Your voice is a powerful tool  

If you’ve one of our 2021 calendars sat on your desk, you’ll know that this month’s visionary quote comes from former first lady, Michelle Obama: If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice. 

Michelle Obama

As Good Housekeeping says of our March visionary, Michelle has provided us with so many valuable life lessons on fighting for justice and equality through her speeches, interviews and [her autobiography] Becoming.’  As a leader, Ms Obama is well-versed in using her voice to effect positive change and has been a powerful advocate for many causes, including female education worldwide 

Quote from Michelle Obama - it reads 'If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's the power of using your voice'

On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, she shared a compelling Instagram post about Nimon, a young Kenyan female student who discovered a love for physics through the Girls Opportunity Alliance and is now training to be a teacher herself – the video garnered nearly half a million views.  What both Nimon and Michelle show is that our individual voices can be a potent tool – people will sit up and take notice.  

Harnessing the power of an individuals or even a collective’s voice and the story they wish to tell is an incredibly important part of the PR mix.   

Strong voices, strong arguments  

These stories can manifest themselves in many different ways, and can be valuable in business as well as consumer campaigns, as the following B2B example for our client Altelium shows. 

Altelium uses electric battery data to facilitate investment in renewable energy systems, through warranties and operational data analytics.  The logistics sector, with its vast warehouses and corresponding energy needs is a key target market for them.  But how do we interest the logistics sector in what Altelium has to offer Warranties for energy storage systems or battery data aren’t exactly front of mind with a busy warehouse manager and we needed to bring the Altelium offer to life for them.   

Alex John’s is Altelium’s business development manager and is an expert on electric vehicles and autonomous ones in particular.  He sits on the BSI committee for Steering Group of PAS 1884 “Safety drivers in automated vehicle testing and trailing.  We used Alex’s genuine passion for autonomous electric vehicleto create a thought leadership piece about the exciting new role of electric vehicles in the logistics industryleading to a piece in the sector’s core title, Logistics Voices.   

Show, don’t tell – the power of the case study  

But perhaps the strongest use of ‘the voice’ is in the case study. The story of Nimon shared by Michelle Obama is a perfect example of a firsthand account or case study which strikes a chord with the intended audience. You can see this from the many comments left by viewers – ‘Amazing story!’, ‘Salute!’, ‘You are such an inspiration for young women all over the world, thank you. 

 

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A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama)

Sometime ago I undertook some training from CIPR trainer and writing guru, Lorraine Forrest TurnerHer mantra ‘show, don’t tell’ runs in the back of my head every time I put my fingers to the keyboard. The idea is that rather than simply ‘saying’ you belong to an innovative company in the first paragraph of your press release, you have to ‘show it or explain how you are innovative.  Every man and his dog would say they were innovative – what makes you different? 

 

Case studies do a marvellous job at the ‘showing’.  

 

Qube Learning really is an innovative training and learning provider. Their marketing materials are filled with case studies of real students who have been able to unlock and fulfil their potential, thanks to training with themA shining example of this is Daniel Hasan who won the Outstanding Achiever of the Year award after his traineeship with Cars2 Hyundai in Bradford  

Daniel’s case study and his award win caught the attention of the Telegraph & Argus newspaper which covered his story;

 

“Receiving the Outstanding Achiever of the Year award is truly one of my greatest achievements,” commented Daniel to the paper. 

 

So, if you’re looking for inspirational content, think about your voice and what story you want to tell – it’s a powerful tool. And if you need help, we’ll be on hand to make sure the intended audience sits up and listens.  

Get in touch via jessica@twelvepr.co.uk  

Hat’s off to you!

HAT’S OFF TO YOU! 

We’d love it if you could join us on a Team or Zoom call between 22nd to 26th March, because for every person who spots one of the Twelve team wearing a hat, we’re donating £12 to charity. 

March is Brain Tumour Awareness month and Friday 26th March is Wear A Hat Day but we know how busy our clients and colleagues are. So we’re not limiting the fun to Friday, any day during that week if you say hi over a Team or Zoom call and see one of us wearing a hat we’ll donate to this great cause. 

This has got to be the easiest ways to support really important charity – did you know brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and young adults under 40, more than any other? Just book a quick chat with any of the Twelve PR team and we’ll greet you with a smile and a hat and the donation is done! 

Hope to see you soon and don’t forget to email me at nicky@twelvepr.co.uk to book your call! 

The United Brain Tumour Campaign is a partnership of UK brain tumour charities working together to achieve a common goal to raise funds for research into the prevention and treatment of brain tumours, as well as ultimately finding a cure. 

Wear A Hat Day is the charities’ flagship fundraising campaign and March is Brain Tumour Awareness month.  

Brain Tumour Research  www.braintumourresearch.org 

Registered charity number 1153487 (England and Wales) SC046840 (Scotland). Company limited by guarantee number 08570737  

Twelve Comms will donate £12 for every person who sees them wearing a hat in an online meeting during the week of 22- 26 March  2021up to maximum of £500.00 

 

The art of storytelling – Gazza + Sindy

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen,” said bestselling author JK Rowling who then went on to say: “The stories we love best do live in us forever.”

This was said, of course, in the context of Harry Potter and Hogwarts. But it does make you think, as a PR, of the stories you’ve been involved in that you remember most.

I remember, a good few years ago now, a photocall at The Toy Fair in London. We were launching ‘Gazza – The Game’ – a board game created for England striker, Paul Gascoigne – remember him? At the same event we were also relaunching Sindy – the classic, ageless doll that could be dressed in numerous different glamorous outfits. Both ‘toys’ were made by the same company, Hasbro.

G6HDMD Soccer – Paul Gascoigne – Toy and Hobby Fair – Earl’s Court, London

Hasbro had a real-life model, Kate Burt, employed to be Sindy who also appeared in TV ads. Gazza, of course, came as himself. At the launch the pair emerged together onto the stage, arm in arm, and then Gazza gave Sindy a big kiss on the cheek.

To be honest I remember it less for the two stars and more for the blinding flash of photographers’ cameras, the like of which I’d never witnessed before. The picture made the front page of most tabloids the following day. Job done.

The star of the show was Gazza. Still in his prime he could dazzle at will and was revered as a top footballer with a boy-next-door personality. He had a vulnerable streak too which added to his appeal. He was perhaps most famous for crying when sent off in World Cup match. The event was though, for me, an early a lesson in PR storytelling – a comic book romance between a fictitious, much loved beauty, and Roy of the Rovers.

Stories aside, I remember great headings too. For drain clearance company, Dyno Rod – our press release was headed “Take a Drain Check”. It captured the imagination and generated literally hundreds of cuttings. At that particular time I shared an office with a former Daily Mirror journalist and boy could she churn the headlines out. It’s all in the training!

It’s immensely satisfying when forces converge to create a good story but it’s rarely down to luck. Success is generally down to clear and concise copywriting for a very specific target audience. Proper placement too – we didn’t invite the FT to the Gazza photocall! Finding a good news angle (Gazza’s dating Sindy!) is key. And keeping it short, sharp and to the point.

The rules are the same what or whoever you’re writing for. As much for a new toy as a tin can, a zero emission zone, or a lithium car battery, all of which I have covered over the past few days.

The skill is to tell a compelling story. JK Rowling knows a thing or two about that!

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help tell your story, get in touch – graham@twelvepr.co.uk.