When talking about reaching and engaging with an audience and achieving the desired impact from that interaction, one helpful way of analysing your project is what I like to call Flash or Slow Burn. It ties in with the last post about longevity but is more hands-on and helps when deciding what kind of actions should be taken across the life of the project.
In essence, we need to decide whether a short and sharp impact is the best for our project or if we want to create something that simmers for a longer while. Do we perhaps need to plan for a combination of the two and how do we get them to work together most flawlessly?
Some questions that can help you on your way would be:
- Do we aim for a strong, immediate impact without much of a tail? If so, we can put all our efforts into making this splash as big as possible, reaching as many as possible with one concentrated message, without worrying about taking care of the fallout. Perhaps if all you want is eyes on one particular thing that is taking place – an election, a decision, a court ruling, a happening or anniversary or something suchlike – a strong push in that direction is all that is needed
- Do we want to create something that is more akin to a fire where we keep the embers burning indefinitely, ready to be put ablaze again at a moment’s notice by adding more fuel to the fire? Is our project then a continuous one, with content being released continuously and with certain flash points integrated in the form of events, happenings and so on? How do we keep the embers alive in between these flash points, what kind of stories and content can we release that will keep up the interest in our project?
- How can we continuously create new angles to approach the project from over time? If we truly want to create a story or a narrative that can stand being stretched out over a longer time, we need to be on the lookout for new ways for people to enter our story, interact with it and keep interest in it. These new ways should ideally also offer enough new content or knowledge or enjoyment that audience members already familiar with the story can find reason to again interact and engage.
- Finally, we need to think and plan for what we create as the initial entry point into the story. Ideally it should be an entry point that can be re-used or reshaped to be re-used, to increase the recognizability of the project. If it succeeds, the same entry point or type of entry point can be used to create a narrative whole that feels solid and connected, also over time.
Thank you for your interest in this. In our next post we’ll look at impact and reversal!