Campaigning For Hearts & Minds in The Community
As we enter the presidential election season, the candidates’ campaign rhetoric that drives one side over the other enters the main stage of our national press. We can’t help but be affected by the campaigns as each candidate makes his or her appeal to the hearts and minds of our nation.
There are times when we must address the communities of our constituents in meaningful ways just like the candidates. We might be building a new generation plant, or expanding our facilities in a way that will impact the surrounding community greatly. And with the consensus that “big business is bad business”, how do we touch the hearts and minds of these communities in a real and authentic way without walking straight into push-back and criticism?
We’ve worked with a company that did that very thing. This company was developing a new generation plant in a community and the initial sentiment was, “we don’t want you here”. They took to the ground with the innovative approach of setting up speaking engagements to different groups in the community and the way they did it is impressive.
Harvested From The Community
The first insight from this case was the use of employees, real people, from the existing community. By choosing to not use professional PR spokespeople, but real employees from the community, they gained credibility with the audiences they spoke to. These employees were not only able to carry the main points, but they were able to do so in a way that tied in their own personal stories that connected with the residents. Now that’s impact!
The Need For Training
The Ammerman Experience trained over fifty of their people in the course of a year. They were then sent out into the communities. The training equipped each employee to use the same prepared slide deck, yet bring his or her own personal stories to life. The speakers were trained to incorporate into their presentations why they were qualified to speak about this issue, why it mattered to them and why it should matter to the audience. For example, an engineer who was talking to a public works department would go into more depth about the technology that was engaging to the audience, appealing to their technical nature. A safety manager, who was also a mother, might go into a community group and speak about the benefit this change will have on their children. With proper training, each employee was confident, prepared, and delivered the message with success; each time connecting with the audience.
The Results: Trust Established
With this approach the company was able to move forward on their expansion with more alignment and success in the community. Trust was established, advocates were made, and fear of what the changes might bring were addressed in conversational ways with people from the impacted community.
If you are looking for a way to reach the hearts and minds of the communities you live and work in, the Ammerman Experience can lead you down this same path with presentation training for your employees. Our presentation training can equip your team to connect deeply with audiences, bringing clarity and results.