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!
- Know what you want to achieve. Anyone can get attention – it’s much harder to change people’s perceptions.
- Know who can help you achieve it – that is who your communications need to be aimed at.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be topical – that means reacting quickly to news events with sensitivity (no #JeSuisCharlie mousepads please) and understanding your audience and operating environment.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.