Compelling Communications – the Key to Successful Business Change
Compelling communications are vital if your change programme is to be a success. Even if your business change involves a dry technology update, there will always be a people side of the story to tell.
Once you start thinking about this, you will find opportunities to create a real buzz about the changes ahead. Try injecting your next communication with our winning formula below.
Give your campaign a heart
Your campaign needs creative messaging that engages the people at the heart of the change. To achieve this, you should identify those impacted early on and involve them from the start.
We’ve had great feedback from our stakeholder workshops, which bring together representatives from different groups to discuss how the change will impact each of them. This is a good opportunity to find out what inspires your audience, what makes them proud to be part of your organisation and how they really feel about the planned change.
Armed with this information, you can begin to build an engaging campaign that targets everyone effectively.
Tell a good story
When presenting a business change, it’s natural to start talking about facts, numbers and financial benefits. Although important, this is unlikely to make your audience really care about your project or feel inspired to change their behaviour.
For more impact, you should aim to tell a story that makes the change relevant to your stakeholders’ day-to-day work. Opening with a personal experience that is relatable and clearly demonstrates the reason for change will grab their attention from the start. Visual language will also draw people in by encouraging them to picture the scenario in their head as you speak.
Once your audience understands the need for change, you can then set out your vision of the future by giving realistic examples of how things will be different. You should help people to imagine a positive new way of working that benefits them and the customers they care about. This is a far more effective way to inspire behavioural change than presenting cold facts.
Develop a distinct identity
A creative identity that can be applied across all communication materials will help your project stand out from the other programmes. To ensure this is engaging, you should work closely with your stakeholders to design something that visually represents what the change means for them.
We’ve seen particular success by creating illustrated characters which can bring the journey to life for different roles within the business. This ‘family’ of characters can be used to target key messages and benefits for different impacted roles. You can use them to build a story of how each role will transition through the change and how they will need to behave differently.
Attract attention with video
Video is a great way of getting across your key messages consistently and passionately to a global audience. We’ve seen successful engagement through videos that give senior leaders the opportunity to share their vision and address key concerns.
User-generated content is another effective way to tell the story from an employee’s perspective, which can feel more genuine to the audience. However, a clear brief is vital to set out the objectives and provide filming guidelines to ensure high-quality footage.
If your change involves a new process, bringing it to life through animation can also really help people visualise how it will work. This can make your message far more engaging than more traditional process maps or wordy procedures, and can also be an opportunity to sell the benefits.
Afiniti has worked with many global organisations to develop compelling communications that make change stick. If you are interested in learning more, please get in touch.