Common problems

The table below describes some common problems associated with public visibility and some strategies to address them.   

Problem Area Details Suggestions for addressing the problem
Providing infrequent updates

In cases of infrequent updates on the social movement, including individual and collective actions, momentum can be threatened. Change agents and others may falsely conclude that the social movement has run out of energy, reached a plateau, or ceased.   

Continue to update on the social movement periodically. For example, update bi-annually at a staff meeting or champions event to maintain visibility. This also includes when the social movement has reached its goals as continuing to provide updates can support the sustainability of the change and maintain the engagement of change agents
Using sites with low readership Social media sites or other communication channels that have low readership limit the potential for visibility and accruing supporters.  Determine one or more site(s) where updates are posted. Highlight these sites so staff and others know where to find updates. 
Having insufficient funding to support public visibility Insufficient funding or a lack of ongoing funding can reduce opportunities to support the visibility of collective action. If little to no funding is available, opt for open access sources, such as intranet or social media platforms.
Using confusing hashtags

An unclear or ambiguous hashtag creates confusion about the focus and goals of the social movement.

Multiple hashtags create confusion about the focus and priorities of the social movement.

Use one unambiguous hashtag consistently to support messaging, and centralize and coordinate individual and collective actions.  

Using images that are less effective 

Examples of less effective use of images may include:

Collective action images that do not include thought leaders, influencers, or peer champions. 

A lack of images showing pivotal moments of individual and collective action (e.g., group collaboration, a critical mass engaged in change).

A mismatch between photos or other visuals and words used to describe the collective action.

The use of generic stock images may distract from the collective action and the specific goals of the social movement. In some cases, they may also reinforce stereotypes that undermine the values of the social movement.

A tone of negativity and despair can occur when photos and text of the problem or shared concern are only used. There are no images or text regarding the goals or vision to address the shared concern or strong desire for change. 

Be ready at events to capture images.

Take the opportunity to take images that include thought leaders and other formal and informal leaders.

Use photos of real leaders.

Use images and quotes from individuals engaged in collective action.

Thoughtfully choose images and words that are powerful, uplifting and raise feelings of hope and hopefulness. These positive feelings can promote and inspire others to get involved. 

SOURCES: FrameWorks, 2020; Grinspun et al., 2018a; Grinspun et al., 2018b; McConnell et al, 2018; Tremblay et al., 2018.