‘Advocates may need to act with greater focus and intentionality in how they make their case, as they are unlikely to be able to rely on the morality of their cause or on longstanding arguments to win the day.’
This is according to an October 2018 report from Voice4Change England and the Runnymede Trust (pdf) on the potential and limits of ‘framing’ approaches for race equality advocates.
The report also finds that:
- Talking about ‘race’ and acting for race equality can elicit strong emotional resistance among audiences advocates need to persuade. To overcome this, a tailor-made and nuanced communications effort is needed.
- Framing techniques can help advocates communicate with intent, and understand the potential and limits of how they are communicating.
- Advocacy alone is not enough, however – it complements and catalyses other efforts like movement building and institutional change.
- Financial investment in framing could help upgrade advocates’ communications thinking and output. This investment is essential to conduct an effective framing programme on race equality.
- This investment would open the door to changing the conversation on race equality, and create space to bring together advocates in a productive dialogue about effective communications.