I am happy to introduce part two of a post by guest blogger Peter Metzinger, physicist and former Campaigns Director of Greenpeace Switzerland, Partner and Managing Director of The Reputation Rescue Company AG, and Chairman of pro:campaigning. Enjoy! ~ Jules
Part Two By Peter Metzinger (click here for part 1)
Campaigning (or Public Relations) is about motivating people via well thought-through activities so that you effectively achieve your goals in a concrete and measurable way. With campaigning, your budgets are no longer costs, they turn into investments. In many cases, campaigning actually increases Return on Investments.
In my new book, I present a checklist for strategies that can be applied to ANY strategy, concept or plan. The book will also include process definitions for an analysis that delivers the answers needed to develop a strategy that makes it easier for you to follow these 14 Strategic Campaigning Guidelines.
To achieve this, campaigning requires the identification of the most effective solution. This, in turn, requires that you know what the real problem actually is. It requires a higher awareness that allows you to see the situation in its entirety; not only within the framework of one specific profession. As a campaigner, you seek inspiration from anywhere and you foster out-of-the-box-thinking beyond the limitations of professions. It means pulling out ALL the stops to achieve your goals or at least to be able to pull out all the stops.
Finding the most effective and efficient methods also requires the need to be aware of any possibly helpful profession, tool, approach, tactics or technique. As a campaigner, you are like a Dr. Change, who doesn’t know which medication to prescribe before he has made a diagnosis. But what is far more important, is that he knows that every medication is useful only under very specific circumstances.
This is the opposite of what we often find today in business where some people believe advertising can solve any problem, while others think that role belongs to PR and others contribute it to communication in general. This is not real out-of-the-box-thinking, because it is limited to these people’s profession. There is more than just “communication” and the acknowledgement of this is essential in detecting the right approach to a solving a problem effectively.
To acquire and maintain a toolbox with a broad spectrum of professions, tools, approaches, tactics or techniques as described above you need to be open, innovative and have to permanently monitor what new stuff is coming up and how others have reached their goals successfully. It is a never ending learning trip. Sometimes, you have to invent new tools on your own. For instance, after not finding a proper one-to-many-posting tool for social media networking, a friend of mine and I developed Sereive, a tool which allows for the easy as possible management of social networks campaigning.
The spectrum of campaigning tools ranges from creative ideas, communication tools to management skills. A campaigner’s toolbox includes: marketing, PR, messaging, story telling, viral marketing, advertising, internal communication, online campaigning, event marketing, change management, organizational development, strategic thinking, game theory, coaching, knowledge management, psychology and more.
Clearly nobody is capable of applying all these tools, techniques, professions etc. by himself. All a campaigner needs to know is that the tools exist, what they are good for and who is a master in applying them.
However, there are a few things that any campaigner needs to be a master of:
1. How to apply the 14 Strategic Campaigning Guidelines
2. Strategic planning, project management and tactical execution
3. Logics and analytics
4. Precision in wording
5. Systemic and cross-linked thinking
The Strategic Campaigning Guidelines are at the core of the business campaigning® model. Being formulated in a general way that makes them applicable to any of the above mentioned campaigning fields, they need to be translated into concrete language depending on the campaign’s starting and changing situation. This requires a profound situation analysis.
To allow you to follow these fourteen guidelines, your strategy needs to include certain information and decisions. To identify that information and the right decisions, mostly priorities, you also need to profoundly understand the current and future situation of the respective enterprise or campaign.
At this point, it is important to give you an overview over these guidelines:
1. Polarity, profile, position
This guideline helps you to create a movement of follower and fans.
2. Control the agenda
Nothing happens without you being in control of it.
3. Concentrate your forces
Don’t waste time and energy.
4. Build upon existing strengths
Know your strengths and focus of them, not on your weaknesses. Be positive.
5. Maintain flexibility
Stop thinking “either-or”, start thinking “as well as.”
6. Persistence and perseverance in following your strategy
You need a strategy and determination for this.
7. Result orientation and matching of goals and instruments
Choose the right tools and have a comprehensive toolbox at your hands.
8. Use synergies and multiplication effects
9. Awareness and forethought
Always monitor what’s going on. Be on top of things and smell the change before it happens.
10. Unity of command
Everybody works towards the same goal in accordance to agreements on how to do it.
11. Efficiency and simplicity
Keep it simple and practical.
12. Think in scenarios
Make plans for abrupt and total changes of the situation and keep them always in mind.
13. Success factors of communication
Keep it simple, concrete and understandable. Know your audience and listen first.
14. Build golden bridges
Make it easy for your audience to do what you want them to do. Values play an important role here. Leave an easy way out for competitors.
In order to apply guidelines 11, 13 and 14 I would like to introduce a new expression. In the text above I have used several pharases such as professions, tools, approaches, tactics or techniques as a description of the different sorts of instruments that a campaigner might want to use. Each of these expressions alone would not reflect the broad variety of problem solutions that exist and they are also too different from each other to find one expression that would describe them all. Therefore, I decided to create a new word, something not unusual, considering the word automobile was created not so long ago. From now on we will no longer list “professions, tools, approaches, tactics or techniques”. We call them changerators – a word consisting of “change” and “generators”.
PR & Campaigning demands that we become more than just communicators. It means becoming a Changerator.