The power of the visual: FleishmanHillard at COP21

I’ll begin with a confession. This blog should have been finished weeks ago. If my first 3 months working for FleishmanHillard have taught me anything, it is that when you’re working full time, things will always get in the way. This is hopefully the first blog of many and I’ll be writing about a range of things regarding communications, public affairs and how they overlap.

But enough about me. This blog isn’t about my life, it’s about Twitter. Specifically it’s about unlocking the potential of Twitter and using it in such a way that covering events becomes less about reflecting the argument and more about shaping it. Sound complicated? It’s not.

If you have an objective which you want to achieve and messages which you need to get across then you need to cut through the conversation. You need to be seen and hastily typing out some live text tweets simply isn’t enough. Those of us in Communications are lucky that Twitter offers us the potential to set and shape any given agenda and we need to stop wasting it.

Which brings us to Paris. The city of love, lights and (at least during last week) engaging and meaningful social content. Recently, I was part of a team which went with a major industry association to COP21. Whilst there, we communicated a range of specific and important messages in a space that wasn’t so much crowded as overloaded with people all trying to do the same.

The Challenge? Taking a complex and technical issue and communicating it to people inside and outside the event in a way that made them want to engage with it.

The plan? To make use all of the options given to us by Twitter and demonstrate that covering an event  isn’t necessarily about telling people what is happening, but rather showing them. Why tell people what is happening in the room when we can bring them in there with us?

So that’s what we did. Powered by the expertise and talent of FleishmanHillard Brussels’ in-house Digital, Social & Creative team we created several batches of content which viusalised the client’s messaging and delivered on their objectives. Using GIFS, Videos, Pictures, Vines, Animations, Caricatures and yes, text, we showed twitter users not only what was happening at COP21, but why and how the client was a part of it.

The results? More followers, more video views, more likes, more impressions, more engagements and more exposure on Twitter than we had got in the 3 months leading up to COP21. We were talking about what our client had to offer and we were covering an event, but we were doing it in such a way that people were sitting up and taking note. Don’t believe me? Before COP21 the association’s account was averaging 5 retweets a day. During the event it regularly topped 100.

The methodology we used is very simple. You need an objective, specific messaging and an understanding of both who your audience is and how to reach it. When you have all of that it is simply a matter of using those insights to shape your content.

The catch? Creating content which both stands out from the crowd and delivers on your objectives isn’t easy… but you can’t afford not to try.

Alex Burchill – Digital, Social and Creative Team






December 17, 2015 | 10:01 AM

Wondering how to cut through the noise when covering an event on Twitter? Our @Alex_Burchill has the low down.