Center Frameworks

We’ve created a number of frameworks and modules to help build capacity in public interest communications approaches. We use the frameworks to help our work and offer them to partners through training or in development of the strategies developed during the partnership.

Our frameworks include:

The Fundamentals of Excellent Communication: The Science of What Makes People Care

The scientific evidence is piling up: people don’t act on information, they act on what they care most about. We’ve distilled six core principles from behavioral, cognitive and social science that you can apply to help people care more about your work. In this lively and hands-on session, participants learn to apply these rules to their own work and leave with a science-based framework for approaching new communications challenges.

The Six Spheres of Influence
An introduction to the fundamentals of the public interest communications approach, why this science-based strategic communication approach is different from others ways of sharing information like public relations, marketing or journalism. In doing so, we’ll also review six spheres of influence which change makers can use to accomplish their goals and the powers that each sphere holds.

Four Questions: The Back of the Envelope Guide to Strategy

Coming up with a strategic communications plan doesn’t have to require a staff retreat and hours of work. Simply focusing on making the right decisions in the right sequence can make a world of difference in helping you gain traction for your work. We’ll give you a basic framework for developing the right strategy to effect change.

Build the World You Wish Existed: Activating Systems Thinking and Human-Centered Design to Achieve Your Goals

We distill the vast disciplines of systems thinking and human-centered design into a four-phase, actionable framework for non-experts to follow. This framework helps organizations and causes identify what actions are essential to effect the change they wish to see and ensures that precious resources are targeting the right places to actually accomplish goals.

The Science of Story Building

How can we build stories that illustrate the importance of our work? What makes one story more compelling than another? How can we get people to care about the issues? This exploration dives deep into the structure of story and uncover the principles to help you take a narrative approach to your communications work. We introduce a framework to build effective, compelling narratives that will increase audience engagement.

Other Units We Offer:

Finding Your Stories
We’ll activate the insights from our Science of Story Building framework to provide a roadmap to start to identify compelling stories for your organization or cause. This session supplements an overview of story building and also activates the six stories every organization should tell and begin to develop your own.

Developing a Narrative Strategy Approach

Your goal as a strategic communicator is probably to motivate a particular group of people to do something they are not doing now, whether that is changing a belief or behavior change. Simply focusing on raising awareness or sharing information should never be the end goal. Storytelling is one of the greatest tools we have for driving belief and behavior change. Learn how to develop a narrative approach and tell intentional stories that help create change.

Building a Strategy for Diversity and Inclusion

Ensuring that your organization is taking a diverse and inclusive approach to your work will require a careful examination of your communication strategy. This session offers a framework that will help ensure you’re making a difference, by using systems thinking and insights from social, behavioral, and cognitive science to focus your communications effort where it can make the biggest difference. Through hands-on exercises, we will learn from the examples of several successful organizations, and help you apply the framework to your own challenges.

Working with the News Media

How can leaders and scholars work with the news media to share their stories and their work? Participants will learn to anticipate journalists’ questions and prepare for print, TV and radio interviews. They’ll learn how to handle the three questions every journalist asks, how to answer a reporter’s questions while simultaneously sharing their own message, and the secrets to simplifying their message. We’ll also work on building relationships with the right journalists and using digital platforms to know when an issue is top of mind for them.

Building a Collaborative Learning Culture

Building organizations that can effectively and creatively address complex environmental and social issues requires constant learning and collaboration among employees. To foster this type of culture, organizations need to develop systems and approaches that support shared learning and teamwork. We break down these approaches into four, science-based techniques to help your organization build a learning culture.

Planning for Your Next Crisis

When crisis inevitably unfold, a solid plan and understanding of the dynamics at play can help you survive with your credibility and message intact.

Meeting with Policymakers and Influentials

Learn to hold successful meetings with policymakers, influentials and journalists. Apply techniques for building their curiosity, helping them understand the value of your work and setting the foundation for a lasting, positive relationship.

Using Human-Centered Design to Hone your Tactics

Learn how design-thinking can change how you connect with the communities most important to your success.

Building Support for Your Ideas

Learn how to build and manage relationships with the individuals and organizations crucial to helping you achieve your goals.

Building Unforgettable Presentations

We’ll share the magic behind great presentations and help you build new skills that help you break through writer’s block. This useful technique translates easily to many projects, whether you’re writing a speech, developing a curriculum or drafting an article.

Six Principles to Deliver a TED-style Presentation

Learn and practice the principles that will help you deliver a TED-style talk. This hands-on session will get you out of your chair and in front of an audience in no time.