Gain Credibility by Listening

(Originally posted Apr 1 2019)

Who was it that thought of giving a card to someone you love on February 14? How did champagne become the victory drink of most sporting events? When did BHP become the big Australian and who first said Have It Your Way?

They weren’t all the same person, but they were the same type of person. Someone who knew that a big idea was campaignable; that if it was good enough it would have memorability and longevity; and, all this happened long before social media, but the power of the original concept was strong enough to survive and be amplified by social media.

Wrights understands the value of creative thinking and its contribution to delivering earned media and knows how to come up with big ideas that make memories and move markets.

Ideation is probably the biggest single difference between our 30-year-old innovative firm and those who have come and gone before us. Even today, Wrights stands out with its big ideas and inventive approach to earned media. We have worked with some great clients, great agencies and great technicians to help deliver campaigns that move the needle.

Quite often the differences between two sides in an argument are not as great as they first appear. But it usually takes one side to make the initial approach. This can be daunting and there is no guarantee that the other side will welcome any engagement.

This was the situation faced by Wrights and one of our big energy clients. The ‘other side’ was hard to define. Outwardly, it was all those people opposed to energy. But who is opposed to energy?

The definition of the other side needed to be redefined as ‘those concerned about how energy is harvested or generated’.

The big idea in this case was not to find out how to deal with the other side or what arguments would sway them, but rather to determine who the other side was and what inspired them.

Along with our client, we spoke with journalists, politicians, activists, allies, students and pretty much anyone who wanted to express an opinion on energy. We met face to face, in groups, through correspondence and at town halls. We listened to their opinions, their gripes and sometimes their praise and began to understand what they wanted and what was required in order to be accepted as a responsible player in the energy sector.

This simple big idea - a travelling road show of active listening with no hidden agenda - enabled our client to plan for the future, considering the wishes of the people who would be using their energy.

It became a shared journey and if our client ever ventured off track, people knew they could knock on the door, pick up the phone or send an email and have their view heard and acted upon.

Listening is a big idea not employed by enough people these days. Achieving a respected corporate identity is one of the best ways to be accepted by the communities that impact your business.

Douglas Wright