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5 Reasons Your Comms Team Deserves a Damned Good Thrashing


5 Reasons Your Comms Team Deserves a Damned Good Thrashing

Written by: Matthew Davis | Matt Davis Communications

You just want us to do something and we ask you for money to achieve it, also, “why?”

It’s simple. You want a video about your organization that will make people cry. We tell you these things require money to make, time to plan, and that there’s often a great deal wasted in video production if there isn’t a clear brief behind it. We also ask why you want a video in the first place, and why you want people to cry. Do you want them to give you money afterwards? Do you just like making people cry? Is that really worth doing? Might there be more efficient ways to go about it, such as sending an email related to a news event? All these questions! You want to give us a damned good thrashing, now, I know… 

You have a bunch of facts to back up your argument and we ask you to tell a story

You’re an expert in your field and can win any argument, any time, with anybody. Particularly with a legislator who’s inclined to vote against the political fix you are proposing for the problem you know so much about. When we ask you to persuade us of your argument’s importance in 25 words or fewer, you realize we are idiots, and that so are all the voters in that legislator’s district, who might support what you’re proposing. We ask you to tell us a story, and you remember you’re a grown-up, not a child. So it is probably best to respond with the only appropriate move, now. Thrashing.

You write the checks around here and we haven’t got you in the paper yet

You’ve run through eight communications people in the last 10 years and we’ve all told you it’s impossible to get you on the front page of the newspaper unless you think more strategically. Focus. We’re costing you an arm and a leg in recruitment costs, not to mention laptops, Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions and outlandish hummus bills. And yet, we continue to fail to deliver that front page coverage you’ve been seeking as you arrive late to our meetings without an agenda, and have to leave early for that other pressing issue. You’re right. It’s definitely our fault. THRASHING.

We look askance at your latest big stunt idea

While it’s true that your “stunt idea” might land us in the newspaper, there’s a good chance it could be for the wrong reasons, and we’re curious to know whether you’ve considered whether it might conflict with our organization’s considered tone of voice, values, and so on. And so forth. We know. Staging a “last supper” event outside the offices of your campaign target, complete with “disciples” and “real fake blood” might…make a splash. But is there a plan to engage more supporters around the event? Get them to build into some kind of movement, in due course? Or are we just talking headlines for the sake of them, here? Keep the funders happy. And what are you holding that branch, for, in that menacing manner?

We still haven’t grown your email list or supporter base, significantly

You want to reach more people and we told you we could do it, if you were prepared to do bold, ambitious things that would capture people’s hearts and minds over the long run, as well as their attention. Stimulate their imaginations. Their images of themselves. We told you that stuff was hard, but you were up for it. And we’re still ready to deliver on our side of the bargain. I know…thrashing.

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