Ryan Heath
16 January 2015

11 Tips For a Successful Campaign by Ryan Heath!

 Ryan Heath

First InnoCoffee on January 16th was a great success! Our speaker Ryan Heath, author, speechwriter and former spokesperson for Vice President Neelie Kroes, gave an exceptional speech summing up 11 tips for a successful campaign.

Here are the best practices to follow!

  1. Know what you want to achieve. Anyone can get attention – it’s much harder to change people’s perceptions.
  2. Know who can help you achieve it – that is who your communications need to be aimed at.
  3. You need to use language that average or disinterested people will understand – most of the world is not like Brussels, most of the world is not interested in your policy or your business idea. Your job is to make them care.
  4. You have to marshal real evidence that makes people pay attention – rhetoric is not enough. You might need to do research, you might need to interview people, you might need to pay for opinion polling — but you can’t just Google it.
  5. Be topical – that means reacting quickly to news events with sensitivity (no #JeSuisCharlie mousepads please) and understanding your audience and operating environment.
  6. Plan plan plan even when everything else is against you …. You have to get the soil ready – any farmer can tell you that, and they will also tell you that you reap what you sow. That doesn’t mean you should not communicate in a crisis or spontaneously, it just means that to be strategic you have to plan. Tactics alone will never be enough in the long-term / the life-cycle of your product etc.
  7. You increasingly have to be visual – most people remember images better than words, and they remember words on the page in more detail than words that they hear.
  8. It helps to have an opponent – that doesn’t mean you hate on people, or you make up enemies, but you do need to be able to contrast yourself with someone or some organization that has a different or worse or less useful vision than you do.
  9. You need a team … campaigns don’t need heroes they need teams. You can have a face to a campaign, but don’t let the ego get carried away. You need to represent an idea not just your self-interest. If you campaign isn’t helping someone, preferably as many people as possible it is not going to work.
  10. But you can’t leave it up to the Communications team – everyone has to pull their weight. Great comms can cover up bad thinking and ideas like band-aid and maybe for a very long time, but it can’t fix the root of a problem if your core team didn’t address it in the first place.
  11. And you can’t leave it to the last minute. Communications should not come before everything else, but you should be thinking about it with comms experts throughout. … not good enough to say your random programmers or your founder was thinking about it on behalf of the communicator/s, because you will miss vital perspective.