A new “Simply-Put” video provides a brief illustration of how to make the core points emerging from Topos research on communicating job quality, including minimum wage and paid sick days.
About Topos Partnership
Founded by veteran communications strategists Axel Aubrun and Joe Grady of Cultural Logic, and Meg Bostrom of Public Knowledge, Topos has as its mission to explore and ultimately transform the landscape of public understanding where public interest issues play out. Our approach is based on the premise that while it is possible to achieve short-term victories on issues through a variety of strategies, real change depends on a fundamental shift in public understanding. Topos was created to bring together the range of expertise needed to understand existing issue dynamics, explore possibilities for creating new issue understanding, develop a proven course of action, and arm advocates with new communications tools to win support.
Should advocates reference inequality and a new CBO paper when promoting policy solutions? Maybe not.
Building support by animating the research on reducing our use of oil.
Topos is often invited to share our work on reframing privatization with groups that are on the front lines of countering efforts to shift public assets and public responsibilities to private companies. Topos has found that when the topic of privatization is framed simply as an issue of cost effectiveness, average people assume that private enterprise […]
Close Up vs. Big Picture Stories: The Role of Individual Examples in Advocacy Communications Research and real-life experience, plus perspectives from the social and cognitive sciences, tell us that “putting the face on the story” can often backfire. In this memo, we explore the reasons why this approach can go so wrong – from diverting […]
It’s important for advocates to continue the framing of minimum wage as good for the entire economy, or “all of us”. As it becomes entrenched, the idea that higher wages advance workers, communities and the economy, will inoculate against “job killer” attacks and allow progressives to be on offense, not defense.
Congratulations to Saru Jayaraman for a successful launch of her new book, Behind the Kitchen Door!
Informed citizens are the foundation of effective democracy, but informing citizens depends on providing the context for issues that most mass media neglect
Recent spotlight on the correlation between leaded gas and violent crime offers lessons for communicators.
When is a “win” not a win?
Topos is going global: Joe in Japan and Margy in South Africa.
Writing in The Nation, reporter Greg Kaufmann updates readers on the national campaign to include discussion of poverty policy in the Presidential debates. He interviewed Topos Senior Fellow Margy Waller about reframing the public dialogue. Waller said research suggests that the way we usually talk about poverty—even using the words “poverty” and “welfare” themselves—“makes most people think […]
We’re reviewing the debates 2012 – with eyes, weeds, and Big Bird. Join us.
Read our real time reactions to the candidates’ framing and communicating of the issues.
Which candidate will win the framing debate? Some thoughts about how to watch.
Big corporations need roads, electricity, an educated workforce, healthcare, government-funded science research, and a strong military as much as anyone. They just want you to pay for it.
Topos’ unique and innovative approach synthesizes expertise from the cognitive and social sciences as well as public opinion. Most of the insights and examples in this post emerged from the research Topos principals have conducted for a wide range of organizations over the past 10 or more years. Introduction Framing is a term that has […]
Issues & Values Progressive advocates increasingly accept what Conservatives have long recognized – that issue advocacy is often a competition between opposing value systems. Following on Thomas Kuhn’s groundbreaking work on paradigms, George Lakoff’s influential Moral Politics, for example, argued forcefully that conservatives and progressives inhabit radically different but equally coherent moral worlds, and that […]
From House Speaker Boehner’s warnings about the next debt ceiling debate to Mitt Romney’s addition of a debt clock prop to his campaign events, conservatives have signaled that they intend to make the federal deficit and government spending the focus of their economic message. In this short strategy memo, Topos offers advice for how progressives can […]
The tragic death of Trayvon Martin is sparking a much-needed dialogue about racism and the plight of black men, and commentators are turning to recent reports by the Topos Partnership for the Opportunity Agenda to help make the point. In the Huffington Post, Duke University Professor Mark Anthony Neal notes this new research finds “correlations between media depictions […]
This might be the coolest thing ever. Here’s the press release about this new film. When you watch, be sure to stay after the credits for the “behind-the-scenes” short video at the end. World’s First Game-Sourced Film Premieres Radius: A Short Film Utilizes Material Gathered Via SCVNGR Smartphone App Film Developed by Possible Worldwide in […]