Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Still Authentic

There are some real winners when approaching a journalist with a story, and one of them is authenticity.

Whose story is it?

The case study is used by every charity organisation; the spokesperson describes just how the charity has helped a specific person and how you can help too. What the good charities, the clever charities do is let the people speak for themselves, let the journalist into the lives of the case study. They get the authentic voice rather than a voice filtered through a spokesperson.

It can work for business just as well as charities, you just need to identify the owner of the story, the person that has the most authentic voice... for example I've been working with an organisation that helps people build their businesses. It's a fascinating group of interconnected projects that really help entrepreneurs. The problem is the stories aren't theirs, they are their clients.

So what do they do?

They facilitate.

They give their clients the chance to tell their stories. The clients become the authentic voice of their own companies and the stories are the authentic voice of the umbrella organisation that facilitated it.

Recently there have been some truly bad marketing and advertising campaigns that get actors to play the part of customers, or of real people who consume a product. They are without exception irredeemable bad. The recent "Philadelphia Cheese" campaign featuring an annoying woman telling us to hide sweetcorn under cheese  is one of the worst ads ever... In my head.

We can tell if it's not authentic and push against it if it isn't.

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