Taking control of the narrative – the importance of getting your message told & sold


Anyone who saw the Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall recent series on Fat Britain dealing with the obesity crisis in the UK, will have seen in the final episode the lengths to which both Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and his Department went to in order to avoid having an interview on camera.  To be fair to Hugh and the producers, they weren’t trying to “catch them out” and had asked for a date and time for a short interview on camera.  Despite initially agreeing to this, the eventual outcome (after several months) was that no one was prepared to take part despite their press release that their results on tackling the obesity crisis were the “best in Europe”. 

Interestingly, earlier in the series Nestle had responded to Hugh’s arrival on their premises and sent a member of the PR team to talk about why they weren’t using the traffic light system of warnings on their cereals.  A discussion ensured both parties put their points across and they certainly came out better than their counterparts Kellogg’s who, like the Dept of Health, refused to engage in the conversation.

Allowing others to dominate your narrative, means that you’re on the back foot and lose control of the story. 

Hugh may well have vocally challenged the “best in Europe” claim, but if you are prepared to make sweeping statements, you should be able to back them up with factual evidence. 

Telling your story and taking control of the narrative can have a tremendous impact on getting your message across. 

Journalists and indeed campaigners like Hugh may have challenging questions to ask, but fundamentally they want to hear what you have to say and by having that conversation with them, you can put across your points allowing your audience to understand more about your organisation and the decisions you make. 

Whether you are making a presentation about your firm or a specific product to a large group of investors and shareholders, or would like to get your story into the local press, TV, and other media, our Associate, Steve can help.  A working journalist he knows exactly what you need to do to get noticed, and to handle those challenging questions with confidence and enthusiasm.  Email Kate@athelbrae.co.uk for more details.

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