Framing, Branding and Public Image

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Framing, Branding and Public Images
This essay discusses the value of the concept of framing for international actors and public relation consultants. Why is it important to understand the construction of frames and images in the news discourse? To illustrate the linkage between images, framing and branding the definition of these fundamental terms is required.

Based on their knowledge, beliefs and experiences individuals create images of their environment that influence their behavior. Images are permanently exposed to messages and thoughts. “The meaning of a message is the change which it produces in the image (Boulding, 1959, p.7).” Individuals adopt inputs that emphasize their current image easily and tend to reject inputs that require change. Images are influenced by subjective values that define what is good or bad. Identical parts of individual or “private images” of members of a society create a common sense that can be defined as a “public image”.

Frames can be seen as packages of information that enable individuals to extract, organize and interpret the signifying elements of their experiences to construct the meaning of it. Framing intends to influence individual’s judgments and decisions on public issues by proving information with a systematic focus on certain aspects. The main actors (policy makers, media and audience members) are connected by the public discourse that is an integral part in the shaping of public images. Framing analysis is a model that can be applied to analyze the construction of a public discourse and helps to understand how images are influenced by the way they are framed by the media.

Branding is a planed process that aims to connect certain (positive or negative) attributes with specific goods, services or actors. The process of branding includes the identification of current public images, the definition of target groups and the development of communication strategies that connect the international actor with the...
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