Framing the Conversation
From the outset, the Palm Center emphasized not just conducting research, but leveraging it aggressively to inform public opinion and national policy conversations. A key challenge was how to create salience, and momentum for change, on an issue that few constituencies seemed to care about. We knew that research mattered to policymakers, officials, and many journalists, but research was not always interesting or accessible to the general public, and it often was insufficient to make news itself. The solution was to develop a sophisticated communications strategy that would attract attention to a continuous supply of new studies showing that discrimination harms military readiness.
Since inclusivity has been shown to improve military readiness, simply telling the truth about what the research says can go far toward advancing just and effective policies. But since facts on their own aren’t enough to make change, they must be made to matter through their relentless infusion into the public conversation. Message saturation, when rooted in research, makes it harder to dispute an evidence-based claim, such as that inclusion strengthens readiness, or that discrimination undermines it. By forcing the matter and informing public opinion over time, we helped shape the political context for the overturning of military bans.
Below are examples of Palm’s most effective framing and communications work. The full collection remains available throughout our website.