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paul stallard's pr blog

Strategy advice from @campbellclaret

Written by Paul Stallard

I was going through some old notes and found a cutting from an article written by Alastair Campbell that I had cut out to keep (I’m old school – I still keep cuttings as well as links).

It is a brutally simple activity any business should do. I also think that it is a very important one. It talks about twhat he will do when he sits down to run a strategy session with a business:

… the first thing I do is say who are your key people, and I ask to see them, at the same time. And I get out some plain white postcards.

And on each one is written the words ‘The main objective of our organization is…’ and I ask them to end that sentence. Then I ask them to turn over the postcard, and it says ‘The strategy to meet our objective is…’ and I ask them to fill that out too. Then I gather them in. And nine times out of 10, I gather in a stack of different objectives, strategies which are tactics, or strategies which are objectives, and I say to them… you don’t have a spin problem, you have a reality problem. And I say if you are not aligned on strategy, you the key people running the show, why should the public be expected to know and hear what you are trying to say or sell to them, and why should the media not take every chance it can get to make your life more difficult, pore over your errors, ignore your successes?

Sound advice. Well worth running with your senior team.