Corporate issues communicators often have unrealistic expectations.
A typical exchange:
- Our programme isn’t working
- What are you trying to do?
- Change people’s opinion of us. We want them to understand that we’re good, not bad. They just need to hear our story. But we’re drowned out. We have less than 1% share of voice on the issue although we keep pumping out our message across multiple channels.
- Who are you targeting?
- Do you localise?
- No, it’s all in English.
- Any idea about what might make people change their minds?
- Not really.
- How many people have you got?
- Two, including a consultant on a tiny retainer.
At the risk of stating the obvious:
- Affecting influence and/or a change in opinion requires a fairly hefty investment (budget and people).
- Changing opinion is very difficult; you’re better off targeting people with no opinion!
- In either case, influence/change requires a deep understanding of what could affect a shift and an apposite strategy, not just publishing lots of “stuff”.
- The other side (i.e. activists) are better funded and approach campaigns strategically. They’re targeting you because they know they can win.
- Global campaigns are usually pointless. Always focus on markets in which influence/change is most realistic.