oasis-framework

What is the OASIS Framework?

The UK’s Government Communications Service (GCS) originally developed the OASIS framework to plan and execute strategic communications campaigns based on five components: objectives, audience insight, strategy/idea, implementation, and scoring/evaluation.

Understanding the OASIS framework

The OASIS framework is used to bring clarity and order to communications campaign planning. 

Whilst the definition of a communications campaign will vary from one industry to the next, the GCS defined it as:

a planned sequence of communications and interactions that uses a compelling narrative over time to deliver a defined and measurable outcome.” 

It is worth noting that the OASIS framework was conceived so that the cost of communications campaigns could be justified to ministers looking to reduce public expenditure.

For this reason, the framework advocates that such campaigns have a measurable impact.

Despite being rooted in civil service, the OASIS framework is also used by marketing and communications professionals from private companies and universities.

OASIS is a versatile approach that is useful in everything from relatively simple press releases to more complex and expensive social change initiatives.

The five components of the OASIS framework

Five components comprise the OASIS framework and acronym:

Objectives (O)

What does the communication activity need to achieve? What channels or activities will be utilized?

Objectives should be SMART with a focus on outcomes instead of outputs. In the public sector, the metrics that comprise objectives should be numerical wherever possible.

Audience insight (A)

The OASIS framework considers detailed knowledge of the audience to be paramount.

Who is the audience and how will they reach a desired outcome? Is there an attitude or behavior they need to change?

Strategy/idea (S)

The third component of the OASIS framework represents the planning stage. It considers how objectives will be met and the channels that will be used to reach the audience.

Practitioners also develop a campaign narrative at this point to move individuals toward the desired outcome or behavior. 

Implementation (I)

The plan should then be refined to detail tactics, resource allocation, and delivery timelines.

Influencers and other partners are involved to increase impact. Government bodies may choose lower-cost options such as partnerships. 

Scoring/evaluation (S)

Where outcomes are monitored and evaluated for effectiveness.

To link this component with the first, outcomes are measured against key objectives and their metrics.

If the results are sub-par, practitioners may choose to run through the framework once again by incorporating new results or insights.

Key takeaways:

  • The OASIS framework is used to bring clarity and order to communications campaign planning. It was initially conceived by the UK government to justify the cost of such campaigns to ministers who were looking to cut costs.
  • Despite having its origins in civil service, the OASIS framework is also used by marketing and communications professionals from private companies and universities.
  • The OASIS framework is comprised of five components: objectives, audience insight, strategy/idea, implementation, and scoring/evaluation. Objectives and their KPIs must be measured according to the outcomes that result from the fifth component to tie the framework together. 

Related Business Concepts

OKR

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Andy Grove, helped Intel become among the most valuable companies by 1997. In his years at Intel, he conceived a management and goal-setting system, called OKR, standing for “objectives and key results.” Venture capitalist and early investor in Google, John Doerr, systematized in the book “Measure What Matters.”

Balanced Scorecard

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First proposed by accounting academic Robert Kaplan, the balanced scorecard is a management system that allows an organization to focus on big-picture strategic goals. The four perspectives of the balanced scorecard include financial, customer, business process, and organizational capacity. From there, according to the balanced scorecard, it’s possible to have a holistic view of the business.

Lightning Decision Jam

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The theory was developed by psychologist Edwin Locke who also has a background in motivation and leadership research. Locke’s goal-setting theory of motivation provides a framework for setting effective and motivating goals. Locke was able to demonstrate that goal setting was linked to performance.

SMART Goals

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A SMART goal is any goal with a carefully planned, concise, and trackable objective. To be such a goal needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Bringing structure and trackability to goal setting increases the chances goals will be achieved, and it helps align the organization around those goals.

Backcasting

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Businesses use backcasting to plan for a desired future by determining the steps required to achieve that future. Backcasting is the opposite of forecasting, where a business sets future goals and works toward them by maintaining the status quo.

Moonshot Thinking

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Moonshot thinking is an approach to innovation, and it can be applied to business or any other discipline where you target at least 10X goals. That shifts the mindset, and it empowers a team of people to look for unconventional solutions, thus starting from first principles, by leveraging on fast-paced experimentation.

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