Actually it is three keys, which taken together make for a potent mix.
It should be easy, but it seems to be hard, judging by all the rubbish I see around.
There is just so much messaging out there that fails to deliver any useful message, despite the money, time and supposed talent thrown at it. Somehow we have lost sight of the simple rules to apply. If you want a message to be seen and acted on, you had better make it clear, and articulate what you now want the receiver to do with the information.
So, three simple rules:
- Make it relevant
- Make it simple
- Make it repeatable.
As I watch the beginnings of what I expect to be a truly appalling tsunami of complicated, irrelevant and forgettable babblings from politicians on both sides over the next weeks, I cannot help wondering what would happen if one side or the other told the truth. What if they, acknowledged the shortcomings and uncertainties of their economic and social models, and of the resulting ‘policy settings’, acknowledged that you cannot please all of the people all of the time, and recognised the value of at least some part of the other sides positions.
Little hope of any of that.
Martin Luther King’s great ‘I have a dream’ speech delivered on August 28 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln memorial in Washington would probably not be as well remembered if it was the “I have a 10 point plan” speech.
A 10 point plan to end the racial discrimination prevalent at the time would not have resonated, the way “I have a dream” does. That message has not been heard by the opposition leader who I heard this morning spruiking his ‘Plan to make Australia great” followed later in the day by a long menu of things he will be “fighting for in this election”.
Yawn. Unfortunately the Prime Minister is little better, being unprepared to answer simple questions, even with a caveat that forecasting 10 years is challenging when nobody really knows what will happen tomorrow.
What if one of the protagonists in our political system actually articulated the dreams, the things we can all relate to, then backed it up with the truth. The truth, with all its power to engage, build a following, and be held accountable. In the 1990 film “Crazy People” Dudley Moore as an over-stressed advertising man proposed that greatest of evils, truth in advertising, and became wildly popular while kicking the accepted wisdom of obscuration, selective delivery of any facts, wild and unrealistic claims, and outright bullshit, squarely in the teeth.
Perhaps a bit of that medicine should be dolled out this morning as this 44th Parliament is wound up.