Theresa May lost her UK General Election gamble because she failed the fundamentals of basic storytelling.
Rather than engaging or inspiring, motivating the British electorate to support her quest for a larger parliamentary majority she achieved the opposite. Her stock, status and standing as the person to lead the British people as their Prime Minister diminished because of four basic errors in her storytelling.
Yes, it’s true. A British Army Captain, took ‘Bertie’, a ventriloquist doll, Bertie, onto the beaches of Normandy in the first few days of invasion.
Bertie’s resplendent army uniform proudly included a number of campaign medals.
Just imagine if he had got captured. Imagine the Gestapo trying to interrogate him, to get him to talk!
All of us should now have a new creative hero. Capt.E.H.‘Ted’ North – the man who had a hand in Bertie.
Public relations has a paradox: on the one hand it needs to measure to the nth degree its impact in the digital world and embrace Search Engine Optimization (SEO) led PR. (Check out Stella Bayles excellent introduction).
On the other, it needs to calmly accept the fact that, like the ancient mariners who put monsters or dragons on their maps to indicate the unknown, we in public relations need to do the same – or what I call NEO – Nothing Evidently Observable.
We exist and operate in a world of increasing granularity where can know of things to precise detail. Yet, paradoxically, we operate at the same time in a world of deep darkness.
We can often be needlessly, and unhelpfully beating ourselves up, allowing ourselves to be put down because of a failure to recognise and respect this double-side reality.
Our PR world is increasingly becoming more granular in how it goes about measuring what it does. Forward-thinking communicators urgently need to address its big wake up call to measure, evaluate and iterate.
Yet we must also accept communications and PR operate in a world where we need to identify and consolidate our understanding of the equivalent of the dragons on our map – the NEO: Nothing Evidently Observable.
If scientists can accept the existence of Dark Matter – where they readily admit that parts of our universe are beyond comprehension, or financial experts recognise ‘radical uncertainty’ where we cannot compute an outcome, shouldn’t we in PR be honest and comfortable to recognise at there is stuff in human activity and our communications universe that eludes definition and direct control?
In her book ‘Dark matter and the dinosaurs’ scientist Lisa Randall highlights how science recognises three components of our universe: dark energy – the expansive and delocalised property of space itself, ordinary matter – that includes atoms, subatomic particles and even Black Holes – and lastly, Dark matter.
What an amazing ‘2 Masterclasses in 1’ offer‘. I have teamed-up with one of the leading mutli-channel Content producers to offer an exceptional value session in just a morning session on Wednesday May 10th in London.
It offers powerful story and narrative creation from me and, from Russell Goldsmith, you get how to realize your idea into compelling Content, particularly video.
We live in an age of integrated comms where ideas and stories have to succeed across multiple channels. In one morning session you can transform your abilities to deliver great stories through an integrated campaign.
Explore the opportunities available to you to use video to engage your audiences, be that owned, earned or paid for, from micro-content, such as Instagram and Snapchat, to streaming events through Periscope and Facebook Live.
Learn how to use video to amplify your message and improve reach through targeted coverage on online media and influential bloggers; work with Social Talent and YouTubers; generate buzz; improve SEO and increase your ROI
You will also see examples of how interactive video can drive sales both on and off-line, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality plus we finish with some production tips and what’s involved in subtitling and voice-overs as well.
Tickets and further details on this great ‘2 Masterclasses in 1’ offer here.
A month ago we launched #SpeakCockneyDay on March 3rd – the ‘fird of the ‘fird. Through the fabulously talented creative community @OneMinuteBriefs we challenged some of Britain’s finest rising creative talents to get the message over about the need to safeguard the cultural future of Cockneys.
Winner of the competition was John Elevenblack of The Hideout not based in London, but in Maidstone, Kent, just behind Leeds Castle. They created a series of images of an alternative reality, of a Transport for London that was proud of its London roots and spread the word about Cockney on it bus and Tube routes.
“We’ve no Cockneys in the studio, but just have a love for a good brief and Creative. Would be cool to try and do a little guerrilla advertising for next year’#SpeakCockneyDay using the idea.” said John.
Check out all the entries here.
A big Tom Hanks to all that entered.
What will you be doing to celebrate #SpeakCockneyDay 2018?
#SpeakCockneyDay on March 3rd is celebrating what it is to speak, live and be a Cockney, to keep its spirit, sense and slang alive.
Cockney is more than an accent, or vernacular. It’s a state of being, a character, with virtues of self-reliance, magnanimity, a commercial nous, independence of spirit, egalitarianism, directness, and occasional subversion of pomposity, pretension and poshness.
However, linguistic experts predict the Cockney dialect faces a diabolical future – and will disappear within 30 years.
Whether you’re born within the sound of Bow Bells, have become a Londoner, or are now part of the Cockney diaspora, whatever your place of birth, colour or creed, ‘Speak Cockney Day’ is a time to celebrate Cockney life and culture – and do something to give it a new future.
Cockneys have always had to overcome class snobbery to survive. Now it needs to be made relevant to a new generation and new age to keep its cultural flame alive.
Andy: Mark, how would you describe yourself?
Mark: ‘A good human’.
A: A good human in a vocational sense?
M: In a vocational sense I think my Skype handle is ‘publicist’ so I am a publicist. That’s on my passport. I think that I would have said ten years ago I was a storyteller, but that has become much maligned and everybody now’s a friggin’ storyteller.
It’s sort of officially Blue Monday on Monday January 16th – the third Monday of January – symbolically the most depressing day of the year.
And it provides a great opportunity to promote greater understanding about mental well-being, positive psychology, or just an excuse to have a good time. And also for you to harness the power of memes in your life.
Do you want to be really prepared for all the opportunities and challenges that 2017 throws at you? Then you need to do a Pre-Mortem.
“You’re familiar with the concept of Post-Mortem – where you review and quickly identify what didn’t work, what went wrong – and who was to blame. All made easy by that greatest of gifts – hindsight.
One of your greatest enemies to your planning is over-optimism. Yes, even pessimistic you can be guilty of over emphasising the positive in your thinking.
Optimism bias is recognised by behavioural scientists, such as Robert Cialdini, for encouraging you to overstate the positive and underestimate the negative in your future planning.
So if you are planning for 2017, devising new strategies or new ideas you need to be aware of your optimism bias, and take constructive steps to counter its pervasiveness.
Chris Lewis is the founder of Lewis Global Communications, one of the world’s leading public relations and communications agencies, with 600 staff across 27 offices throughout Asia, Europe and North America.
He is the author of three books; ‘The Unemployables’ – a profile of 40 high achievers from all walks of life, ‘Brilliant Minds’ – a satirical novel about politics and advertising, and his latest ‘Too Fast To Think’ – highlighting ways of reclaiming your creativity in a hyper-connected work culture, which recently topped the Amazon Hot New Releases chart. (All proceeds from his latest book are going to the creative arts foundation Kupambana.)