We can frame an issue which may be sympathetic to different concerns than we or our group is to win their support towards our endeavour.
The issue must Be Deeply Felt. Another way to say this is that it needs to be a “gut” issue. This criteria is deeply related to the next one, “Be Easy to Understand,” because a “gut” issue is generally one that can be clearly stated.
We want to get people at an emotional level, not just an intellectual one. We want them to respond with anger and remorse, not simply abstract understandings of inequality or unfairness.
Whether an issue is “deeply felt” is at least partly an issue of framing. We want to seek out those images and stories of the problem the ‘party involved’ are fighting against that make change seem crucial.
This is why recruiting people to give testimonials is a classic technique of community organizers.
Some issues just can’t be made a “gut” issue for enough people, and these issues are generally not good ones to pursue.
What are important are the issues that are important to the people in the area.
The issue also Be Easy to Understand. This criteria is key and is sometimes forgotten. We need to FRAME the issue in very clear terms for the people concern in the specific area. This means eliminating jargon and unnecessary complexities.
In other words, simplify. Don’t give long dissertation on the little changes you want to make. Don’t give the official jargon or cite the change in the law. Tell in simple terms why the people in the constituencies should care and what the fundamental change will be.
At the same time, it’s crucial to be honest. There can’t be something hidden in the complexities that would be a surprise to people who are supporting the ‘said party’.
Remember, our goal is long-term POWER. If we mislead people, or make them feel misled, then you reduce your capacity to mobilize them in the future.
When framing the issue, we must Have a Clear Target and Have a Clear Time-Frame. We need to give people a sense that things are happening and that things are going to happen soon, or you will lose them to other challenges in their lives.
Of course, in the real world we don’t control when things happen. But we need these dates as motivators and to help keep us on track, even if they will usually change.
When we communicating the issue, we must Be Non-Divisive. The key issue here is to maintain and increase POWER to achieve ethical aims, and if that means we have to avoid particular issues, then we will need to live with this.
Other important element is Build Leadership. The key challenge is to find ways to involve many people in the tasks that need to be carried out and decided on. It is by being involved that people learn to and make commitments to become leaders.
Be Consistent with the Values and Vision also help in effectively communicating the issue and winning people support. This one is absolutely vital. It’s the most important criteria. If this not met, we are in trouble. And if the ‘party involved’ doesn’t have a sense of what fits and doesn’t fit with the values and vision, they are also in trouble.