Unless you were fortunate enough to grow up there (guilty), you may not have heard of South Thanet until this year. In the run-up to this week’s General Election, the battle for the constituency (sounding increasingly like something out of Napoleonic times) is hitting the headlines as Farage and Al Murray, the Pub Landlord, battle it out for supremacy. What a choice for the people of Thanet.
At such times, the Manifesto is often the weapon of choice deployed to turn voters’ heads and help them make a choice. It’s defined as ‘a public declaration of ideas or policies’. Or in Al Murray’s world ‘making promises we can’t keep or indeed have no intention of keeping’. Straight talking.
In agency land, most weeks are like a mini general election. You’re constantly fighting for the hearts and minds of clients, by setting out your stool (be it a presentation or your website) full of ideas, promises and pledges. I suppose that’s our Manifesto. But how well does it work? What would help me make the right choice if I was in my clients’ shoes? I think it’s incredibly simple:
Be honest. If you’re making a promise, keep it. If you can’t do something, say it. Being honest is confidence in who you are, what you can do and what you stand for. That’s very engaging. If it needs dressing up, ask why. Something fundamental is probably missing.
Be inspiring. A manifesto gives ideas a time and place to surface. Ideas that will excite your clients and everyone in the agency. But ideas aren’t something that we turn on for a moment, they should be continually captured and nurtured. Our daily currency.
Believe it. Get it down and get behind it. No point the agency spin doctors creating ideas and promises that no one outside the room can relate to, understand or stand a chance of delivering.
So here’s my public declaration. There are 65 of us at The Team. For the next 65 days, we’ll give everyone their turn to contribute to our manifesto. The result, on Friday 7 August, will be the most honest, inspiring and most of all, truest statement yet of who we are, what we stand for and what we all believe in.
Vote The Team – you know it makes (common) sense.