Strategic communications

Public opinion matters because it influences policy. We use an evidence-based, values-led approach to communication to shift public attitudes. And we strengthen the capacity of the sector to communicate more effectively on the issues that matter.

The majority of us tend to be conflicted about a range of social issues, which means we’re open to hearing both negative and positive messages about them.

There’s a growing body of evidence that we can shift public opinion in a progressive direction if we understand what people really think and feel about a social issue and why, and show how our work is deeply connected to the things they care about.

This powerful evidence-based, values-led approach to communicating – often called strategic communications – draws on frame theory and behavioural insight. And we have seven years’ experience of using this approach to effect social change.

There are four strands to our work in this area: audience insight research; frame and message development and testing; building the capacity of civil society to communicate and campaign for change; campaign and content creation.

Audience insight research

We’ve commissioned three significant pieces of research into public attitudes to equality and human rights and how to talk about them in a way that engages hearts and minds and leads to more progressive attitudes.

We actively share this learning, and learning from other framing initiatives across the sector, to help build the sector’s knowledge and capacity to campaign for change.

Frame and message development and testing

We have developed and tested new frames and messages for talking about equality and human rights, and we support other organisations and campaigns to find and test new ways of talking about their particular issues.

Training and consultancy

Through our practical and interactive workshops, we develop the knowledge, skills and confidence of campaigners and communicators to adopt a strategic communications approach in their work. So far, we’ve delivered Communications for Change training to over 250 civil society organisations. Our approach is collaborative and pragmatic – with a focus on outputs that can be put into practice.

To find out more about our training, including bespoke training that meets your particular needs, get in touch at

Our consultancy service includes:

  • support with developing campaign strategies and messages
  • advice on and support with audience insight research, value-based communications, and frame and message development and testing.

We can also run seminars or speak at your event.

Changing hearts and minds is a huge challenge when we have limited budgets and capacity. To find out more about how our strategic communications training and consultancy can help, get in touch at

Content and campaigns

Putting our research insights into practice, we’ve collaborated with a number of national organisations, including Age UK, Unicef and Mind, to create compelling communications campaigns that connect human rights to everyday life, empowering people to use their rights as and when they need to.

In May 2019 we launched the pilot of Human Rights. Our Rights. – our own long-term attitudinal change campaign to win hearts and minds on human rights. Find out more about the campaign here.

Strategic communications resources

As part of an ongoing project to build the strategic communications capacity of the equality sector, we’ve written a guide to talking about equality, based on ours and others’ research and best practice.

Download the Talking About Equality guide here

We’re developing a hub of strategic communications research, good practice and learning for the sector, and are keen to hear from anyone with insight and learning to share. Get in touch at

Share this