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Recent News

Events of note in the world of strategic framing and communications – from the Topos perspective

New Memo: Lessons from Fast Food Strikes

In April 2015, tens of thousands of workers, in well over 200 U.S. cities and in 40 nations, rallied for higher wages and benefits.  This growing movement is getting attention and having an impact, providing lessons for communicators.

The most effective communicators on this issue are…Making it About All of Us.

By default, we all normally think of jobs as personal.  Pay, benefits and working conditions are matters for the employer and employee to settle. It can seem like “none of our business” – certainly not something outsiders have responsibility to resolve.

But to make it easier to build broad support for job quality policies, it is essential for communicators to turn the conversation into one that’s about all of us, one where we all have a stake, and a reason to take a stand – not just the workers in particular jobs or industries.

The most effective communicators on fast food strikes (which has now grown to include a range of workers in low wage jobs), whether they are experts, policymakers, advocates, or strikers themselves, connect the issue to “all of us” in four ways….

Read the rest of this new Topos memo about best practices and lessons from the field here.



Framing Job Quality as Common Sense: Scheduling, Paid Leave, Equal Pay, and More

In recent weeks, many service industry employers have made announcements about raising wages, and the press has duly reported on each one. Seems like a great time to revisit the broader economic framing that strengthens public support for higher wages AND a number of other job quality policies with a Topos memo.

The simple common sense idea that thriving communities and a strong economy depend on employers providing reasonable compensation for work has the power to lift a range of job quality solutions-including policies like paid family leave, paid sick days, scheduling practices, pay equity, and more.

This frame is quickly becoming established in efforts to increase the minimum wage, but it also has the potential to lift a range of job quality policies and ultimately shape public understanding of how economic policy should work.

While each policy could have its own message strategy, framing these discussions within a unified organizing concept of economy-boosting jobs will build broad understanding for the need for all of the policies, rather than approaching them piecemeal. Over time, we can use each effort to build public support for the entire job quality policy agenda.

Read the rest of this memo about Topos’ research and recommendations, and download it here.

The Tipping Point on Minimum Wage

A new memo from Topos looks at recent wins on minimum wage campaigns and finds signs of a new cultural common sense about how the economy really works and should work. Economy boosting jobs framing makes the case for other job quality policies—like paid family leave, minimum hours, and reliable scheduling—as minimum wage and paid sick days campaigns succeed across the country.

Read and download the memo here.


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