The Art Of Persuasion: Secrets Of Strategy

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Brian Kufawatamba, Strategic Director.

Here’s a secret: creating a strategy is actually not as complicated as people fear, but many strategists need you to believe it is. Because the more confused and insecure you feel while going through their jargon-riddled strategic maze, the more you’ll leave everything to ‘the experts’.

On the flip side, a GREAT strategy is more challenging than you can imagine, because very few people understand how to elevate a plan into a winning battle plan that generates tangible results.

But if you think about it, you’re creating strategies every day and just aren’t realising it:

  • When you’re playing football with your buddies and come up with a game plan to neutralise your opponents (Competitor analysis, SWOT, tactics, project team)
  • When you’re travelling back home on vacation and wondering how to juggle your limited time across unlimited relatives (Audience sensitivities, key messages, crisis and time management, project timeline, costing)  

You’ll hear a lot of jargon about the 4Cs or 5Ps or 6Qs or 7Zs or whatever other letter a strategist’s keyboard happens to be stuck on that day.

But any good strategy boils down to three moving parts — the same as any journey:

  1. Where we are: situational analysis, industry trends, audience insights
  1. Where we’re going: desired outcomes, positioning, business / social goals
  1. How we can get there: campaign stepping stones / phases, ideation, roadmap

Of course, you can rearrange or remix these components depending on the project.

During the Federal National Council (FNC) Global Summit of Women Parliamentarians, we had to meticulously map out:

  1. Where we are: (UAE leaders’ initiatives, humanity’s top challenges, hot button issues)
  1. Where we’re going: (Positioning the UAE as a preview of a better, harmonious world)  
  1. How we can get there: (Engaging global media with inspirational success stories)

The cosmetics and aesthetics of any strategy make it sink or swim: if it’s not visually enticing and interactive, even the best ideas can’t keep their heads above water.

Lastly, remember that even with all of today’s navigation apps, people still get lost all the time. A strategy is a navigation tool, but to actually get to your destination requires synergy between the client and the integrated communications team.

Brian Kufawatamba is a master of phrase, elocution and fitness. Hailing from Zimbabwe, Brian joined the Alsayegh Media team  5 years ago and found his way to a new home in Dubai.