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Sounds to me like the difficulty you have is creating the desire in the students to want to have a (different) relationship with the fire-fighters. Most, if not all, of the relationship aspects I mentioned are two way. The fire-fighters have to be something that the students want to seek out. I think this comes from improving / altering the students view on other aspects of the relationship they have with the fire-fighters. What I mean is, there has to be a sensation that the fire fighters are as interested in the lives of the students (knowledge), that they listen, that they understand their problems (and offer advice if required), that they are comfortable in their company, that they want to exchange points of. And that the reverse holds true – the fire-fighters listen to the advice the students give to them, that they have an interest in the emotional states of the students etc etc. This is where a lot of brands seem to go wrong – they just talk at their audience, not with them.

Empathy, commitment and mutual rewards are only possible if the students feel there is something in the relationship for them. And if there is, it has to be ongoing, it has to have history, it can’t just be a one time thing.

Hope this makes sense - I’m in a bit of a rush.

Yes it does-and your comments also speak to key differences between commercial and public sector marketing-or indeed if the term is even appropriate for the latter.

The reason I say this is that many of the young people on the programme aren't there entirely by choice-some are sent because they are fire offenders, some because they have been excluded from school. So, initially at least, there isn't the sort of "seeking desire" that you identify. Indeed the reverse can be true. In this case, do you think rebranding analogies are appropriate?

One of the points I’m making (and I sort of do and don’t believe this depending on the weather) is that I’m not sure ‘branding’, in the traditional sense, is that useful to solving marketing problems anymore, no mind problems like yours. For example I relate to brands like Innocent in a way that can’t usefully be summed up in an onion.

Well now that's interesting, since the project I'm doing is actually coming from a communication studies perspective, particularly regarding the concepts of framing and agenda setting. I think that one of the problems facing the programme is that it is swimming against a tide of ASBO stories painting young people as villains rather than people with needs and rights. And the young people's awareness of this inhibits their desire to interact. Maybe this isn't the right place...

But thanks for the comments-very useful

Russell, having a group chat is a terrific idea. If you dogo the Skypecast route, (or whatever chat client for all I know,)we could also try and record the chat with Audio Hijack or Wiretap or something, to archive/share with folks who can't make it in real-time. Cheers, Mike in Scotland.


Since you're on TypePad you can use the widget...


Seems as though someone has already posted an Account Planning School of the Web skypecast on May 24th. https://skypecasts.skype.com/skypecasts/skypecast/detailed.html?id_talk=4117
Is that you Russell or someone masquerading as you?

that's me, masquerading as Darth Strategist, I think. I guess date and time depends upon your time zone.

That's funny because there is 'Dark Planner' in France.

He is planner at Publicis...

Darth Vador french translation is Dark Vador, because french people don't know what darth mean!!

In Spain 'Danger Mouse' is called 'Super Ratton'.

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