Keep Calm and Carry On

Lights, Camera … Calls to Action … effective communications, regardless of the tactical delivery, often have a very clear call to action. Don’t be shy. Tell your audience what you want. Whether your audience is comprised of shareholders, employees, or potential or existing customers, they all want one thing in exchange for their time and attention — an answer to the question of Why? — which can lead to a What? Why are they paying attention? And, what do you want them to do with the information you’re sharing?

Keep Calm and Carry On is a classic example of a call to action that has become an iconic image as well as a catch phrase almost 80 years after its intended use. The pithy text and notable graphic design was originally a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for WWII. It was intended to raise the morale of the British public as they faced the very real threat of massive air attacks on the country’s major cities. Fast forward to the year 2000 and the discovery of one of the posters. It sparked a full-on rebirth of the call to action and spawned a myriad of uses of the image and text in everything from wearables (including pet "clothing") to dishware and household accents. The next time you're faced with distilling your messaging down to an effective call to action. Keep this example in mind. It’s everything a call to action should be – straightforward, impossible to misinterpret, and pithy enough to stick in the mind of your audience.

Here's my call to action to you — I want your feedback. Do you have any specific issues that you'd like me to address? Let me know. In the mean time, well… you know what to do… talk to you next Friday. 

How The Story Ends Is Up To You …

An impressive-looking, red carpet worthy video and an effective one can be mutually exclusive, but not for our clients. I often find myself providing counsel early in discussions with clients about the need for storytelling. If a message is going to hit its target, it must first and foremost be compelling and delivered in such a way that it resonates with its audience. No amount of custom graphics, soundtrack or voiceover talent can make up for ineffective content. Just as in real estate the mantra is, “location, location, location.” When working with a video production company your mantra needs to be, “storyline, storyline, storyline.” (repeat).

In order to soundly place your message, keep the following questions in mind at the beginning of the video production process:

1.    What do I want the audience to hear? Keep it simple, drill down to the most salient facts.

2.    What do I want them to feel? Regardless of the demographic you are intending to influence, at the end of the day, action requires connection.

3.    What do I want them to do with the information? Be specific, use a call to action, if appropriate. 

Once you’ve answered these three questions with your production company, you’re well on your way to producing a successful video. And, by the way, this goes for internal or external video communications. 

As always, I welcome your feedback, and I’m here to help. If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, let me know. If you like, or don’t like the tone, tenor or content of my blog, tell me… talk to you next Friday.