Talking about poverty in the UK – what works?
A 10-step guide to communicating more effectively – and changing public attitudes to UK poverty. This is a guest blog by Nicky Hawkins from the Frameworks Institute.
1. We often think stats speak for themselves – that numbers like this make people care
2. But facts alone don’t change how people think
3. We need to understand how people think about poverty and why
Why is it when poverty campaigners say this…
“Poverty in the UK is a major problem and urgently needs to be addressed.”
… people think and say this?
Beliefs about poverty in the UK
What’s going on when people react to the idea of poverty in the UK like this? How can we understand these ‘lost in translation’ moments?
4. The way we all think is shaped by our beliefs and assumptions
We rely on these to make sense of stories and data. To communicate effectively, we need to understand and navigate these different – and powerful – patterns of thinking.
Poverty is a thing of the past.
People make their own lot in life.
The system is rigged so nothing will ever change.
5. But these aren’t the only ways that people can think about poverty
People have other ways of seeing the issue.
Other ways of thinking about poverty
6. We can tap into these beliefs to trigger a different way of thinking
We can trigger a different way of thinking about poverty and increase support for better policies by talking about the issues in a way that reminds people of these beliefs and taps into them.
We believe in compassion and protecting others from harm.
It is simply not right that we live in a society where so many are locked in poverty.
We need to redesign the way our economy works to free people from the grip of poverty.
7. Talking about poverty in these ways is powerful
8. We can use these ideas to change the story we tell
This is how we build a better understanding of poverty and build support for action.
9. We need to change the story people hear
We need to work together to change the story people hear, so they can think in a new way about poverty.
10. Our society’s shared values can help build support to solve UK poverty
In the UK we believe in compassion, justice and shared responsibility. We can and will solve poverty.
This post originally appeared on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s blog.
Find out more in this report by the FrameWorks Institute, or read our summary.