Research & Insights

frankology Celebrates One Year of Research Just for Changemakers

We can’t believe its been one year since we launched frankology, where we cover the latest peer-reviewed research that can help do gooders do better. We started frankology with some scratch paper and a challenge: connect public interest communicators with research that can help them do their jobs better.

When we first started, we faced the grand task of harnessing the vast knowledge of our team of academics and training them in the art of understandable writing. While we are still learning and growing, 365 days later we are now sharing the latest research from fields like political science, social psychology, public relations, communications, public health, sociology, and more! frankology features award-winning research from the annual prize in public interest communications research, and other hand-curated research that’s most relevant to change agents like you.

We can’t wait to start our second year, and continue to build our frankology team and scope (hint hint).

Take a look back at our favorite studies from the year.

  1. Use the Right Emotion for the Right Ask

Public interest communicators know that evoking emotion is a surefire way to engage audiences and move them to action. But which emotions are most effective, and which ones are pushing your audience away? 2014 frank research prize winners Jina H. Yoo, Matthew W. Kreuter, Choi Lai, and Qiang Fu share findings that can inform public interest campaigns.

  1. The Messenger is the Message

Who are the trusted sources of information? Scientists? Elected officials? Or, your friend or family member? Winners of a $1,500 frank prize, David Sleeth-Keppler, Robert Perkowitz and Meighen Speiser reveal when public interests communicators should rely on “formal” communicators or “informal” communicators when reaching—and persuading—target audiences.

  1. It’s Ok to Get All Touchy, Feely About Female Condoms

Despite being an effective contraception tool, female condoms get a bad rap. Rather, they don’t get discussed at all. Researchers Charla Markham Shaw and Karishma Chatterjee interviewed male and female participants to understand current perceptions about female condoms—a launchpad for sexual health care providers to tweak messaging and give informed recommendations about female condoms that actually resonate with patients.

  1. The Pyramid Approach: How Twitter Use is Shaping Up Among Advocacy Groups

A “pyramid” approach is gaining traction among advocacy organizations in order to not only engage audiences, but turn them into loyal supporters. Researchers find that effective Twitter communications requires three steps: reach out, deepen knowledge and sustain interest and then motivate to action.

  1. The Truth About Why Some People Believe Fiction Over Facts

Beliefs trump facts, and what does it take to get stubborn, set-in-her-ways believer to change her mind? This study’s researchers designed a series of experiments to measure how people process and understand new information. What they found were a few secret weapons that communicators can use to share facts and sway opinions—or at least get audiences thinking about an issue in a different way.


Tell us about a compelling study that’s kept you up at night. We’d love to collaborate and share.

Posted: July 30, 2015
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