How to create great stories for successful campaigns
How can you make your campaign relevant, impactful and inspire action?
To make sure your campaign is seen, you need stories that resonate.
Whatever your mission or messaging, there is doubtless a lot to say. We often hear from organisations we work with that they struggle to dedicate the time to clarify their messaging. That’s where our approach to developing great stories can come in to help.
Good CHATS: the start of great campaigns
We know organisations work hard and juggle multiple projects, aims and KPIs. Crystalising and delivering core messages from this can be something of a challenge.
Taking it step-by-step can be helpful.
We use the term ‘CHATS’ when working with clients to help guide conversations on story development.
The combination of each of these points helps us to identify a campaign’s message, its target audience and how best to drive action.
You’ll also be able to determine a narrative arc – so you can grab attention and hold it.
Cut to the chase
These do not necessarily need to be reviewed in order, and there are points of crossover between each of these. But we have that found setting this out in a digestible way helps to focus discussions on story development.
Cut to the chase
Isolate and elevate the core element of what you do. There will be a lot to say, but it won’t be relevant to everyone, and not everyone will have time to digest everything you are trying to do.
- Focus on outcomes. What is it you’re trying to make people do, think or feel?
- Capture your campaign in a sentence. This defines and shapes your plan.
- Keep it simple, keep it strong. Less is more. The fewer the words and the snappier the offer, the better.
Put people at the centre of your story.
What you do will be benefitting real people. It’s one of the things we enjoy the most about who we work with, and what we do.
Whether it’s boosting the economy and job availability in the local area, or promoting greener energy or infrastructure, define who is positively impacted (not just what), and how.
As a next step, it’s worth considering whether these people benefiting are relatable to your audience…
To avoid shouting into the void, you need to make sure you know exactly who you want to be speaking to, and how best to reach them.
We find that identifying three audiences as a starting point is ideal to focus efforts effectively, whilst ensuring the range of people you want to reach are captured.
Then, you need to spark their interest.
Take some time to identify their concerns and hopes.
- Where can you find them?
- What’s a story they want to hear?
Striking at the right moment will ensure maximum impact and add to your narrative arc. Don’t wait until everything is nailed down before you think about your communication. Plan in advance, involve your comms team early to ensure you’re ready to go at the right time.
- What are the key project milestones?
- What is important to your audience?
- Are you ready to tell it?
Whatever your project or campaign is delivering, it will be providing a solution to a problem. Looking at it through this lense will help define what it is that will make people sit up and listen. They want to know why it is relevant to them, and why they need what you are offering.
Ask yourself and your team:
- What’s the challenge you’re facing?
- How are you providing the solution?
We help make good CHATS happen
We know that taking time to plan is difficult for busy organisations. But it is worth it, and we can help.
We support businesses and public bodies by bringing fresh eyes to your campaign, and direct productive conversation in workshops and surveys.
Photo by Etienne Girardet, Unsplash
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