Last “Real world” project reflections + Final pitch.
If you had to identify in one word the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.“
by Dave Barry ( Pulitzer Prize-winning American author and columnist)
13/10/16 Client meeting
This was our first meeting with the client ever. The other teams had met their clients on the first day, but our client couldn’t make it.
We asked her about her expectations of our work, which should have happened the first day of our project. She also shared with us many university-driven activities that we didn’t know about, in spite of the fact I had read the whole webpage and spoke to staff members… who did not know either.
So, her expectations of the campaign were more “Did you know?” oriented rather than “Do this!”. She simply wanted the staff members to be informed.
Good info, bad news is that we had been working in the wrong direction for a few weeks…
In spite of being extremely crucial to our planet, environmental issues are considered boring and overwhelming. Furthermore, we do not get to see the results of our actions on the day after. The processes are gradual, slow and that makes us feel like our own actions do not make such a difference. Having in mind this background of the topic, how could we trigger self-motivation in our target audience simply by giving them information?
What I suggested to the group was to have a look at all of the activities on the Environmental Management website and split them into two categories –
- activities done entirely by the university
- activities in which the staff/students could take part in, of course with emphasis on staff members.
After that, I split each of those two categories in three more categories – 1.transport 2.energy 3.recycling
Thus we would have been clear on what we would like to get the people involved in/ what to simply tell them. Subsequently, we could combine each of the activities staff can be a part of with those done by the university.
Like usual, I heard the phrase “I don’t think we need to do that”. Throughout the whole project I heard that after I shared my ideas. A tutor comes along a week after I say my opinion and says the exact same thing. So we eventually start doing that.. This happened way too many times.
This time Matt came and did exactly this and wrote it on the whiteboard. We did 3 categories – energy, recycling, transport and wrote what the benefits for staff are. All beginning with “FREE”.
Idea: Anonymous activist
Dan suggested the idea of having our campaign “Anonymous” based – the white mask activist guy.
I was very enthusiastic about borrowing the system of ideas and interpreting them, twisting them around accordingly to our project’s aim – unravelling the mystery, it’s been kept a secret, playing around with the fact that it had all been hidden, but our campaign was the one to shed light on it.
However, the other team members were enthusiastic about the literal scandalous and dark tone of voice of “Anonymous” and they actually wanted a faceless persona to drive the whole campaign, and also to produce a video with an Anonymous man.
Personally I told them that I believed that it was too dark and scary, that it would cause confusion and get people feel frightened rather than willing to learn more. I also told them that I do not want to stand in the way, so if the majority supports this idea, I would adjust. And so I did.
Second Client meeting
In our meeting with the client we were told that the idea is inappropriate and too aggressive. This was my opinion as well and I had shared it with the team.
Dan showed her his webpage layout, I showed her some quick drafts on everyday objects around the university saying “Free bla-bla”,
I, myself, think that the main incentive for the target audience should not be the fact that something is free. This is a one-time thing, and once having consumed your free breakfast, or have had your free coffee, you would forget about all that… And I am sure that you can walk to uni everyday because you actually believe that it is good for you and the planet. And I believe that this reason is much more worth it. Not only do I believe in that, but I also do it – so obviously it is possible… However, I am interested in deconstructing consumer behaviour, and I am trying to not be its victim by basing my actions on it. My point of view was one of the main reason why there was misunderstanding between me and the people in my group. Personally I would have tried to make people realise the benefits of walking/saving energy/recycling/whatever for themselves as part of a community, whereas the people in my team didn’t see another reason apart from the fact that it is NOT PAID. Sad sad story.
The word “Free”
I was keen to look at how our chosen word could be used because it is a pretty word and it would be a shame to use it only in the sense of “without charge, costs nothing”.
[sketchbook image to be inserted]
After spending a while to do research, I started telling this to the others, who again said “I don’t really think we need to do that”. Fair enough. I’m probably crazy.
What will success look like?
This workshop we did with Wendy I found very useful in terms of identifying what it is that makes your project distinctive and unique – and fundamentally, in what ways it changes the world and where our actions make a difference.
We answered the following questions:
- Name of the product/service The free activists
- What was life like in the past before we arrived with our invention? Beforehand, there was no information about the activities and services offered by the Environmental Management that would have otherwise engaged people.
- What happened after our arrival? After “The Free Activists” arrived, the staff and also some students became aware and interested.
Video Pitch Workshop
- You get no second chance to make a first impression. Use it wisely and act professionally! This is why pitching is a core skill.
- Be yourself, speak from the heart, authenticity is more valuable than anything else. It looks horrible if you pretend. If you believe in yourself, people are going to believe in you.
- You’re selling yourself – people buy from people. So just remember that you are “bloody perfect”!
- Words take just 7% of what people perceive when you talk. The crucial 55% go to non-verbal communication, or body-language
- When talking in front of a public, try to fill the floor. Do not stand like a tree
- If you are a group of people, do not stand in a straight line – a straight line is creative death
- Get yourself centred – breathe, look around you, see, hear, smell the room
- Make pauses, notice if people are listening. If they aren’t making eye-contact while you speak, this means that they are not listening. In order to get them to listen again, do something unexpected – shut up. Stop talking. Don’t be afraid of silence- it helps process the information. They will surely look at you!
- One sentence is enough to pitch. Identify your sentence. For instance: “The world’s thinnest laptop”
- State is everything
The rule of three – recognise 3 benefits of your product. You’re not selling the product itself, but the benefits of the product.
(yeah I’ll add that soon 😀 )
(to be added)
(aaaand this one as well)
Overall, this project ended in a way I did not expect in the beginning, because I started with enthusiasm and desire to work. Ended in absolute apathy and sadness. Putting a lot of effort and deep thought, all of this being rejected by my fellow “team members”, and after that doing this anyway. It was exhausting and even offensive to be misunderstood. Poor attendance ended up in only several meetings where all of us were present. In most meetings, we had to recap. This was, in my opinion, a good example for poor teamwork, which of course makes you learn way more than having a smooth and harmonious group. No one is to blame though, we just didn’t click together. A smooth sea never made a skilful sailor. Hopefully.