How we communicate

This is an attempt at a communications guide. I’ll edit it as we go along; pop suggestions in the comments!

Inspire

People are often angry about politics. To give them something new, we must instead inspire excitement and awe. If we talk positively about an amazing future, we give people something to fight for. So, always talk about how we can build a better future; don’t lead with how the old parties are getting it wrong.

For instance, if making a point on surveillance legislation, maybe lead on the story of a future where people are empowered but in control of their own information; then point out how our current approach is undermining that.

Plain English

Wherever possible use simple words and short sentences. It’s not always possible, but it’s a good aim. Use simplewriter and Hemingway to create simple understandable text.

TL;DR

Remember, people don’t read everything to get to your point. Have a TL;DR at the start; make content skimmable, and remember the Inverted Pyramid for writing.

Think of the tweet

What’s the short shareable message from what your writing? Pull it out clearly.

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Interesting guide, good reminders. Some quick thoughts while waiting for a train…

  • what’s the best way of identifying / defining the target audience? Feels like this would help tailor messages and stay focused.

  • would your target audience understand “TL;DR”? Maybe there’s overlap here between summary and a soundbite/tweetable headline.

  • is there a good way to link to background context / further information? How can a simple message ripple out into being intrigued and then interested enough to follow up? Not sure on the answer on this but been intrigued by the idea for years…

Cheers! Food for thought…

Saw a bit of this talk from Simon Sinek yesterday, and it really resonated with how I want us to communicate. People buy into things (products, ideas) more emotionally than logically. We need to start with “Why?”, with our vision and belief. Politics focuses too much on the “what” and “how”. Instead we need to inspire and motivate people. Worth a full watch.

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Humanity! I have a blog post brewing on that…