Advocating a cause? You should learn about framing

Ducks Advocating a CauseWhen I first started advocating for causes, I thought the important thing was to tell people as much knowledge as quickly as possible. Surely if they knew the facts that I knew, they would want to take action?

I would later come to learn that this is known as the information deficit model, and that it almost never works.

What then is an effective way to inform people and move them to action?

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Is your messaging undermining your cause?

Think about the cause you care most about. When did you first commit to that cause? What was it that tipped you from vaguely interested to a committed advocate?

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that economic benefit to yourself wasn’t what did it. Probably not even the broader argument of cost benefit for the economy.

More likely, something resonated deeply with in you.

We’ve all seen campaigns that frame doing good in terms of helping ourselves – “save the earth, save money”, “donate now and win!”, “It’s good for the economy” – but is this the best way to motivate people? Could this strategy even be hurting our work in the long-term?

How can we help our supporters find the same deep motivation we did?

Continue reading “Is your messaging undermining your cause?”