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NARRATIVE
STRENGTH IS
MEASURABLE.
CANDIDATES’
WEBSITES
PROVE IT.
Narratives win hearts and minds.
When they’re powerful.
But how do you make a narrative
powerful?
First you measure.
You can measure how
strong your narrative is.
We can use candidates’
websites to demonstrate.
For the purposes of
this discussion, we’re
only looking at
candidate websites.
Yes. That’s a big simplification. But we’re...
Oh. You want to know
what a narrative is?
Here are 3 useful
definitions:
1.
A narrative is a
system of beliefs that
effect how you
interpret the meaning
of things.
2.
Your organizational
narrative is the core
of what you believe
and why you matter.
3.
Your narrative is the basis of
the many stories you need
to tell to customers,
prospects, employees.
STORY VS NARRATIVE
NARRATIVE
STORY
SO. HOW DO WE
MEASURE NARRATIVE
STRENGTH?
WE NEED
SOME
CRITERIA.
SO I’VE
IDENTIFIED
FIVE.
PRESENTATION
How well is the
narrative is presented?
Can I find it and follow
it?
Do I want to?
ONE
How easy is it to
understand? This can
be the key issue in
complex or technical
narratives.
CLARITY
TWO
Does it make me feel
something? Does “it
make sense”? Does it
have supporting
evidence?
RESONANCE
THREE
If I see it, and I get it, can I
explain it to someone else?
Do you encourage me to do
that?
SHAREABILITY
FOUR
This measures how well your
organization is managing its
narrative internally.
We have no inside knowledge
of the campaign...
So let’s check out
HillaryClinton.com
with this in mind.
Note, we aren’t evaluating the merits, just the
strength of the n...
HOW STRONG IS THE NARRATIVE ON
HILLARYCLINTON.COM?
This is a simple page designed to
engage existing supporters. “I’m with
her” has morphed into “She’s with us”
in recent da...
Scroll down and you
see links to her
“Racial Justice Plan”
and “Economic Plan”
People are probably
interested in those.
Wo...
The likely next stop is
this page.
Generic text. Generic
image. Generic.
Massive opportunity
to do better.
Scroll down to an
Issues List. It’s
alphabetical .
No prioritization,
emotion, vision. No
imagery.
None.
There are themes here, however.
A little jiggering could slot all 28
issues into “Justice, Prosperity and
Security”
That w...
OK. There’s some
vision and substance.
Not very readable.
Further down the page. Good
sharing buttons. A deeper,
downloadable paper for nerds like
me to read.
FINDINGS
The narrative on this site is
subtle and not particularly
well presented. It is hard to
point to the main message
or theme...
We are surprised by the lack of
interesting imagery or reference to
her massive body of public service
outside of her bio ...
SC
SCORE – 8/32
8/32. That score leaves a lot of
narrative power, a lot of influence
and a lot of impact on the table. This
site is not se...
8/32. But with a clear sense of what
can be done to make it stronger.
This score is both an “As-Is” and a
way forward.
If her campaign wanted to improve
that score, they need to build out a
narrative hierarchy and a
presentation strategy.
We’ll talk aout this more at the end.
First, let’s check out
DonaldJTrump.com
with this in mind.
Note, we aren’t evaluating the merits, just the
strength of the...
HOW STRONG IS THE NARRATIVE ON
DONALDJTRUMP.COM?
Vague but dramatic tag line.
Smirk face. Victory sign. Or maybe a
peace sign?
Scroll down. This section changes
frequently. This week it’s about his wins
and anti-Rubio. Trumps site is very much
about...
6 “Positions”. Up from 5. Of
all the candidates, this is the
fewest number of issues.
Layout is OK.
Positions pages aren’t optimized for
online reading and scanning. Easy to
navigate on right. Yes. The wall is in there.
Look hard and you’ll find an Issues page in
addition to the positions page.
These are shorts of Trump speaking to the
came...
FINDINGS
The main theme of the
home page “Make
America Great Again” is
referred to at the
conclusion of each
Position paper, but no...
The presentation is tidy and
businesslike, but not exciting or
engaging, though the issue videos
are dramatic.
His positio...
There is minimal opportunity to
share and minimal connection to
social, which is surprising given the
strength of the camp...
SCORE – 13/32
13/32. Still leaving a lot on the table.
Hard to make recommendations
about DonaldJTrump.com but there
is a clear gap between “Make
America Great” and the other
in...
Stay tuned for our
analysis of the next
candidates’ sites:
Berniesanders.com
TedCruz.org
MarcoRubio.com
Jeb2016.com
Yours.
HOW STRONG IS THE NARRATIVE ON
BERNIESANDERS.COM?
One, focused, statement.
Personal invokation
Generic image and headline. Emotional
text. A little hard to scan.
BUT…
The issues list is prioritized and action
oriented, if not exactly organized around
any core principles. And…
The issue pages are scannable, chart-
rich, and evokative
This volunteer form starts out the same
as all the others BUT…
The rest of the form
gets specific…
Every candidate
has the “paid for
by” footer
(required by law)
but Bernie
makes a point
with his. Details,
details…
Lots of depth for the
super-fans
References external
articles about him….
That adds credibility
Super-fans get a
roadmap for
volunteering
They can start right
from their homes,
meeting others, they
can get it on their
calendars right away…
The “organizers toolkit”
is a complete activist
in a box kit.
This site is an
organizer and activist
factory. Pretty slick.
What is interesting, is that
this site has the means to
serve as a hub for super-
fans. Something none of
the other sites ...
FINDINGS
Amongst the candidates
websites,
berniesanders.com is a
standout. It demonstrates
design savvy, narrative
savvy and strate...
It is emotive, filled with
many kinds of easily
scannable and digestible
supporting information,
and reaches out to
activa...
PRESENTATION
0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points.
Is the narrative clearly presented on the
organization’s website or other p...
28/32 is a very strong
score. But look at the
score cards carefully, and
there’s room to grow.
The improvements that will
...
What is the theme
that holds all those
policy positions
together? How do we
understand how
those principles
would apply to...
int
HOW STRONG IS THE NARRATIVE ON
TEDCRUZ.ORG?
Interesting that this is a .org. the rest are
all .com
Lots of emotional
words. “Join”
“Movement”
“Courageous”
Nice use of media.
(almost made me want to watch it)
Nice use of imagery. Powerful
headlines.
This is interesting… the only candidate
app that I found.
Issue pages themselves have evolved since
February. Many had read like a resume more
than a position paper. They’ve added ...
TedCruz.org has a slightly different
approach to the volunteer thing.
His site asks you to self-identify on your
demographic and issue. This is smart.
Now the campaign knows who his super-
fan...
FINDINGS
TedCruz.org is pretty clear on its
message, and is relatively well
organized.
Good use of imagery and video.
Visible socia...
His plans are often buried in
resume, but he does get there in the
end.
We particularly note the simple tax
plan and the 5...
There’s a bit of “New Speak”
reframing social issues as
constitutional freedoms.
In particular, he uses the
constitution t...
Reframing is a smart and effective
narrative strategy. (NB. Not the merits)
PRESENTATION
0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points.
Is the narrative clearly presented on the
organization’s website or other p...
23/32 is a respectable score. The
website should focus on simplifying
and clarifying the position papers,
which it appears...
So. What did we
learn? How do you
build a powerful
narrative?
First, examine, answer
and refine the four
questions:
1. What’s the big idea and
how do you want people to
feel about it?
2. What’s your approach,
point of view or
methodology for achieving
that ideal?
3. What’s your actual offer
or plan? What are you
doing to implement that
point of view or approach?
4. What’s your proof that
your approach is right?
Data? Testimonials?
Respected third parties?
(Answering those
questions isn’t as easy as
it looks.)
(You knew that.)
Next, construct a
presentation that
evokes the right
emotions, guides
people to the right info,
and is easy and
delightful...
Test it against the
scorecard.
Not you.
Ask someone else.
How are you doing?
Measure, learn and
improve.
Don’t forget. Your website
is just one piece of your
narrative.
Your content and social
presence, your media
presence, and...
Want to talk about
narratives?
www.narrativebuilders.com
@deb_lavoy
deb@louisonlavoy.com
Candidates' narrative strength - COMPLETE
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Candidates' narrative strength - COMPLETE

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Parts 1 and 2 combined. What are narratives? Why do they matter and what can the candidates websites teach us?

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Candidates' narrative strength - COMPLETE

  1. 1. NARRATIVE STRENGTH IS MEASURABLE. CANDIDATES’ WEBSITES PROVE IT.
  2. 2. Narratives win hearts and minds.
  3. 3. When they’re powerful.
  4. 4. But how do you make a narrative powerful?
  5. 5. First you measure.
  6. 6. You can measure how strong your narrative is. We can use candidates’ websites to demonstrate.
  7. 7. For the purposes of this discussion, we’re only looking at candidate websites. Yes. That’s a big simplification. But we’re making a point, not a campaign. So far.
  8. 8. Oh. You want to know what a narrative is? Here are 3 useful definitions:
  9. 9. 1. A narrative is a system of beliefs that effect how you interpret the meaning of things.
  10. 10. 2. Your organizational narrative is the core of what you believe and why you matter.
  11. 11. 3. Your narrative is the basis of the many stories you need to tell to customers, prospects, employees.
  12. 12. STORY VS NARRATIVE
  13. 13. NARRATIVE
  14. 14. STORY
  15. 15. SO. HOW DO WE MEASURE NARRATIVE STRENGTH?
  16. 16. WE NEED SOME CRITERIA. SO I’VE IDENTIFIED FIVE.
  17. 17. PRESENTATION How well is the narrative is presented? Can I find it and follow it? Do I want to? ONE
  18. 18. How easy is it to understand? This can be the key issue in complex or technical narratives. CLARITY TWO
  19. 19. Does it make me feel something? Does “it make sense”? Does it have supporting evidence? RESONANCE THREE
  20. 20. If I see it, and I get it, can I explain it to someone else? Do you encourage me to do that? SHAREABILITY FOUR
  21. 21. This measures how well your organization is managing its narrative internally. We have no inside knowledge of the campaigns, so we will skip this criterion in our assessments. ORGANIZATION FIVE
  22. 22. So let’s check out HillaryClinton.com with this in mind. Note, we aren’t evaluating the merits, just the strength of the narrative.
  23. 23. HOW STRONG IS THE NARRATIVE ON HILLARYCLINTON.COM?
  24. 24. This is a simple page designed to engage existing supporters. “I’m with her” has morphed into “She’s with us” in recent days.
  25. 25. Scroll down and you see links to her “Racial Justice Plan” and “Economic Plan” People are probably interested in those. Wonder where that college plan is? Keep scrolling….
  26. 26. The likely next stop is this page. Generic text. Generic image. Generic. Massive opportunity to do better.
  27. 27. Scroll down to an Issues List. It’s alphabetical . No prioritization, emotion, vision. No imagery. None.
  28. 28. There are themes here, however. A little jiggering could slot all 28 issues into “Justice, Prosperity and Security” That would be better.
  29. 29. OK. There’s some vision and substance. Not very readable.
  30. 30. Further down the page. Good sharing buttons. A deeper, downloadable paper for nerds like me to read.
  31. 31. FINDINGS
  32. 32. The narrative on this site is subtle and not particularly well presented. It is hard to point to the main message or themes. It would be challenging to explain it to someone else.
  33. 33. We are surprised by the lack of interesting imagery or reference to her massive body of public service outside of her bio page. We note a lack of any future focused theme or attempt to make an emotional connection with would be voters.
  34. 34. SC SCORE – 8/32
  35. 35. 8/32. That score leaves a lot of narrative power, a lot of influence and a lot of impact on the table. This site is not serving its organization well. The only candidate site with a lower score was Jeb2016.com (we archived screenshots)
  36. 36. 8/32. But with a clear sense of what can be done to make it stronger. This score is both an “As-Is” and a way forward.
  37. 37. If her campaign wanted to improve that score, they need to build out a narrative hierarchy and a presentation strategy.
  38. 38. We’ll talk aout this more at the end.
  39. 39. First, let’s check out DonaldJTrump.com with this in mind. Note, we aren’t evaluating the merits, just the strength of the narrative.
  40. 40. HOW STRONG IS THE NARRATIVE ON DONALDJTRUMP.COM?
  41. 41. Vague but dramatic tag line.
  42. 42. Smirk face. Victory sign. Or maybe a peace sign?
  43. 43. Scroll down. This section changes frequently. This week it’s about his wins and anti-Rubio. Trumps site is very much about Trump.
  44. 44. 6 “Positions”. Up from 5. Of all the candidates, this is the fewest number of issues. Layout is OK.
  45. 45. Positions pages aren’t optimized for online reading and scanning. Easy to navigate on right. Yes. The wall is in there.
  46. 46. Look hard and you’ll find an Issues page in addition to the positions page. These are shorts of Trump speaking to the camera on hot topics. These are updated frequently.
  47. 47. FINDINGS
  48. 48. The main theme of the home page “Make America Great Again” is referred to at the conclusion of each Position paper, but not elsewhere on the site.
  49. 49. The presentation is tidy and businesslike, but not exciting or engaging, though the issue videos are dramatic. His position papers are clear, but not backed by data or details.
  50. 50. There is minimal opportunity to share and minimal connection to social, which is surprising given the strength of the campaign’s social presence. Again. We’re not evaluating the merits here.
  51. 51. SCORE – 13/32
  52. 52. 13/32. Still leaving a lot on the table.
  53. 53. Hard to make recommendations about DonaldJTrump.com but there is a clear gap between “Make America Great” and the other information presented on the site.
  54. 54. Stay tuned for our analysis of the next candidates’ sites: Berniesanders.com TedCruz.org MarcoRubio.com Jeb2016.com Yours.
  55. 55. HOW STRONG IS THE NARRATIVE ON BERNIESANDERS.COM?
  56. 56. One, focused, statement.
  57. 57. Personal invokation
  58. 58. Generic image and headline. Emotional text. A little hard to scan. BUT…
  59. 59. The issues list is prioritized and action oriented, if not exactly organized around any core principles. And…
  60. 60. The issue pages are scannable, chart- rich, and evokative
  61. 61. This volunteer form starts out the same as all the others BUT…
  62. 62. The rest of the form gets specific…
  63. 63. Every candidate has the “paid for by” footer (required by law) but Bernie makes a point with his. Details, details…
  64. 64. Lots of depth for the super-fans
  65. 65. References external articles about him…. That adds credibility
  66. 66. Super-fans get a roadmap for volunteering
  67. 67. They can start right from their homes, meeting others, they can get it on their calendars right away…
  68. 68. The “organizers toolkit” is a complete activist in a box kit. This site is an organizer and activist factory. Pretty slick.
  69. 69. What is interesting, is that this site has the means to serve as a hub for super- fans. Something none of the other sites have the capacity for.
  70. 70. FINDINGS
  71. 71. Amongst the candidates websites, berniesanders.com is a standout. It demonstrates design savvy, narrative savvy and strategic engagement savvy.
  72. 72. It is emotive, filled with many kinds of easily scannable and digestible supporting information, and reaches out to activate super-fans – something none of the others do.
  73. 73. PRESENTATION 0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points. Is the narrative clearly presented on the organization’s website or other public-facing resource? 1 Is it easy to find and follow? 2 Is the presentation interesting? 2 Is the presentation connected to other digital assets that further develop the theme?(social, blog, video, whitepapers) 1 TOTAL 6 CLARITY 0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points.0-8 points. Each line Is it easy to understand? 2 Does it cover key points or are there significant gaps? 2 Does it flow naturally from one level of detail to the next? 2 Does it flow naturally from one topic to the next? 1 TOTAL 7 RESONANCE 0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points.0-8 points. Each line Does it evoke an emotional response in the viewer (emotional resonance)? 2 Does it “make sense” to people (intellectual resonance)? 2 Can it be applied to many situations and people? 1 Does it offer supporting information and proof points that lend credibility? 2 TOTAL 7 SHAREABILITY 0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points. Is it memorable? 2 Can most people explain it to someone else? 2 Do you encourage people to share the narrative? 2 Do you make it convenient for people to share it digitally? 2 TOTAL 8 SCORE – 28/32
  74. 74. 28/32 is a very strong score. But look at the score cards carefully, and there’s room to grow. The improvements that will take this narrative to the top, however, will take real effort.
  75. 75. What is the theme that holds all those policy positions together? How do we understand how those principles would apply to other situations?
  76. 76. int HOW STRONG IS THE NARRATIVE ON TEDCRUZ.ORG? Interesting that this is a .org. the rest are all .com
  77. 77. Lots of emotional words. “Join” “Movement” “Courageous”
  78. 78. Nice use of media. (almost made me want to watch it)
  79. 79. Nice use of imagery. Powerful headlines.
  80. 80. This is interesting… the only candidate app that I found.
  81. 81. Issue pages themselves have evolved since February. Many had read like a resume more than a position paper. They’ve added more proposals and positions. This is Cruz demonstrating his bona fides. (again, not on the merits)
  82. 82. TedCruz.org has a slightly different approach to the volunteer thing.
  83. 83. His site asks you to self-identify on your demographic and issue. This is smart. Now the campaign knows who his super- fans are.
  84. 84. FINDINGS
  85. 85. TedCruz.org is pretty clear on its message, and is relatively well organized. Good use of imagery and video. Visible social sharing. There is a strong conservative religious theme across all.
  86. 86. His plans are often buried in resume, but he does get there in the end. We particularly note the simple tax plan and the 5 government agencies he plans to shut down. (including the IRS and the Depts of Energy, Education, Commerce, Housing and Urban Dev.).
  87. 87. There’s a bit of “New Speak” reframing social issues as constitutional freedoms. In particular, he uses the constitution to argue against secularism.
  88. 88. Reframing is a smart and effective narrative strategy. (NB. Not the merits)
  89. 89. PRESENTATION 0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points. Is the narrative clearly presented on the organization’s website or other public-facing resource? 2 Is it easy to find and follow? 2 Is the presentation interesting? 1 Is the presentation connected to other digital assets that further develop the theme?(social, blog, video, whitepapers) 2 TOTAL 7 CLARITY 0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points.0-8 points. Each line Is it easy to understand? 1 Does it cover key points or are there significant gaps? 1 Does it flow naturally from one level of detail to the next? 1 Does it flow naturally from one topic to the next? 1 TOTAL 4 RESONANCE 0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points.0-8 points. Each line Does it evoke an emotional response in the viewer (emotional resonance)? 2 Does it “make sense” to people (intellectual resonance)? 1 Can it be applied to many situations and people? 2 Does it offer supporting information and proof points that lend credibility? 2 TOTAL 7 SHAREABILITY 0-8 points. Each line 0-2 points. Is it memorable? 1 Can most people explain it to someone else? 2 Do you encourage people to share the narrative? 1 Do you make it convenient for people to share it digitally? 1 TOTAL 5 SCORE – 23/32
  90. 90. 23/32 is a respectable score. The website should focus on simplifying and clarifying the position papers, which it appears to be doing.
  91. 91. So. What did we learn? How do you build a powerful narrative?
  92. 92. First, examine, answer and refine the four questions:
  93. 93. 1. What’s the big idea and how do you want people to feel about it?
  94. 94. 2. What’s your approach, point of view or methodology for achieving that ideal?
  95. 95. 3. What’s your actual offer or plan? What are you doing to implement that point of view or approach?
  96. 96. 4. What’s your proof that your approach is right? Data? Testimonials? Respected third parties?
  97. 97. (Answering those questions isn’t as easy as it looks.)
  98. 98. (You knew that.)
  99. 99. Next, construct a presentation that evokes the right emotions, guides people to the right info, and is easy and delightful to consume.
  100. 100. Test it against the scorecard. Not you. Ask someone else. How are you doing?
  101. 101. Measure, learn and improve.
  102. 102. Don’t forget. Your website is just one piece of your narrative. Your content and social presence, your media presence, and importantly, what your market believes, is equally important.
  103. 103. Want to talk about narratives? www.narrativebuilders.com @deb_lavoy deb@louisonlavoy.com

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