Using emotional insight
for personal development and professional success

Example of Good EI in campaigns

August 5th, 2009

One question that came up at the end of my talk at the NCVO last night was 'What are good and bad examples of campaigns from an EI point of view?'  One thing I hope to do hear is talk about vaious campaigns and communications from an EI perspecctive, and this seems a good place to start.

The campaign that came to mind as example of a good use of EI was the 'Change for life' campaign, particularly the 'me size meals'.  You can see the advert here (sorry, I can't embed it).

Why I think this is so positive is that it expresses a need for change without at any point coming across as critical.  If you're trying to get someone to listen to you it's generally a bad idea if you call them stupid, thoughtless or selfish (and you'd be surprised by the number of campaigns that do do this).  This advert starts very clearly with a positive "Because my Mum loves me…"  That's a nice way to start – no one is going to be offended by the idea that they love their kid.  But it follows up with a clear message – too much food is bad, and a better outcome is to have smaller portions.

It's a nice, clear, simple way of getting a message across without offending anyone – you love your kid, it's easy to feed them too much, but it might cause problems.  It doesn't suggest you're bad for doing it, in fact it may come from love, but if you just think about it a little more you can realise that acting differently will get a better result.

This is good EI because it takes account of the emotional impact of the message – rather than using pure facts and figures, or trying to create fear or guilt, it gently conveys a clear message.

I'll have a go at what I think is an example of non-emotionally intelligent campaigning later…

NCVO Talk completed

August 4th, 2009

I've just returned from my talk at the NCVO.  Thanks to everyone who came along and made it an interesting event.  I'm happy to say the attendees threw themselves enthusiastically into a rather unusual communications exercise, and had a collection of interesting questions for me at the end.  I really enjoyed the event, and I hope the attendees took some interesting ideas away with them.  I did hear talk of at least a couple of people considering restructuring their campaigns based on ideas I'd been discussing, so I think that's a win…

Over the next few days, as time permits, I'm going to be posting up some further thoughts from the talk and hopefully expanding on the themes a little.  One of the frustrations of doing these events is that I've always got more to say than I have time to cover, and when I leave I'm bubbling over with other ideas for things I wish I'd had been able to discuss.  But blogs are an ideal outlet for such overflow.

I also just wanted to post my thanks to Chloe Stables for organising the event and inviting me along in the first place – you were as helpful and charming as ever.

Talk this week at the NCVO

August 3rd, 2009

This Tuesday, the 4th of August 2009, I'll be giving a talk to the NCVO Parliamentary Workers Group.  The NCVO is an organisation that offers support and training to the third sector, whilst lobbying for, and representing the interests of, voluntary organisations.

The NCVO have kindly invited me to talk on how Emotional Intelligence can be used to make lobbying more effective.  I've called the talk "Why politician's don't listen (and how to make them)" in a rather tongue in cheek way – of course politicians do listen, but an awful lot of people are talking to them all at once.  So perhaps it might more properly be called "Why politicians may not always listen to you, what with their work load and the number of people trying to get their  attention" but it seemed less catchy.

I'll be discussing how the concepts of Emotional Intelligence, particularly when applied to communications, can help us spot the flaws in some of the more traditional approaches to lobbying.   I'll be looking in more detail at how some campaigns rely too much on facts and figures to do their work for them, or at the other extreme how overly emotive campaigns can be counterproductive.  I'll also discuss 'building a better lobbyist' – what personal qualities are required to be a really effective lobbyist.

Emotional Intelligence and Campaigning, video blog Part 1

July 25th, 2009

As part of my work with The Campaign Company (a communication consultancy that specialises in helping organisations build relationships with hard to reach  groups) I was asked to create a series of short mini-lectures that explained the basics of Emotional Intelligence and how it applied to campaigning and social marketing.  This is the first of them – I'll post the other videos over the course of the next couple of weeks.

These talks were done off the top of my head over the course of the afternoon, so perhaps aren't as perfectly structured as they could be… but I think they get across some useful ideas in a short amount of time.

Welcome to the IEI Blog

July 23rd, 2009

Welcome, thanks for stopping by.

I'll be using this blog to discuss the concept of Emotional Intelligence, particularly it's application to the third sector, business organisations and individuals.

I hope you'll find much of interest here – I'm particularly interested in critiquing the way organisations currently go about campaigning and their communication strategies.  In my opinion most organisations have a great deal to learn from considering the emotional component of their communication, and seeing what they do through the lend of emotional intelligence.  We live in an age where we think a great deal about getting our facts right, about ensuring we are communicating clearly, about being concise and 'catchy' in what we say… but oddly we often forget to consider the emotional context in which we are communicating – how is the person we are speaking to feeling, and how would we like them to feel?  Are you wasting your time preaching to the converted, or coming on too strong to reach the uncertain?  I'll be considering these issues over the next few months.

However, you'll also be seeing me posting about the more personal approach to Emotional Intelligence.  The great thing about your emotional intelligence is that it is constantly increasing – as we live and learn we mature, or 'gain character', which are other ways of saying we get more emotionally intelligent.  I've been very committed to personal development for many years, and during that time I've picked up a few techniques and insights which I think more people would benefit from knowing.  So I'll be doing my best to share bits and pieces you may find interesting now and again.  So do drop by again soon, and always feel free to leave comments.