Creating engaging content will forever be our goal. But if it’s educational too then that’s something to be really proud of.
by Lauren Allan
Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes there is a lot of noise. I don’t mean the road outside or the muffled sound of other conversations through walls.
It’s the noise from social media; from friends, family and work. Before March 2020 there was… a lot of noise.
Then Covid-19 came along. Suddenly the noise from before became really rather less, what replaced it was a removal of clutter to reveal what was important.
Things had changed. We had to be physically apart but digitally connected. What we communicate now needed to be even more relevant and meaningful.
So when it came to creating a new way of educating pupils about the water cycle a new and different approach was needed.
Being yourself sounds like the easiest thing in the world, right? However, the reality is being yourself – your real authentic self – can be hard and, honestly, these days it’s pretty brave to be “you”.
Getting to know your interests, style, morals, what makes you ‘tick’ all influence the information you disseminate to others both in your personal & professional life. At the risk of sounding like a quote straight from quoates.com; never underestimate the power in knowing who you are. Too often we get caught up trying to do things we see other people doing. Don’t get me wrong – be inspired by those around you but don’t try to become them.
As part of our new Water Cycle Education pack I voiced-over the film. This isn’t something I like doing (I mean seriously don’t like doing) but I did it to prove I could. As any creative person will tell you, when you produce something you give a little piece of yourself. So it was risky, but in the end it was worth it. Think about what you are good at and figure out how you can harness it to benefit your work.
You need to understand your audience and don’t assume they know what you know, don’t confuse them and keep it simple. For example, our audience for the education pack doesn’t need to know the whole corporate structure of Scottish Water, just how Scotland’s water can support everyday life.
Younger audiences are used to sophisticated, high quality media content across all platforms. We didn’t want the closure of schools as result of Covid-19 to hinder our work increasing the knowledge of pupils’ on the “beginning to end” story of Scotland’s water. we started from a global standpoint and drilled down to the individual child and what it meant to their life. We looked at our planets water, fresh and frozen, the science behind it and we looked at it from an environmental standpoint in terms of climate change and resilience. We even delved into the history of water and how we drink the same water as the Dinosaurs!
Ultimately, we took rather complex information, simplified it and condensed it into a bright engaging learning resource. We created two films, two presentations over two levels suitable for primary 1’s – 7’s with interactive audio and a quiz.
We launched on May 18, the height of lockdown, using social media, media & external education platforms to help promote the resource to families and schools across Scotland. Employees also saw the launch on internal channels. The goal? To provide a learning resource which parents, carers and teachers could access and use in a home schooling environment to learn about the water cycle.
Surround yourself with like-minded, bold, creative and supportive people because without them the ideas, even excellent ones will be hampered by negativity.
Harness your skills and use the tools which are already out there to help you. There are thousands of stock free images, audio clips and footage available online. Not to mention free easy-to-use film editing suites, as well as graphic design suites. YouTube is an amazing platform for sharing ideas and learning ‘how to’.
Ultimately, and with support from those around you, getting to know yourself and harnessing your skills is what will help you cut through the noise. Don’t over complicate what you are trying to say, establish your base-line message and the key points you want to make. From there you can be as creative as bold and brave as you like.
In the end, everything you need is out there, you just need to believe in yourself, grasp the opportunity and harness your skills and experience to deliver the message clearly and concisely – to help others cut through the noise.
Lauren Allan is corporate affairs officer at Scottish Water.
Image via Anthoine Cougny