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Recognising the importance of values


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Martin Kirk, Oxfam GB

Published in: Technology
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Recognising the importance of values

  1. 1. Social Marketing Conference:Changing Behaviour Through Communications 30 November 2011
  2. 2. Frames & global development A different perspective on public opinion and engagement Martin Kirk, Oxfam
  3. 3. Opinion polls are a very poor measureof what the public really thinkThere’s no guarantee that you are reallysaying what you assume you are saying
  4. 4. A critical half of thestory I can’t tellyou about today
  5. 5. The problem for internationaldevelopment NGOsLosing public debate on global social justice Multiple, longitudinal measures Public “uninterested and uninformed” Media, NGOs, companies, government all in same placeWe can’t get away from statements like: “nothings changed since Live Aid” “aid is just wasted on corruption”
  6. 6. FramesChunks of factual and procedural knowledgeShape attitudes and responsesInformed by values
  7. 7. FramesSurface frames: words and meanings e.g. Tax reliefDeep frames: worldviews e.g. Moral order
  8. 8. ? ? ? ? Moral order
  9. 9. aid development charity campaigns Moral order
  10. 10. Conclusion on Oxfam GB 2010Comms“Seen through the ‘Frames and Values’ lens, the language of Oxfam communications often promotes frames and values you are trying to move away fromHowever, your comms do show – in places – ‘how it can be otherwise’”
  11. 11. Oxfam UK and the Moral OrderSimplification: especially binary oppositions, imperatives, assertionsand war metaphorsAssumptions: about supporters, prospective supporters & local partnersAgency: subtle suggestions about who does what, to whom, whichdisempower supporters and local people11
  12. 12. Subtle suggestion12
  13. 13. Less subtle suggestion ‘We’ = active“…we help poor communities affected Climate change = activeby climate change” BUT“…we should join together to help ourglobal neighbours” ‘Communities’, ‘global neighbours’ = not active 13
  14. 14. The four horsemen of belief1 Mass poverty is inevitable2 The problem is with the people who are poor3 People are poor for ‘natural’ and moral reasons4 Charity is (good) enough
  15. 15. Three uncomfortable truths1 Despite ourselves, NGOs are telling an old, predictable story, and are pretty comfortable with it ‘Old’ charity Starving African babies (usually in black and white) Distance and difference Grandiose hope over reason 2 Government and the media are in the same boat 3 We are blind to some very important unintended consequences
  16. 16. Four bad habits1 We assume far more than we know; we are more slave than master of our language2 We fixate on what people think and ignore the why3 We don’t know what a credible long term vision for engaging the public looks like4 We confuse policy prescriptions for campaigns
  17. 17. Five new habits?Take a whole organisation/whole sector perspective. Collaborate.Study your language. Use experts. Standardise e.g. discourse analysis (looks at why)Prioritise credibilityEvolve communications, campaigning & fundraising models in one direction: deeper engagement models more conversation less turnoverRevisit models of change. Together.
  18. 18. Opinion polls are a very poor measureof what the public really thinkThere’s no guarantee that you are reallysaying what you assume you are saying
  19. 19.