JANUARY 5, 2021




In times of crisis, Incisive Strategy helps guide and advise organizations and people when they are under monumental stress and pressure. One of the most important and crucial aspects of crisis management is communication with the public and stakeholders (e.g. media, human rights organizations and politicians). At Incisive Strategy we cover different types of crisis management but for this insight, we will look at crisis management through a lens of human rights campaigning.

The success of a human rights campaign comes down to how a client tells their story. Understandably, since clients are under significant tension and feeling a great deal of panic, they want to tell every minute detail of their case which subsequently causes confusion and often more concern than support from targeted stakeholders. For when it comes to public relations, success in conveying one’s story is achieved by pinpointing the most relevant aspects of a case by first identifying what one wants to gain from telling the story (i.e. identifying your ask or goal). When our clients meet with senior stakeholders and decision makers they typically have 10 minutes tops to get their key messages across. Ultimately we help our clients effectively share their story without losing the genuine emotional element that is needed to touch the hearts and minds of stakeholders. 

This is why we train our clients so that their story and message can be heard and understood with clarity to achieve positive outcomes. As a firm, taking a deep dive into our client’s story and understanding all its aspects is key to determining what the client needs to focus on without compromising their story. One of the results of training clients is achieving consistency and effectiveness in their storytelling. We empower our clients in what can be the toughest period of their lives by giving them the confidence and comfort to tell their story and ultimately seek the support they need. 

But telling a story is not just through how we communicate it from one person to the next. We can share different details through different platforms. For instance, we often prepare briefing documents, a well-thought-out and extensive document as a follow-up to a conversation. A well structured document can reassure our client that their story – in all its complexities –  is readily available to key stakeholders for further reading. On the other hand, a website allows the wider public to have access to all the different elements of a case.

Beyond how we tell a story, we also help our clients find opportunities to share it. The use of social media and events is crucial in reaching and engaging various communities. Be it targeted social media campaigns or a webinar that brings in experts and distinguished guests, the opportunity to grow a support base while authenticating the campaign is endless. While many public affairs firms rely on social media campaigns’ paid ads to boost the reach, we believe in a more scientific and organic approach by building a following of people who care, one person at a time, to ultimately create a level of engagement that translates into a shared voice in support of our client’s crisis or ordeal. Likewise, organizing a webinar solidifies the campaign by having experts and community members speak and this in turn be shared on social media for more viewership and exposure of the case. 

Our role is to guide clients through their tough times and set out a strategy that gets them out of their crisis to a solution. The foundation of a good campaign is how a client tells their story. If this is achieved then the public response whether from human rights organizations, general public, experts or decision makers will be positive and form a strong base of support for the client as they pursue their objective. 

By Nadeem Khadaroo
Junior Communications Consultant at Incisive Strategy