10 Framing Recommendations

#1

Demonstrate your familiarity with the sectors you wish to engage

The Goal & The Challenge

When the goal is… to convince other sectors of the benefits of collaboration through a clear, compelling, and targeted appeal…

The challenge is… that each sector encompasses a wide range of focus areas, professionals, and skill sets. Communications that fail to acknowledge this diversity can feel impersonal or even irrelevant to those on the receiving end—a hazard compounded by the perception that public health professionals are “book smart” and often out of touch with initiatives being carried out on the ground.

Before Framing

When You Say… We’re eager to work with the housing sector to ensure all residential buildings are being constructed and maintained to prevent health conditions associated with mold, pest infestations, etc.

They Think… Maybe public health doesn’t understand the housing sector well enough to know who exactly they want to partner with. Are they looking to work with developers like me, or others such as contractors, property managers, or even policy analysts?

Framing can help

Framing can help build up the credibility of the public health field and earn another sector’s trust by demonstrating knowledge of that sector’s inner workings and diverse elements, and where appropriate, addressing key internal distinctions that exist. Most of all, avoid talking about “the housing sector” or “the business sector” as a whole, and instead refer to the particular subgroups within that sector that you aim to reach.

An effective reframe would look something like this:

We’re eager to support the work of affordable housing developers, who are increasingly attentive to the links between our community’s health and our affordable housing stock. Working together, we can approach proposals for new construction projects through this lens as a critical strategy for improving the health of the community.

Remember, the reframe isn’t a ready-made talking point. It’s a sample iteration that models the framing recommendation in action.

More Examples

Housing Sector

An effective reframe would look something like this:
Public health professionals can support the Housing Authority’s work to make sure that affordable housing options are not only clean, safe, and available, but also equipped with health-promoting facilities like green spaces, physical activity centers, communal areas, and links to public transport.

Tip

Housing professionals who work on issues like affordability and homelessness have a very different vantage point than market-rate developers.

Education Sector

An effective reframe would look something like this:
Partnering with public health can bolster K-12 school administrators’ efforts to create a healthy school environment for kids by linking them to programs that ensure stable work conditions for parents, safe living conditions for families, and a thriving neighborhood for the entire community.

Tip

Communications intended for audiences in the education sector should be savvy to important differences in mandates and priorities of those working in elementary or secondary education versus those working in higher education. The particular attributes of the larger community in which a school or university is located also significantly influence how education professionals prioritize their responsibilities and understand their roles.

Health Systems Sector

An effective reframe would look something like this:
By joining forces, hospital administrators and public health experts can create healthy conditions in the community that reduce the number of emergency room visits and ensure people who receive care can return to an environment that supports their recovery and continued well-being.

Tip

Messaging to health systems professionals should reflect an understanding that people working in hospital administration often hold operational solvency as a central concern, whereas health care providers are more likely to focus on the needs of each individual patient.

Business Sector

An effective reframe would look something like this:
We want to work with the local Chamber of Commerce to align the two goals of economic prosperity and community health by identifying and advocating for policies that will enhance both.

Tip

Professionals who work for individual firms operate differently from those representing entire industries. Concerns vary widely between industries as well—for example, between manufacturing, hospitality, and information technology. Likewise, strategically framed communications should be tailored to the varying interests, obligations, and objectives of professionals at big, small, family-owned, board-run, local, global, and other business types.

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