Adventures In Framing: 7 Things Not To Do
This is the first story in my “Adventures In Framing” series as a 2022 Rotary Charities Changemaker Fellow — a three-year fellowship with the FrameWorks Institute to bring the social science of framing to northern Michigan to better drive change.
I love learning what to do but, I also appreciate advice on what not to do — a heads up on potential blind spots, pitfalls, and traps.
7 Things Not To Do
They warned of these seven traps:
- Don’t get good at arguing well — get good at speaking differently
- Don’t remind people of the things you want them to forget — see #4
- Don’t reinforce these three default cultural models/mindsets: Individualism, Fatalism, Us vs Them
- Don’t try to bust myths — see #2
- Don’t use unframed data — numbers don’t speak for themselves
- Don’t message around crisis — balance urgency with efficacy
- Don’t rush — being sensitive to your audience and their needs is time
Practicing Frame Choices in Northern Michigan
Framing is about choices made. About communication elements put in and elements left out. These choices have a significant effect on how our messages are received.
These strategic framing choices can enhance public knowledge, shift attitudes, and build support for social change.
For the next three years, thanks to the support of my framing coach, Criscillia Benford, I’ll practice these choices across a variety of issues with partners here in northern Michigan.
Unleashing the Power of Explanation
Speaking of Criscilia, she’ll be joining me for part two of More than A Message: The Science of Framing on May 19th. We’re going to explore the power of explanatory chains, and it’s going to be awesome.
Sign up for this free virtual workshop. Part one attendance is not required, but we will send you some pre-workshop homework to complete if you missed the first one.