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Recent News

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

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.


Talking About Income Inequality

There’s a lot of public dialogue about income inequality these days.

In a new memo, Topos principals consider the best approach to building public understanding on addressing this economic issue in light of their recently released research on building support for job quality policies like paid time off and higher minimum wages.

A dramatic rise in references to income inequality  – among leaders, journalists and advocates, and disseminated in all media – suggests that influential individuals feel the climate has changed in ways that make an inequality discussion more palatable than it has been in the past.

Since 2008, the economy has changed and the Occupy movement made headlines, so can we assume that earlier cautions no longer apply?

We should be very careful about assuming that is true – partly because the challenges discussed in the 2008 paper mostly arise from fundamental cultural perspectives and cognitive tendencies, that don’t change quickly, if ever.

The Pew Center conducts a regular survey of American values and in a recent report, the Center’s founding director Andrew Kohut and his co-author conclude that there’s been no real shift in public opinion about economic inequality despite the fact that there’s been more media attention to the issue since the Occupy movement and the 2012 election.

Overall, our goal is to help see people see the bigger picture – of what is happening, how it is happening, who is affected, etc. With this in mind, we may be better off not using the word inequality as a leading idea, and using other words for now.