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Don’t pump up the tyres, just ride the bike

25 February 2021

Stonehenge Tunnel

Given the opportunity to go on 5 Live and make a stink about the proposed tunnel under Stonehenge should have been manna from heaven for the lead protester. At least you would have thought so.

Trouble is, the campaigner hadn’t really thought about the platform she’d been presented with – and felt it was an excuse to tell a long rambling back story about traffic congestion on the A303 in Wiltshire and the need to solve the issue of this World Heritage site.

In other words, she explained the story. She explained the problem. She explained how long it had all been going on.  She explained what would happen if they built the tunnel. And in doing so she told me everything I already knew.  And we were precisely no further forward at the end of her interview with Nicky Campbell.

When confronted with an issue in real life, the logical way to get someone on your side is to explain the parameters in order they understand the size of the problem. You can’t do that in the media.  Don’t approach an interview with a mission to explain – think of it as a chance to influence your audience’s behaviour.  What do you want them to think, feel, do, react – how can you hope to get anyone to back your campaign, recycle their plastic, cease their nuclear weapons programme when all you do is explain what they already know.

Creating a compelling argument, devising a scintillating narrative that persuades your audience by influencing them is at the heart of our learning, ensuring delegates define the reason they’re there – and critically know what outcome they would like.