Apologies for this break in your usual viewing pleasure – with Henry in search of warmer climates, so for the next few weeks, we’re taking (BACK?) control.
As most of you who read Henry’s regular missives will know, I was re-elected and became Deputy Leader of Surrey Heath Borough Council earlier this year, and with that has come a variety of extra responsibilities and new opportunities – one of them is high media exposure. Particularly when there is a problem or issue that needs a media strategy put in place to respond to multiple media outlets.
This is all, of course, in addition to the natural glamour of being an elected Councillor. For example, over the past couple of months, the biggest issue in my inbox has been liaising with our town’s sewage work and a rather unpleasant odour emanating from there (I’m sure you don’t need me to describe it in too much detail). Glamour indeed.
Being put in front of a camera to speak on an issue can be daunting, especially when you may not be a technical expert on the subject, but you are the face/voice of an organization. You think that one misstep will cause massive problems and end your career, but it won’t. One thing that I have learned very quickly is that the media is looking for a story, so that is what you need to have in store ready to sell them.
A technical response may be good if you’re being asked technical questions, but what I have found out is that a clear narrative with clear messaging will set you up for success in nearly all cases.
That’s what we do here at the CCP. We help translate the technical world of planning into a narrative and a message that is easy to understand by the average person on the street. A simple message that distills the essence of a planning application or site promotion will demystify the development. Too often there are wide gaps between developers and residents, and that gap needs to close.
Community Communications in Partnership (see what I did there) is the best way to bridge that gap, with a strong narrative that builds in social added value and addresses the issues residents care about; you can achieve great things.
So, if you’re finding it a bit difficult to break your application through, then get in contact with us, and let’s see how we can drive your message forward.