“Who are you trying to reach and what do you want them to do?”
It’s a question you’ve been asked if you’ve ever worked with the Beekeeper Group team. Regardless of how you answered, the success of your campaign hinges on your organization’s ability to persuade your target audience to take action.
There’s no doubt that success in the PAC and grassroots arena stems from the ability to hone influence tactics; a good campaign doesn’t just tell its target audience what to think—it compiles the most compelling facts, appeals to their empathy, and explains an issue in a way that allows them to reach the conclusion on their own. This year’s election clearly demonstrates how vital it is to know—not just the facts on an issue, but which facts will resonate with and persuade the most people to see your perspective on that issue. However, in a world of information manipulation and out-of-context quotes, it’s sometimes hard to remember the tactic that should, in theory, come more naturally than all the rest: real, unadulterated truth.
Dr. Kelton Rhoads, a psychologist and influence consultant (among other things) spoke at the December Innovate to Motivate 2015 conference and argued (quite compellingly) that after being “cloyed with slick marketing appeals and fake public figures,” audiences are, now more than ever, “starved for authenticity.” Rhoads isn’t the only authenticity advocate. In a recent Public Affairs Council blog post, Trust Me: The Key to Grassroots Advocacy, Rikki Amos, Director of the U.S. Public Affairs Practice, tells us to “ditch the spin” and I’m inclined to agree with her. Amos says, “Believe that your advocates, the public and elected officials are smart enough to recognize when they’re being snowed.”
The phrase crafting authentic messaging’ might seem contrary in motive, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective! Try running through this reality checklist— it might just up your “realness” factor:
Values. Nearly 65% of consumers say they have a relationship with a brand because they share similar ideologies. Double checking to make sure that your messaging aligns with your company and audience’s principles helps to lay the foundation for constituent engagement.
Perception. Who is asking your members to get involved and why? Having a thought leader or trusted source appeal to your audience from a personal standpoint might be more beneficial than having the same message come directly from your company or organization.
Evidence. Have you equipped your audience with facts that support your position and the position you are asking them to support? Have you done it in a way that is memorable? We remember 30% of what we read but 80% of what we see. Delivering key information in image-form might be just what you need to have a lasting effect.
So, maybe it’s time to give your ‘authenticity-starved’ audience what they really need (and score some karma points while you’re at it!) Give truth a chance–it’s so crazy it just might work.