Reframing newsletter

The Importance of the Construction Metaphor

March 4, 2016

In recent newsletters, we focused on the importance of opening our communications with the value of Human Potential. When we support well-being, we make sure that everyone can reach their potential and fully contribute to our communities. This week, we’re going to shift to the next element of the Building Well-Being Narrative, explaining how human services work via the Construction Metaphor.

people painting house quote

One of the communications mistakes we make in the sector is leaving human services (what they are, how they work) largely undefined. As a result, the public falls back on a limited view of human services as primarily direct, temporary services for individuals in crisis. The second plot point in the new frame, the metaphor element, gives us the opportunity to provide the public with a more complete picture by relating human services to something that is more easily understood.

After rigorous research and testing, the FrameWorks Institute identified Construction as the most helpful metaphor for fleshing out the depth, breadth, and importance of the human services sector in and to a thriving society. People understand that a building is constructed by a team of experts, that it needs a solid foundation and quality materials, and that it will require updates and repairs over time. Talking about human services in the context of building well-being helped people to see the work our sector does as valuable, lifelong investments requiring a range of expertise and resources—including prevention and intervention services, research, planning and advocacy.

construction block quote

Remember that framing is the process of weaving together storytelling elements identified through a rigorous research process. Stay tuned for our next newsletter where we’ll provide more tips for using the Construction Metaphor as part of the complete Building Well-Being Narrative.

Download the Construction Metaphor Card