A 2-page communications campaign framework

A framework for a campaign to embed your organisation’s strategy. What to do when they ask you for a hearts and minds campaign.

We need a hearts and minds campaign for our strategy.

Every organisation ever

Here’s a simple, adaptable, framework that could work for you.

It relies on these building blocks:

  • Identifying themes in your organisational strategy
  • Finding (proxy) clients for each theme to work with
  • An engagement-led approach
  • Creating tools and products that enable people to change
  • Reinforcing internal broadcast communications

Building your movement

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

The question becomes, how do we get people behind our cause?

The start of a Warwickshire cross-country race - a wall of runners heading towards you.
A wave of cross country runners heading towards you at speed.

And the answer is by finding common cause.

And you do that by listening.

This is where a technique from community activism comes into play. And thanks to Ruth and Julie from ThePublicOffice for recently introducing me to the concept. 

Public narratives

It really struck a chord with me because I had not long ago read the first volume of Barack Obama’s autobiography, Dreams from My Father, in which he talks about the time he spent as a community organiser.

How public narrative works is explained here far better than I could.

I can absolutely see the application to change within organisations and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can help people to do with the technique.

Sharing so that you can think about it too.

Keeping internal campaigns on track

The key to getting results from an internal communications campaign is about working with your sponsors to define clear outcomes (rather than outputs).

The key to getting results from an internal communications campaign is about working with your sponsors to define clear outcomes (rather than outputs).

Preparing for a journey on the Watercress Line

What will the campaign achieve if it’s successful?

The bottom line is…

…will it:

  • deliver a change, or
  • help get something done (an aspect of the organisation’s work).

Critical success factors

Here’s a useful checklist:

  • Have a clear objective that contributes to a shift in audience behaviour, knowledge and perception, or feelings
  • Know how you will evaluate delivery against that objective
  • Know how your campaign supports the organisation to achieve its mission and vision
    • and/or one or more of its milestones, strategic priorities or objectives
  • Use multiple channels during a clearly defined period of time in support of targeted stakeholder engagement activity*
  • Include a means of evaluating the success of the campaign, ideally before, during, and after

*broadcast communications alone will struggle to deliver change. But they can be useful in reinforcing targeted stakeholder engagement.

A stitch in time saves nine

Spending time with your stakeholders to get the what (desired outcomes) and the why and how really straight and watertight is the best investment you can make.

Getting started without getting these properly nailed down can leave you adrift and adding to the comms churn to no point and purpose. Not helpful for your audience, or your sponsor, and demotivating for you.

Internal communicators will never stop being asked to ‘raise awareness/profile’ or deliver a change in ‘hearts and minds’. And helping our stakeholders to think more rigorously is often challenging – especially when they are under pressure to show that they are ‘doing’.

But we’ve gotta try. It’s our duty.

Why Doesn’t Essex have a Destination Food Festival?

Inspired by this weekend’s visit to Ludlow Food Festival (which was brilliant), I was thinking that (my native) Essex should have a destination festival at least as big.  There’s enough quality food.  The countryside is just as beautiful, but in a different way.  It’s very accessible.  What’s stopping it?

Off the top of my head it should include:


Tiptree Jam
Tiptree Jam

  • Tiptree Jam
  • Maldon Salt
  • Leigh Cockles
  • Rossi’s Icecream
  • Kelly’s Turkeys
  • Mighty Oak Brewery
  • Crouch Vale Brewery
  • New Hall Vinyards
  • Burnham Mustard
  • Marriage’s Millers
  • Richard Haward Oysters
  • Jamie Oliver
  • Daniel Clifford
  • The Sun, Dedham
What am I missing?  People, location, produce, chefs, restaurateurs?  An existing festival or festivals that already hit the mark?  Let’s create it, at least in theory.  And once the theory is there…

Normal People

Writing about BBC investigation uncovers racial discrimination amongst lettings and employment agencies

I am absolutely aghast at this.  And really, I don’t have much else to say.

Next, our researcher passed himself as a potential employer looking for a temporary receptionist, who he insisted, had to be white.

What follows are the agency staff’s answers to our request:

Agency: “That’s fine. You are not allowed to say it but, no, we certainly hear what you say. That’s not a problem.”

Agency: “It’s difficult with the accent over the phone isn’t it? I understand that, yeah, shouldn’t really say that but taken on board.”

Agency: “We’ll ignore it and pretend you didn’t say it but listen to what you said, if you see what I mean.”

Agency: “OK. You are not supposed to tell me that but I will forget you did (laughter) but bear it in mind.”

Researcher: “Just send through white.”

Agency: “Yep. Normal people.”

Normal people?  WTF?

Of 30 temping agencies contacted across the West of England, 25 agreed to a request for a receptionist job to be offered only to white workers.

Internal Marketing Myth

Frustration Board Game
Frustration Board Game

I am raising the profile of something that was buried in a comment on another post because it’s topical again…  at least for me…

And also because I am looking to be challenged.  Come on, stretch my thinking…

Chris May asked:

Anyway, I was curious about this:

“Since arriving at my current institution I’ve noticed a queue of people coming to me for internal ‘marketing’ advice. They of course mean, and need, nothing of the sort – but it takes a while to persuade them of that.”

Do they all mean (and need) the same kind of thing? If so, what is it? And what causes them to come (mistakenly) to you looking for it?

I replied:

Of course not everybody means exactly the same thing, but the pattern is broadly that:

individuals or teams who provide a service to the rest of, or other members of, the organisation, want help in getting more take-up of their service individuals or teams with a bad reputation want to be thought better of within the institution

They are not mistaken in coming to talk to me – because a lot of the time I can help them achieve their objectives through advising them on how to communicate in a targetted and effective way.

But they are mistaken in thinking that having an internal logo or creating 10,000 posters to spread all over campus is going to be the solution to their problems.

When people arrive requesting support with “marketing” I know two things: firstly, they haven’t thought through precisely what they want to achieve, and secondly, they have not thought about who to target their communications at or what the best way to reach these people is.

And I’m not pretending that the processes that I go through with them are clever, but they do make them stop and think, and what we come up with is more likely to achieve their ends than a mass broadcast or advert-style communication.

Rather, they usually make them stop an think….

But there will always be some people who think that the way to get people to attend their idiosyncratic training course for researchers in particle physics is to send all-staff emails out every week for four weeks with their seminar logo attached!

Bearing in mind the strength of my feelings on the topic I am rather proud of the restraint shown in today’s carefully crafted email:

Sorry, I don’t know of anyone of specialises in the marketing of INSERT INTERNAL FUNCTION – I’m not really aware of it as a discipline, but, as my background is in internal communications in various organisations, I have worked with internally facing functions such as HR and IT.  In my experience such functions often have a hard time getting their messages across to internal audiences – but it is vitally important to work through what you want to achieve and then work out the best way to do it.  Otherwise it can be wasted money and effort (not to mention the air-traffic control point that I mentioned last time we emailed about this).

Can I suggest that we take a step back and get together to work through what you want to achieve?

In fact, it might be an idea to run a couple of hours of workshop – perhaps with all of HRD?  I have a number of tools that we could work through including this: http://www.smartchart.org/

What do you think?

SmartChart, by the way, is a work of genius – and thanks to Laura Dewis for pointing it out.

Womble Victory

Warwick Wombles at the Finish
Warwick Wombles at the Finish

Woohoo – 24hrs 33mins 37secs. The 138th fastest team out of the 288 that finished!

Wombles rock at Trailwalker.

Getting up at 5:30 on Saturday, starting off at 7 and going right through til 7:33 on Sunday morning.  100k in a fraction over 24 hours.

So far we have raised just under £3K for Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

For every blister, for every extra minute of extreme fatigue, for every mini picnic egg and every jelly baby, for every argument avoided and every melt-down averted – help us make it all worth it by sponsoring us at http://www.justgiving.com/warwickwombles

Give me your money


Writing about http://www.justgiving.com/warwickwombles and http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=20425750303

Ok, so I’m not doing the walking – but I am an essential member of the Support Crew.  In fact, I think I’m Support Crew Leader – it’s early days give me a break!

How hard can it be I hear you ask, well after Saturday’s gurkha-led briefing I am terrified about letting our walkers down.  Because they are the ones walking 100km non stop day and night.

It’s the equivalent of two marathons and a climb up Ben Nevis we were told on Saturday….  and for those of you who know Justine, Claudie, Brian and Simon P they need your sponsorship.  Hell, even if you don’t know them they need your sponsorship!

The route follows the South Downs Way, starting in Petersfield and finishing in Brighton – it’s a challenging journey that will change lives – including yours.

Trailwalker is organised by Oxfam and the Queens Gurkha Signals Regiment. It’s a chance to make new friends, to get out, get fit and to raise money for Oxfam and the Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Four people, one goal, 100 kilometres, 30 hours.

 Still don’t believe me?  Watch the video.

What do I love most this week?

Ocado packersI’m sure that the answer should be Himself.  But actually, right at this moment Ocado is closer to my heart!

They are delivering the ingredients for our ‘romantic’ Valentine’s meal very early tomorrow morning before work, despite my only having ordered them this morning.  Truely, for the girl without wheels, they are a saviour!  (Now I just need to work out where to get a card from….)

Not that the meal is a secret, nor will it be very spectacular as it will mostly be cheating, but I just didn’t want to create an Steak au Poivreunecessary stress around it by trying to fit in a supermarket trip.

  • Kir Royal
  • Duck Pate with Chutney on Toasted Brioche
  • Steak au Poivre with Chunky Chips
  • Apple & Almond Tart with Suaternes Custard

Olive assures me that through various underhand shortcuts I should be able to achieve it all within an hour.  I hoping that I can do that and still arrive on the other side looking like a fragrant and serene beauty and not like a harassed, sweaty, snappy and vaguely panicky mess.

So, fortunately, I’m at a conference in Coventry tomorrow which is due to finish at 15:30 thus leaving me plenty of time to turn myself and the house into an oasis of calm.

On the matter of Steak & a Blow Job Day I make no comment.