What if lives were saved or lost because of your ability to influence? How do you influence when the stakes are so high?
Pet Rescue Australia faces exactly this situation every day. Sadly 100,000 rescue dogs are put down every year in Australia.
To make a difference, Pet Rescue had to influence more Australians to adopt dogs from shelters. They also had to overcome the very first barrier that is actually getting people to visit a shelter. Their strategy was simple ‘If we can’t bring people to the rescue dogs, we’ll bring rescue dogs to the people! But how? Pet Rescue is a not for profit with limited resources and marketing spend.
One of the insights they had was most people look like their dogs! Really, and there is some scientific evidence that backs this up. They used this insight to deploy their strategy.
An app was built titled Dog-A-Like. You can download the app, upload your photo and it scans through all the photos of dogs in rescue shelters and ‘bingo’ finds your perfect dog match. Dog-A-Like was an instant hit and became the No. 1 App in the Australian iTunes store for two weeks. Whether people were thinking of getting a dog or not, everyone started using it and uploading their perfect match images on to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And the results, 36% increase in dogs rehomed – over 2200 dogs every month. This has been Australia’s single most successful dog rehoming campaign to date. Inspiring!
An insight, a simple strategy and involving your customers to create a new story worth sharing. A potent mix to quantum leap your influence.
Please comment, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Every year Time Magazine publishes a list of the 100 most influential people. In introducing this year’s list, Managing Editor of Time, Nancy Gibbs said “The TIME 100 is a list of the world’s most influential men and women, not its most powerful. Power is a tool, influence is a skill; one is a fist, the other a fingertip”.
Beyoncéis on the 2014 cover as the most influential person on the planet. Interestingly Beyoncé hasn’t been that happy recently. She has been trying to have some unflattering photos of her performing at the 2014 Super Bowl pulled, but with no luck. Even Larry Page and Sergey Brin the founders of Google, have been unable to eliminate photos of them dressed in drag from their college years floating around on the Internet.
So Rule 1 on Influence: Know what you can and can’t influence (even if you are the most influential person on the planet or own Google).
David Sinclair a geneticist also featured in this list.
He has discovered a compound that makes old cells young again, possibly the fountain of youth, this discovery is HUGE. When interviewed Sinclair said “While it’s a great honour to be on the list and be recognized by Time magazine, I can’t still actually get my kids to pick their stuff off the bedroom floor”.
Mr Sinclair please re read rule 1, there are no exceptions to this rule!
What are your thoughts on influence or influential people? Please comment, I love hearing from you.
PS. I highly recommend buying a copy of this issue, it makes interesting reading. The writing is also beautiful, particularly President Obama’s piece on Pope Francis.
Every four years like a lot of people, I am gripped by soccer fever, thanks to the World Cup and turn into a complete soccer tragic! Given our time zone differences, here in Australia this involves setting our alarm for the earliest hours of the morning to watch the games ‘live’. But it is absolutely worth it!
Like most people in Australia I am deeply disappointed that Australia won’t be hosting the 2022 World cup. Life is a tough teacher. You have the experience first and then you hopefully learn from it. So what did we learn? I am of course going to be looking at this through the lens of storytelling. Caveat: We all know the whole bidding process is complex involves many strategies, and many players, political wrangling etc. So this is in no way a solution but something to consider as part our learning.
Using the storytelling lens and comparing Australia’s bid with Qatar’s three things to consider:
- The emotion each pitch was tapping into
- The audience
- The audience’s objections
Every time I heard Frank Lowy pitching to host the World Cup he talked about Australia being a ‘safe pair of hands’. The Australian bid tapped into a negative emotion, fear. It looks like the FIFA committee (the audience) was not looking for a ‘safe pair of hands’. Their decision to go with South Africa for the previous World Cup indicates this. Another plank in our bid was ‘Make a country’s dreams come true’ which could apply to every country bidding for the World Cup. On the other hand ABC news reporter Emma Alberici said Qatar presented a bid full of emotion, imploring the executive committee to make history by sending the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time. Compare ‘Safe pair of hands’ with ‘The opportunity to make history’.
But what about the audience? Any narrative we engage with has to be right for the audience.
On their web site FIFA states ‘For the Game. For the World’. It is interesting to note the Qatar bid tag line states ‘For football, for the Middle East, for the world’. Perfect alignment. Qatar was telling the committee you have the option to unite the Middle East and the world through football …compare that with making a single country’s dreams come true.
In their bios on the FIFA website one of the questions for the Executive Committee is ‘What does football mean to you? It is interesting to note the range of answers from ‘Unity and friendship’, ‘Responsibility, service and joy’, ‘Team spirit and social responisbility’, ‘Unity and teamwork’. Again the Qatar bid taps into this.
How do you in storytelling overcome the audience’s objections? One of the key hurdles for Australia was the time difference. The Australian bid website states ‘A time zone for more than 60% of the world’s population. Australia will work closely with FIFA to ensure that the match schedule is designed to maximise total television audience numbers around the world’.
All necessary statement of fact but compare how objections can be handled in a compelling and emotionally engaging way. In one of Qatar’s bid presentations a child is heard saying ‘So say the Israeli teams and the Arab teams go to the world cup and they play against each other. Israelis would come to cheer their team and the Arabs would also come, then they would get to know each other’. An adult voice then adds ‘Indeed what we saw in South Africa was harmony between all people there’.
Giving a speech after the wining host was announced, Qatar 2022 Bid Committee Chairman Sheikh Mohammad bin Hamad Al Thani said “On behalf of millions of people living in the Middle East, thank you,” he went on saying “Thank you for believing in us, thank you for having such bold vision. Thank you also for acknowledging this is the right time for the Middle East. We have a date with history which is summer 2022. We will not let you down. We will make you proud.”
He was letting the panel know this was about football, but it was also about the Middle East and the world. The legacy they would leave the world with this decision.
Congratulations Qatar on the historic win. Frank Lowy please ring us and let’s start working on Australia’s bid for 2030. The time is now …