Dr. George Lakoff and Gil Duran Officially Launch FrameLab Communications

BERKELEY – Dr. George Lakoff and Gil Duran today officially launched FrameLab Communications, a message framing and communications strategy firm. FrameLab will work with a select group of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and political operations that serve the public interest.

Dr. Lakoff is the world’s best-known expert on the framing of social and political issues. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught for 44 years after teaching for six years at Harvard and the University of Michigan. He is the best-selling author of Don’t Think of An Elephant (2004), the handbook on political framing, as well as many other books. Metaphors We Live By (1980), which he co-wrote with Mark Johnson, is credited with helping to inspire the user interface for the Mac.

“We know from the brain and cognitive sciences that thought is carried out by neural circuitry and is largely inaccessible to consciousness. Techniques for studying unconscious thought have allowed us to discover the implicit worldviews motivating the progressive versus the conservative understandings of current issues and even facts,” said Dr. Lakoff. “FrameLab brings this research to bear on how best to frame values-based messages effectively and communicate them widely.”

Duran spent over a decade as a strategist and spokesperson for California’s top elected officials. He served as Press Secretary to Governor Jerry Brown twice – first at Oakland City Hall (2003-2007), then in Sacramento (2011-2013). He also served as Communications Director for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Communications Director for California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, and Press Secretary for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President for Communications and Senior Advisor at Tom Steyer’s NextGen America.

“When I read Don’t Think of An Elephant in 2005, I experienced a seismic shift in my approach to communications and gained a powerful advantage over the competition,” said Duran. “I’ve had the privilege of consulting with Dr. Lakoff during some of the biggest challenges in California politics, and it’s an honor to formalize our partnership with FrameLab. We look forward to using every bit of our knowledge and skill to serve the public good at this critical time.”

At FrameLab, Lakoff and Duran will focus on high-level framing, messaging, and strategy for clients, and will offer a full range of services in cooperation with a partner firm. Lakoff and Duran co-host a podcast – also called FrameLab – which focuses on politics, language, and the brain. It has thousands of listeners in over 50 countries.

Their partnership has also produced multiple viral social media pieces focused on framing, messaging, and communications.

For more information on how to work with FrameLab, please email info@framelab.us or call 510-545-9773.

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Lakoff and Duran in Sacramento Bee: What to look for in Trump’s State of the Union Speech

FrameLab founders Dr. George Lakoff and Gil Duran penned a new essay for the California Forum section of the Sacramento Bee. From their op-ed, published in the Sunday paper:

When President Donald Trump gives the State of the Union on Tuesday night, the citizens of a divided America will hear two different speeches.

Conservatives will hear a triumphal list of victories and successes. It will be a tale of battles fought and won against tall odds, delivered with Trump’s signature hyperbole. Dishonestly, he’ll heap credit upon himself for positive economic and crime trends that gained momentum before the 2016 election. He’s made no secret of his delusional belief that, despite abysmally low poll numbers, he’s succeeding at the job better than any previous president. Expect his speech to build on that theme. His base will eat it up.

FrameLab Partner Dr. George Lakoff Interviewed by Deutsche Welle

Dr. George Lakoff was interviewed by the German publication Deutsche Welle concerning his thoughts on President Trump’s communications style.

From the interview:

Dr. Lakoff: Language activates an idea and a circuitry in your brain. And the result of that is every time a circuit is activated, its synapses get stronger. So the more you hear certain things, even if you just hear and understand them, the circuitry gets stronger.

Read more here:


Lakoff and Duran in Sacramento Bee: How to Stop Falling for Trump’s Tweets

From FrameLab co-founders Dr. George Lakoff and Gil Duran in the Sacramento Bee:

President Donald Trump’s use of social media has radically transformed presidential communications. His short bursts of text move markets, disrupt diplomacy and inflame political anxiety almost daily.

His smartphone has become one of the most powerful weapons in political history. As a result, there’s a growing pressure campaign by many Democrats to force Twitter to ban him. But kicking Trump off of Twitter would fail to address the real problem.

Fast Company: Trump’s Tweets Can Be Reduced to Four Rhetorical Strategies

From Fast Company:

Lakoff writes on Twitter, “Each tweet gets his message retweeted so he dominates social media. Reporters, social media influencers, and many others fall for it hook, line, and sinker. Every time…They may think they’re negating or undermining him, but that’s not how human brains work. As a cognitive scientist, I can tell you: Repeating his messages only helps him.”

Read more:


San Francisco Magazine: Rewiring the Democratic Brain with George Lakoff

From San Francisco Magazine:

Lakoff and Durán are pursuing a two-track strategy to transform progressive messaging. They’ve started a for-profit consultancy called FrameLab, which has had a handful of high-profile clients like the Environmental Defense Fund. And they’ve begun work on their think tank, an online hub tentatively called the Citizens’ Communication Network, which will disseminate Lakoff ’s ideas to individuals and liberal organizations via communications resources such as graphics, live streams, and Q&As. They’re currently approaching deep-pocketed left-wing donors for funding; their fallback plan is to fund the CCN with the profits from FrameLab.

Read More: http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/rewiring-the-democratic-brain-george-lakoff