When planning a social impact campaign, or advertising for a social enterprise, those who truly want to make a positive impact in the world face the enormous challenge of breaking through the noise of a world that is drowning in tag lines that claim to “do good.” I believe that the only way to authentically shatter that barrier is to combine the power of brand, communication, and social impact strategies into one overarching Creative Impact Strategy that amplifies the purpose through every piece of creative and promotional content.
In fact, this philosophy was the cornerstone for how I work with my social impact clients. It is not enough to rely on brand esthetics or marketing best practices when developing content geared toward changing hearts and minds. There is an intersection between all of the strategic areas where the creative impact strategy is born. The takes on the best practices, intention, and audience profiles of every area and becomes a holistic strategy by which pre-production, production, and post-production budgets can be formed for every piece of content.
With creative impact strategy, the days of "Oh no... we need a video for that!" that leads to "It costs HOW MUCH to produce that? Yeah, we'll just make a graphic." that leads to "It's going to take how long to make that graphic to brand standards? Yeah, we'll just write a post with a stock photo." are gone. Though it may seem like that is just the way it is, and it works good enough, imagine what it would be like if a creative strategist was in the same planning meetings as the brand and marketing strategist and we were able to put together a plan for creative content that 100% supports the end goal.
Ultimately, the creative impact strategy is the connector between the inevitable silos that exist within most organizations. To start to get an idea of how why it is important, it helps to know some of the questions asked. They sound a little like this:
Who are we targeting throughout the year? How and why does it change by quarter?
What are our social impact goals throughout the year? How do those goals align with our target demographics throughout the year?
How do the social impact goals support our overall brand mission? How do the marketing goals support our overall brand mission?
What would types of content do our target audiences respond to the most? Do those types of content support our impact goals, marketing goals, and brand mission?
The answer to the types of content needed throughout the year lie within the answers to these, and many more, strategic connecting questions. The creative impact strategy builds not only a list of creative content that needs to be created, but the powerful "why" behind each piece.
The key, however, is to do this at the beginning so that any spontaneous creative content creation throughout the year has a lens through which we can assess its purpose and value while budgeting for the content we KNOW will support our mission.