Daily Update May 5, 2016

Avoid These Communication Traps - Reframing Newsletter (April 29, 2016) 

This initiative is a project of the National Human Services Assembly and is generously funded by The Kresge Foundation and The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Avoid These Communication Traps
Since unveiling the Building Well-Being Narrative in November of last year, theReframing Network Newsletter has been devoted to unpacking each of the narrative elements of the frame:
As Nat Kendall-Taylor, CEO of FrameWorks Institute, demonstrates in his recent APHSA blog post "What's Wrong with Worthiness? And Other Framing Dilemmas..."there is more to framing than applying the narrative elements to our communications. This issue of the Newsletter briefly identifies additional framing tips and resources that will help the human services sector make the most of the new narrative. We will do a deeper dive on these tips in upcoming newsletters.
Focus on Solutions: While many of our sector’s audiences want us to quickly “define the problem,” inundating communications with challenges and crisis language can leave the audience feeling that a problem is too big to solve.
Make the Story About the Setting, Not the Characters: Framing focuses the public on the big picture by telling what FrameWorks Institute refers to as the “thematic story” – spotlighting systems, institutions, and policies rather than specific individuals.
Avoid Repeating Myths and Correcting Mistakes: The public comes to the table with a number of myths and misconceptions about what human services are and who they serve. Communicators often try to address this challenge by first restating and then dispelling the mistake, but this has the surprising unintended consequence of reinforcing the mistake in the listener’s mind.
Tone is as Important as Substance: Using a reasonable, affirmative tone in communications can help frame the solutions presented as sensible and sound. By contrast, an adversarial tone may turn off people who are not already allies on your issue.
Place Numbers in Context: Data can be an important part of the human services story when used judiciously. Establishing the frame before introducing data into your messages is key.
These Words are Not Our FriendsVulnerable, Charity, Safety Net. We need to re-think language that feeds the old narrative that human services is only temporary, direct aid to the needy.
Thank you for participating in the National Human Service Assembly’s NationalReframing Initiative. We would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete this short survey letting us know how you have been involved in the initiative and the extent to which you have utilized the Building Well-Being Narrativein your communications.
Take the survey
Your feedback will help us assess future training, technical assistance, and mobilization efforts.
The Assembly’s Reframing team has been out in force, providing trainings and workshops for human service leaders across the country. In just the last two weeks the Assembly:
  • Offered a workshop at the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services’ Annual Conference;
  • Conducted a half-day workshop for the members and partners of the San Francisco Human Services Network;
  • Provided a webinar for members of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc; and
  • Conducted a day long workshop for the members and partners of One Voice Central Texas. One of the participants, Emily Jane Steinberg, was inspired to create an amazing graphic recording of the day (see below). We love this! 
Building Well-Being Notes Graphic
Image by Emily Jane Steinberg, @emilyjaneYESemilyYES.com
If you’re interested in bringing a reframing workshop to your network, contact Ilsa Flanagan, Director of the National Reframing Initiative.
We have a robust set of free tools to better equip you integrating this new narrative into your communications strategies.
Contact Us
For more information on how your organization can join the reframing mobilization, please contact Ilsa Flanagan at iflanagan@nassembly.org.
For any questions about this newsletter or the online tools, please contact Bridget Gavaghan at bgavaghan@nassembly.org.

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