Reframing newsletter

Communication Tip #1: Match the Solution to the Problem

May 26, 2016

In the last newsletter, we briefly identified communication tips from FrameWorks Institute that can help the human service sector make the most of the new narrative. Now we are taking a closer look at some of those tips and traps.

Focus on Solutions: A primary goal of the sector’s communication efforts is to drive public support for the solutions that we are recommending, whether it’s a bigger investment in a successful program or new legislation. While we often feel pressured to start by “defining the problem,” inundating our communications with challenges and crisis language typically triggers fatalism—a belief that the problem we are highlighting is too big to solve. And if it’s too big to solve, then there is no sense in reading or thinking further about your issue.

Instead, be sure to place challenges within the context of the full narrative, leading with the value of human potential, and ensuring the size of the solution matches the scope of the challenge. This will build the public’s sense that the policies, services, or programs you are promoting should be prioritized because they are important and because they work.

Here’s an example from FrameWorks of a communication framed with crisis language and then reframed with human potential and the construction metaphor.

reframed comparison