This pandemic has asked a lot of leaders. Many people are struggling with their well-being while supporting teams, trying to be agile and to role-model constructive leadership. And that’s just at work.
In our last blog we analysed decision-making under COVID through the lens of values, exploring how they influence us at an unconscious level and can create conflict. (Subscribe to our newsletter if you missed it!)
With a new reliance on virtual conferencing, unprecedented business challenges and emotional pressure, the first thing to slip can be communication. We’re hearing about tensions between teams, miscommunication, and knee-jerk reactions that blow small issues up into ugly battles. If knee-jerk is the enemy of good communication, strategy is its best buddy.
So we’ve decided to share Visibility Co’s fail-safe strategic formula to help you communicate with clarity and focus under pressure (and also when you're not under pressure): say hello to GAMPER!
A central piece of the visibility methodology, GAMPER is our tried-and-tested formula for supporting anyone to take a strategic approach to communications, influence and engagement. It’s the formula we use every day with leaders at all levels, businesses and organisations, because it works as well for crafting a communications campaign as it does composing a single email, having a tough conversation or activating a vision.
GAMPER is simple but powerful. It prevents the most common communication pitfalls, while plugging you straight into strategic influence. So let’s give it to you...
GAMPER stands for:
Reality + Refine
Applied in sequence, it is inherently strategic, human-centred and easily activated. It may appear simple at first glance; but it’s the disciplined, sequenced and repeated application that counts.
GAMPER in practice
We normally teach GAMPER over a full day, but here’s the cheat’s version:
Goal: What goals / ultimate outcomes are you looking to achieve? The higher order aims. This is where *most* of the work is needed, and what’s often skipped.
Audience: Who are you trying to engage with? Who’s most influential in achieving your goal/s? Whose opinion counts most?
Message: Which message will allow you to best connect your goal and audience? What does your audience need to hear (not what you want to say)?
Platform: Which channel / platform / format is most relevant to your goal / audience / message? What aligns with yours and your audience’s needs?
Evaluation: How will you evaluate your impact? Know it’s working and effective?
Reality + refine: Is this realistic? How can you enhance based on learnings (in real time)?
Remember: it’s a sequence. It works like a ladder: if you get stuck on one rung, the trick is to rise to the rung above - if the previous step is done well, the next rung will be easy.
GAMPER in the world
GAMPER has been used by thousands of leaders, in campaigns both large and small, in diverse sectors and movements, in more than 50 countries.
We developed the framework based on more than 30 years of experience across journalism, community engagement, corporate communications, brand, marketing, social and digital media, design thinking, leadership, crisis management and public affairs.
The formula has been used to develop visibility, communications and engagement strategies for global thought leaders, business and organisational communication strategies, policy development and social impact movements and campaigns. It’s adaptable enough to be applied to a meeting or single social media post, as well as the most complex engagement strategies and campaigns with multiple stakeholders.
Phrases like “have you GAMPERed it?” are common parlance in our Homeward Bound communities, and clients have been known to wander around their workplaces “GAMPERing” the heck out of everything.
CASE STUDY: GAMPER for global change
Our change-maker friends at Change by Degrees in Ireland have been using GAMPER in their work in global sustainability strategies at the individual, organisational, government and systemic levels. Here’s how GAMPER is supporting their important work:
Tara Shine is a global sustainability thought leader, environmental scientist, policy advisor, speaker and author, and director of Change By Degrees:
“I use GAMPER in so many ways: it always seems to help focus my mind. For example, when crafting presentations and public speaking, it clarifies my thought processes and helps me to develop a core narrative to the story I am telling, so that it resonates with the audience. When writing my book How to Save Your Planet One Object At A Time, it helped me to articulate why I was writing a book for individuals in an effort to drive systemic change and it also helped me pivot to use new social media platforms to engage individuals with my book during COVID lockdown. GAMPER is always practical and it is relevant at all stages in a project; the evaluate, reality and refine elements are a constant reminder to go back, assess impacts and do better.”
Madeleine Murray is a an award-winning strategist, UX designer and multi-entrepreneur, and director of Change By Degrees:
“Change by Degrees has used GAMPER with a range of clients – semi-state organisations, government departments and large private enterprise. We employ the tool to help our clients move through their strategic communications objectives, cutting through the noise of a complex sustainability communications plans to the core of the issues that will resonate with their employees, clients and customers alike. This bolsters their own in-house work while liberating them to think laterally and add clarity to their sustainability messaging. Its simplicity is its genius.”
So if you're keen to avoid the most common communication pitfalls, and want to up the ante on strategic influence at this pivotal time, try GAMPER to train your brain to be more strategic in visibility, communications, leadership and beyond. We hope it's an unlock for you, like it has been for us and our clients.
Try GAMPERing your next presentation, meeting agenda, courageous conversation, Board papers or campaign strategy and let us know how it’s supporting your communications in these shifting times.
If you’d like to hear more about how we use GAMPER, particularly in our strategic work, get in touch!
About Visibility Co.
Working at the intersection of leadership, strategy and visibility, we seek to be strategic provocateurs and catalysts of systemic change, supporting you to unleash the potential within so you can create a better world from wherever you are.
While we’re not big on labels, we’re often referred to as social impact and communications strategists, or strategic leadership advisors, or visibility experts.
Fancy words for a business, led by Julia May and Sarah Anderson, that brings together purposeful leadership, strategy and communications in truly integrative and innovative ways.
If there’s one thing we’ve seen get in the way of senior leaders managing change this year, it’s underestimating the relationship between core or organisational strategy and communications strategy - with huge impacts to time, resourcing and outcomes. Here’s how to make both strategies thrive so that the sum of the two becomes greater than the parts.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners — the Kulin Nations, particularly the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, and Wadawurrung people — upon whose ancestral lands we live and work. We pay respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community. Sovereignty was never ceded.