One thing for sure about the Scottish independence debate is that it provides a crystal-clear lesson for business presenters in targeting and focusing their communication.
The plain fact is that any message that is going to succeed boils down to WII FM. That’s not a radio station – it stands for ‘What’s In It For Me’?
It has to be said that this is a whole lot easier for Salmond and the Yes camp who can paint dreamy future scenarios while tapping into gripes and prejudices that have festered for hundreds of years.
This is inevitably going to be a lot stronger than ‘Please don’t go’. When did that ever work? ‘Better together’ is certainly a big step in the right direction but too many of the messages come over as threats and danger signals rather than benefits in the form of What’s In It For Me? messages. It’s all ended up as a bit of muddle that, whatever the result, we are going keep feeling for the rest of our lives.
Even with the benefit of hindsight there is no easy solution but, as I said, the starting point for any message that is going to succeed is WII FM. So, what the Better Together team needed to tell the people of Scotland was: a) this is What’s In It For the Scots; b) this is What’s In It For the rest of the UK; c) it all adds up to a sum that is greater than its parts.