The 3P Model in framing: Policy, Principles, Personality

Within this article I want to show you the 3P model in framing. This model will introduce three kinds of frames. They differ in their emotional effect and can therefore produce very different results. To know this model will help you to create your own frame and will also give you a good possibility to play the game of reframing.

Three ways to communicate a message

The 3P model distinguishes between three different frames for a message: the policy, principles and personality frame.

The policy frame means you want to provide information. You will communicate this information in a simple and clear manner. So you speak on a rational level and tell the audience all facts by using short and clear statements. As this communication is done on the rational level, it is a “cold” way of communication which is suitable to tell some facts.

In most cases it is useful to place you message on the emotional level to. By using such a principles frame you will also tell facts and information but you have to add some relations. For example you can tell some more details about you topics, like why we have this situation, what it means for affected people or how their situation can be changed. So the principles frame adds a “warm” emotional component to you message.

Another possibility of framing is, to connect the information with your own personal relations. You can create this personality frame by telling what the situation you are talking about means to yourself. This will also add a “warm” and in this case personal emotional component.

Combine the three frames

Previously you have seen the difference between the three principles. Depending on the information you want to provide and of course depending on your audience and your goals you may select a suitable principle to create your frame. Of course, you may also mix up the three communication models. For example you may start by telling some cold facts and later on add a warm component by explaining what this means for the affected people. At next you may add a personal facet by telling that you friends, your family or even you self are part of this group of affected people.


In reactions and answers to a statement or n talks and discussion you can play the game of framing and reframing. Applied on the 3P model you have an easy possibility for a reframe. If your opponent uses one of the three principles you can use another one for your reframe. For example if you opponent talks on the policy level you may use the principles level for your answer.

If you know this easy possibility of reframing you also know a way to prevent you opponent of doing so: In your frame you should use two or even three of the principles of 3P model. If you do so, reframing will become more complicate. In this case your opponent has to analyze you message in detail according to the three principles and find the weakest one. For example if you have used all three principles but the personality component was your weakest one, he could use this component for a reframe.


To know the 3P model will help you to create a strong frame for your message and it will also give you a nice possibility to reframe an opponent’s Frame.

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