September 15, 2020

Is better framing the key to building back better?

It is too early to predict the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as countries begin to emerge from hibernation, now is the time to take building back better seriously. 

Just 9% of people in the UK want things to return to how they were before lockdown. Moving out of this moment, it is imperative we look at issues which have been sidelined by the coronavirus. Issues covering environmental, political, economic and social problems need addressing so we can move into a progressive, equal and positive future.

And how can we use a tool called framing to achieve this?

Framing is how information is presented and designed to form a narrative to persuade an issue or product by making it directly relevant to an audience. Understanding this can be a superpower to creating electric communications with razor-sharp messaging.

An excellent example of this is the controversial transition between the ‘Stay Home’ and ‘Stay Alert’ messaging. This move was widely criticised, for being deliberately vague and ambiguous by PR and framing experts.

This change in communication achieved the government’s goals by changing just one word. They were able to divert attention away from more pressing issues and handed off responsibility away from the government and onto the public. 

But how can you supercharge your content and campaigns to build awareness and deliver informative and convincing messaging?

We have compiled three tips on how to supercharge your framing skills and build a better narrative. 

1) Understanding your audiences

By getting to know who is listening to you, you can open up a clearer vision of how you can communicate with them and build a robust brand/campaign to audience relationship. 

You can construct this bond in three ways, building trust, diluting information to make it more digestible and using positive language. 

2) Frame your message to build an emotive reaction 

We all feel! Your audience has emotions, your framing can benefit greatly by connecting with your own feelings. By getting in touch with how you feel, your messaging will feel more authentic, relatable and more human.

For example, ‘Stay Alert’ feels authoritative and cold, causing a reaction against it. Whereas ‘Stay Home’ presented a warmer subliminal idea as we subconsciously associate our homes with our own comfort. 

3) Have a clear purpose

What do you and your client want to achieve with your message? Clarity is king, otherwise, you risk alienating the audience and confusing the message achieving nothing.

By understanding what you want to achieve, you will find your audience to be more engaged, feel more trust and perceive your communications to be more transparent. 

Want to dive a little deeper? Here are some key resources! 

From the brilliant FrameWorks Institute, some guidance on how to frame messaging and communication during this pandemic:

How do you feel about defunding the police? This vox article explains how you ask the question surrounding police brutality and systemic racism in the force:

How can we build back better by framing the economy? This partnership between the FrameWorks Institute, New Economy Organisers Network, New Economics Foundation and the Public Interest Research Centre proposes systems to do just that:

So now you have a crash course in the herculean strength of framing, what do you think is important to create better messaging and communications? We would love to hear your thoughts! Tweet us at @Rubber_Republic or if your thoughts can’t fit in 280 characters, email us at!