Talking Points: Reframing “Big Business”

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For decades, many progressive communicators have used the term “big business” as shorthand for an ethos of greed, recklessness, irresponsibility, and undue political influence. It’s been an enduring and effective frame: a simple and memorable phrase that conjures up a well-established villain.

Yet using the term “big business” as an unqualified negative reinforces a false dichotomy between business on the one hand, and progress on the other.

The task for progressive communicators is to identify powerful language that evokes the negatives behind the “big business” frame, without reinforcing the (false) idea that all business is bad business.

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Published: September 1, 2010