If you have to, run your ad by your brother-in-law (not the one who loves you, but the one who looks a little nervous whenever you drop by). Alternatively, knock on the doors of a few neighbors, or show your creation to random strangers at the local shopping mall. Even these basic techniques can help you identify red flags and fine-tune your message”

In other words, any testing is better than no testing!

At this stage, all of your knowledge and expertise from the lesson on research will be helpful in designing testing methodologies.

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A very useful toolkit developed by ILGA Europe and the Public Research Interest Centre: Testing your Comms

While working on the Framing Equality Toolkit with ILGA-Europe and LGBTI campaigners from across Europe over the past few years, we found that doing any kind of comms testing was really rare.

Campaign messages are often developed under huge pressure, in a small team, and sent straight out into the world. These messages are based on assumptions rather than evidence of how an audience will react and they are therefore likely to be hit-or-miss.

When messages miss, they can leave a lasting negative impression on how people think about your issue. This can set you back in time and resources, and make it harder to realise your vision.

And when you do test, it can be a useful learning experience for both the short- and longer-term about how people understand your issue and what kind of framing works.