Monday July 08 2024.

5 minute read

‘Trust me I’m a politician’.

The art of creating content with cut through and impact

Did you read the election manifestos? Did they connect with you or do anything for you? Are they relevant? Creating content with impact is hard and a manifesto, like any other piece of public or corporate communication, requires careful consideration and crafting. Camargue creative director Mark Carter and account executive and ‘Gen Z’ representative Lorcan Flahive run the rule over this year’s crop and offer their assessment.

Lorcan Flahive (LF): I just want something that speaks to me and that I can relate to. I think there’s a danger with this set of manifestos, and this election, that they speak to the base and not to those outside of the circle or the disengaged. I get that from a political point of view but it’s regrettable from a storytelling or narrative perspective. I want to be engaged.

Mark Carter (MC): The golden rules for content – in design terms – are clarity, legibility, accessibility and reason to read. This year’s manifestos are a mixed bag. My designer’s eye is not drawn to or excited by any of them. We’re in ‘functional’ territory here when documents of this potential significance and worth could work harder and do a lot better.

LF: I’d question the relevance as well as the quality. So many of each party’s policy promises came out ahead of the publication of the manifestos, or were briefed to the media first. I’m not convinced I can see the job this set of manifestos is actually trying to do.

MC: Absolutely – objective is fundamental to any published content. What are you trying to achieve? What do you want the reader to know or do? If it’s about information there are so many techniques for creating clear and engaging content on the page or digitally. If it’s about trust, and let’s face it that’s the currency that matters for any politician, the design approach will be slightly different. The creative solution reflects the strategic ambition. I thought the prevalence of pictures of Keir versus the dearth of images of Rishi was interesting.

LF: I can’t speak for a generation but my preferred channel for long-form content is a podcast. Maybe that’s the future? We’ll see.

MC: Certainly I’d look at any communications task with an open mind in terms of format and channel. The most effective material we help clients with typically plays across integrated campaigns involving both print and digital. It’s back to the golden rules: who am I trying to reach? How am I trying to connect with them? Does my content work at a human and emotional level insofar as it engages the ‘consumer’ in me? I’m passionate about utilising the potential of good design to unlock and achieve these things.

LF: I think tone of voice is interesting. The manifestos are very different in that respect with quite the spread between the authoritative and confident voice at one end versus the softer tones and more ‘shared voice, shared challenges’ approach others have.

MC: Good design makes the reader want to read on. You know it when you see it. Words are the substance that matter but design will elevate them if done well or undermine them if done poorly. That’s always been true but is more important now than ever with the competition for eyeballs and any reader’s likelihood to ‘move on’ if your content isn’t gripping them. In the studio we talk about ‘earning the right to read’ and ‘rewarding the reader’ on every page. It’s a transaction. If someone gives you their time, you need to repay them.

Who won the battle of the manifestos? In politics, of course, the only judgement that matters is the ballot box. But in corporate comms and brands, success comes in different shapes and sizes.

One thing will always be true – smart and creative design will support you and your message. As Mark says, it will help you to speak to your audience and bring you closer to what you’re trying to achieve.


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Jul 19, 2024

5 minute read

Keir the Builder: can he fix it?

Keir the Builder: can he fix it?

Written by

Jemima Pring

Senior Account Executive

Co-written by

Sophie O’Boyle

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Read more about Keir the Builder: can he fix it?

Jul 08, 2024

5 minute read

‘Trust me I’m a politician’

The art of creating content with cut through and impact

Written by

Lorcan Flahive

Account Executive

Co-written by

Mark Carter

Creative Director - James Ford Design

Read more about ‘Trust me I’m a politician’

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