I spend my working life helping my charity and education clients to improve their communications, solving their problems by motivating their audiences to take actions. To celebrate the end of another year where effective communication has again proved a powerful tool for many, I asked some lovely people I know to tell me which communications they have enjoyed in 2017. Here are their recommendations – a real variety, with a definite story theme.
1. Amnesty International UK Facebook post
This post was so powerful – from the copy to the image. Words such as ‘outrageous, shameful and fighting’ combined with the way Trump’s eyes and disdainful look are drawing your eyes to the call to action. To me, it’s the perfect combination of words and picture to inspire me to do something.
Chosen by Kirsty Marrins, Digital Comms Freelancer
2. Taming Twins Newsletter
So many newsletters in my inbox are salesy, so to have a newsletter you can enjoy with a cup of tea without feeling like there’s an agenda is lovely. It’s got a ‘letter from a friend’ vibe. I suppose the sign of a good communicator is when you actually look forward to opening their email or Facebook post and make time to enjoy it.
Chosen by Emma Cossey, Coach for the Self-employed
3. Blue Planet II
This TV series used stories, images and a much loved presenter to get across important messages about plastics, climate change and sustainability. It got its point across really well, without being depressing. It also humanised the environmental cause by showing role models in action – such as a female scientist working to protect Albatross chicks and a local man who was saving leatherback turtles.
Chosen by Rachel Eden, Ethical Trainer
4. Hidden Heartache film
The film, made for Beating Bowel Cancer by Magneto films, is a story about Ben who battled with the disease so bravely. It really shows you what remarkable things humans are capable of doing even if they are suffering so much. His fighting spirit has stayed with me ever since I watched the story, he has left quite a legacy.
Chosen by Dawn Newton, Digital Marketer
5. Instagram Stories
This has been a year of stories. In a world where we are bombarded with salesy marketing communication, tripping over some short, sweet, DYNAMIC, ephemeral content is a delightful antidote and the possibilities are endless. My favourite example of has to be online business coach, Alex Beadon. She keeps things fun, creative and truly innovative so if you’re looking for a touch of story inspiration, she’s the girl to follow.
Chosen by Daire Paddy, Writer and Copywriting Creative
6. Exodus: Our journey
This documentary told the human stories behind the headlines of the refugee crisis, giving people the time to share their personal experiences and to show the complex inter-dependencies which are impacting people’s lives. It was profoundly moving – solving this humanitarian crisis will not only rescue the lives of refugees but rescue our own moral integrity.
Chosen by Adeela Warley, Chief Executive
7. Oranges by John McPhee
This book is a perfect piece of non-fiction writing; anyone who reads it can pick up some tips on how to improve the way they write a blog or news piece. It genuinely makes a somewhat bland topic interesting and that is what we all crave in our business-to-business blogs. McPhee is releasing a book in 2018 – Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process – passing on some of his advice, so that may be the follow-up read.
Chosen by Tom Chant, Content and Social Marketer
8. Pocket Casts
I have really enjoyed psychological thriller podcasts this year, using the Pocket Casts web player and app. I listen to real life stories that show the vagaries of human nature, giving me short snippets of intrigue and gossip. Just the brain break I need from time to time!
Chosen by Lucy Whitehall, Wellbeing Coach and Trainer
9. The Lost Words at Compton Verney, Warwickshire
This exhibition lived up to its marketing as a truly “enchanting” combination of words and art that “celebrate the relationship between language and the living world, and nature’s power to spark the imagination”. Robert Macfarlane’s acrostic poems are ‘spells’ that capture the magic of nature. Jackie Morris’ images are equally spellbinding. My favourite spell and image was The Otter, beautifully conjuring up this fabulous symbol of nature conservation.
Chosen by Debbie Griffiths, Copywriter and Consultant
10. Wikipedia’s fundraising communications
Initially there are some unobtrusive pop-ups a couple of times a year on the actual website that do a really nice job of clearly explaining why Wikipedia is important and how crucial it is to keep it independent. Then when you’ve donated once, you get infrequent and well written messages from the founder. It’s a really good example of an organisation getting the rationale, message, timing and delivery right.
Chosen by Greg Sandford, Freelance Communications Manager
I hope you’ve enjoyed these examples of great communication as much as the people who suggested them.
Until next time