Voice is considering the point of view, style, and even personality of an organization. The voice is the way an organization communicates with their audience or market, building perspective and the identity of a business through actions, content, and communication.
Defining the voice of an organization is important in connecting with your market segment in a genuine and authentic way and in managing not only communication but messaging to your audience. Defining organizational voice through creative content opens opportunities to not only connect with your market through your verbal or written communication but by visual deliverables that invoke specific emotions and tone.
Here are three ways to define organizational voice through creative content.
The first step in defining (and sharing) an organization’s voice is spending the requisite time to understand it first. While it’s easier to develop a mission and values on paper, translating that perspective to creative is a much larger feat. This undertaking begins with the first steps of the creative process.
“It depends on the project, but I always start with mood-boarding and pulling visual references from other campaigns, personal work – searching through portfolios, marketing materials, and social media,” said Nora Cranley, a photo director and creative producer with extensive experience partnering with brands for creative content, campaigns, and rebranding. “It starts with the ‘why’ and what we are trying to deliver on. How do we help answer that for create an interest story – get people to engage and stop to take a look?”
If mapping organizational voice is a first step, the next is kick-starting the creative process through extensive research into not just the current market, but what organizations have done before you and how you want to set yourselves apart. Entering the creative execution phase with an informed strategy and understanding of vision allows synergy across cross-functional teams and will help bring work to life rather than continuously working to nail down creative strategy.
A large piece of creative execution is onboarding the right talent with the right perspective for the project. While this of course means having the necessary tangible skills to execute the project, this also means having the right point of view to tell the brand’s story. But what do you look for in talent to ensure they’re the right fit for the project?
“I would say honesty; someone who believes in themselves,” said Cranley. “Someone who doesn’t try to mimic someone else. Someone who is hardworking and open to collaboration and has a distinct point of view that they can bring to projects.”
This may culminate in an individual who has had experience working in similar projects, or this may be an individual who simply has an eye and perspective for telling a brand’s story even if they have not had experience doing it yet.
Cranley recalls a project where she hired a photographer who specialized in abstract portraiture for a brand content project, identifying an opportunity to show a perspective that was unexpected but still, and truly, captured the organization’s voice.
Obtaining a comprehensive understanding of organizational voice and vision allows the opportunity to bring on the right talent to tell that brand story and be confident in taking an unanticipated avenue with creative direction.
Which leads to a final point of finding opportunities to take an unexpected route with creative deliverables. With the proper research and understanding of an organization’s vision, you have the freedom to experiment with creative execution to tell the story in a way that resonates and is impactful to the intended audience.
“It’s important to level up and challenge yourself and do something that you didn’t think about,” said Cranley. “What’s a position that is different? Is there something we haven’t seen? A strategy? A photographer?”
“When I work [on projects] in healthcare, I don’t see it like others see the picture,” adds Cranley. “How do you modernize that point of view?”
Taking the road less traveled with creative allows opportunity to experiment with different perspectives and execution to deliver the same voice.
With a true understanding of the organization you are portraying as well as the audience you are sharing your content to, the opportunities to share a brand’s voice in a unique and unforeseen way are endless. Uniting the creative process, talent, and execution in a strategic way catalyzes the chance to share an organization’s voice and perspective in new ways.