By Public Interest Resource Centre
This toolkit is a short guide to strategic communications, based on extensive research and building on the experience of activists and communicators from around the globe. It aims to provide a framework rather than a blueprint; helping you to ask the right questions rather than giving you the right answers. It’s designed to be helpful for anyone who communicates as part of their voluntary or paid work. It’s written with a focus on European LGBTI activists, but we hope it will be useful to others with a similar vision. Read it from cover to cover or jump in at the point you’re most interested in.
What’s in the toolkit?
There are three key stages to framing. We’ll take you through them in the three main sections of this toolkit. What each of these stages mean will be different for different types of framing work: whether, for example, it’s a big, proactive campaign, a movement-building initiative, the everyday communications you’re involved in your organisation, or quick response reactions.
- Define the task
You need to know what you’re trying to achieve in order to frame effectively. This means getting clear on your vision and your goals, and then focusing in on where your audience currently is on the issue in order to know the barriers you need to overcome. Using these ingredients, you’ll set your framing tasks: what you need your frame to do. These generally centre on getting consensus around a problem and a solution, and motivating action.
- Create frames
Once you’ve set your task, you can get creative. There are some general pieces of best practice for framing that it’s useful to know, but you can always come back and tweak your original thinking after you’ve had a go.
- Test and refine
And then you just need to check that it works! There are more and less involved ways to do this, depending on how much resource you have, and what kind of scale of implementation it will involve. After some time has passed, you’ll also need to evaluate your impact: which is all the easier if you’ve taken some time to monitor your progress and troubleshoot as you go.