Framing Overview + Framing for Emotional Engagement

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Last week I shared with you how crucial the concept of "framing" as an editing tool is for all of your communications from live presentations to Instagram if you want to continue to grow the engagement of your fans, followers and most especially, active customers.

If you missed that email you can read it here.

When we use "framing" as an editing tool we zoom in on the most important focus of our message and cut out the fluff of details and data that won't really matter to our audience (even if it does to ourselves or our team).

Using the right framing for your storytelling and communications editing is just as important as choosing the right frame for a picture you hang on the wall.

Depending on the platform, there are multiple editing frames you can use to make sure your storytelling and communications are the best they can be.

I like to use the following four frames to edit my communications:

1) Emotional connectivity

2) Visual connectivity

3) Language

4) Length

Today I'm going to delve deeper into emotional connectivity.

If your marketing and communications pieces (including short social media on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.) aren't truly connecting with your audience and growing it you might have forgotten to include emotionally engaging storytelling.

Plain old promoting rarely works well (remember, in today's modern era of marketing it's smart to use the 80/20 rule). Neither does lecturing much. The human brain is wired for stories. It's wired to remember a hero's journey with a beginning, a middle and an end, over data and statistics.

Weave Emotional Engagement Into Your Communications

>> Ask yourself am I mostly trying to promote how smart I am (or our product/service) is? Or truly sharing real value for others?

>> Share stories of the actual people (maybe you) that your idea, product, infrastructure or service has actually helped and how.


>> Layer stories of real people into your communications and presentations like a cake. Make it a rule of thumb not to share more than a tidbit or two of data or product information without accompanying it with an illustrative story about a real person.

>> Use images that almost always include real people who's stories you can highlight in your blogs, email newsletters, and other forms of social media.

Take a look below at the email I received this week from New York's Transportation Alternatives - one of the most successful city-wide advocacy organizations for safe biking, walking and public transit in the U.S. They are masters at personally engaging storytelling. This time the story is about Giovanni and it will break your heart. I'm quoting it directly.

Here's how the Transportation Alternatives Email Newsletter Opens:

Dear Melissa,

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Nine years ago, my wife gave birth to our son. I named him Giovanni. He grew up to be a good boy with bright eyes who loved soccer, like his dad.

One month ago, in the crosswalk on Northern Boulevard, while the WALK sign shone white, a man killed my son with a Jeep.

>> Read the full email newsletter including its clear call to action here.

Tragically we live in a society where many people view the lives of those doing something other than driving a car as less worthy (in this case walking across the street in a crosswalk with his mother) less valuable than those driving the car.

Transportation Alternatives excels at using emotionally engaging storytelling to focus in on the heart of the matter. Everyone matters. Children matter. Children should be able to safely walk across crosswalks without getting run over. 

You are part of the solution to create healthier, safer streets for everyone. Think about how you can use "framing" to help you tell more engaging stories this summer.

Remember, you're a work in progress. It's not about perfection, it's about authenticity and engagement.