Break an egg? Make an omelet
Don’t you love the way H&R Block reframed tax season as refund season this year? So do I.
Take a tip from H&R Block: Got a negative story to tell? Reframe it.
How P.T. Barnum reframed a truckload of white salmon
Listen in as campaign advisor Bruno Gianelli schools White House Communications Director Toby Ziegler, on The West Wing:
TOBY Listen, the OMB’s gonna come out with a recommendation for a new way to calculate the poverty level.
BRUNO Show of hands?
TOBY No. But the formula raises the poverty level 2,000 in change.
BRUNO So what is it now?
TOBY 20,000 a year. The problem is we’re without a campaign and with 4 million new poor people.
BRUNO That’s the problem?
BRUNO Not that someone making 21,000 a year is considered comfortable?
TOBY [looks at Bruno] We’re working on that one, too.
BRUNO You keep working on that, also the other thing.
BRUNO The same way P.T. Barnum sold a truckload of white salmon.
They stop walking and face each other.
BRUNO By sticking labels on them that said “Guaranteed not to go pink in the can.” …
TOBY What the hell are you —
BRUNO Are you telling me this formula has been broken for years and the other guys haven’t fixed it? [pause] Like that.
Is there another way to look at your bad news story? How could you reframe it?