The Skill of Framing

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We’ve had requests for lists of well framed messages on specific issues. Not to say we won’t provide examples of effective framing, but we will resist a catalog. A list doesn’t tell you why we take the positions we do. A list must be consulted or memorized. A list does not empower you to generate well framed messages when you need them.

A list does not help you internalize the skill of framing. A clear understanding of the interrelated values that make up our worldview empowers you to self generate messages on any issue old or new.

The skill of framing also takes the focus off facts and puts it solidly in the realm of morality. Think about your voter contact experiences -neither of you can ever know all the facts about every issue. Each of you is afraid the other knows more and that your ignorance will be revealed. Both of you feel a great deal of anxiety about this and want to end the conversation as quickly as possible. When you are skilled at framing, however, your conversations become values conversations and everyone can talk about what they believe.

Framing our values gets voters inside our worldview for a moment. When you connect with a voter on a shared belief, you provide a catalyst that opens the door to an entirely new way to look at things.

Effective framing is also strategic.

If each of our messages evoke our worldview (consciously or unconsciously), then they reinforce each other. Over time our worldview is strengthened in voters’ minds and the pendulum of public opinion swings back in our direction. Importantly, we lay the foundation for our candidates to express our values proudly and without penalty. “Moving right to win” would no longer be necessary.

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