You’re trying to get a message across to a specific audience, as outlined in your Communications Strategy. You know your technology and its unique selling points. How do you explain it to someone who hasn’t a breeze?
Let’s break this down.
The best way to get a message across is through a simple story that resonates with the audience. Resonance is key – how you explain your science to an investor should be very different to how you explain it to a researcher or a CMO.
Every stakeholder is motivated by different things. This is why explaining science to the general public is so difficult. Everybody has different priorities and a message might resonate with some, but not others. Let’s take climate change as an example.
Climate change is the biggest issue of our generation. Extinction rebellions, Climate Strikes and Greta Thunberg are in the news on a weekly if not daily basis. We get a multitude of charts thrown at us to explain the issue, with a take-home message of “drastic change is needed to save the planet.”
How do these messages resonate with the public?
This study from Yale shows an impact on generational and class lines. Charts and infographics are likely to resonate with the educated, and the message of protecting the future resonates with younger generations – GenZ and Millenials.
GenX and Baby Boomers are largely unimpressed, being more conservative and sceptical of climate change. The numbers, charts and graphs have little impact on them. Perhaps the intangibility of data is to blame – it’s hard to believe what you cannot see. Documentaries like Blue Planet II, which showed the impact of plastic in our oceans, had an impact on this particular issue but a solution to bring everyone together on climate change remains elusive.
Before you tell your story, consider how to make it resonate with your audience.