Effective communication is vital to our work. Since Purple Tuesday, two weeks ago, I have engaged with even more people and organisations than I did in the run up to the day. The impact of communications is clear. The promotion and exposure generated by participating organisations – alongside high-profile media coverage – has helped force the issue, leading to genuine improvements for disabled customers.
Communication, communication, communication!
More than 2,500 Individuals and organisations pushed boundaries to agree sets of activities (commitments) which will make real differences to their customers’ experience. To say ‘thank you’, Purple provided a practical tips resource for staff and a disability inclusion training presentation pack for each organisation.
I have also spoken to many organisations who hadn’t heard about Purple Tuesday until the day. They want to get involved. I’ve been able to explain that they can sign up, make commitments and benefit from being involved, with resources from – and promotion on – our website. Purple Tuesday really is a 365-day initiative.
My colleagues and I have undertaken a range of follow-up media interviews. I’ve been asked to speak to media about disabled people who had been left on trains after two recent incidents. The agreed support put in place hadn’t happened. Everybody knows things can go wrong but good customer service is about dealing with it in real time and good communication – both of which failed to occur in these examples. Disabled people being left on a train is not a new phenomenon (it happened to me 10 years ago!) but Purple Tuesday has shone a light on why it matters to all train providers.
Finally, there have been internal debriefs about how we delivered Purple Tuesday – the factors that engaged organisations to sign up, the interventions that simply did not work, and how we ensure that the 3,500 commitments made, are now delivered.
Evidencing the tangible impact made and, more importantly, felt by disabled customers and staff, will help catapult Purple Tuesday to the next level.
This week Purple Tuesday has released some more video content (see below). I was reminded by my good friend Dowshan about what turns communication into action. Effective communicators in business, and right now in politics too, address the so-called 4 C’s: Context, Content, Conversation and Conversion.
Communication needs to be anchored by an arresting context – such as our narrative of the £249 billion Purple Pound and the commercial opportunities for organisations. The message is conveyed through different forms of creative content, from video to written text and impactful visuals. It needs to trigger conversations, such as the 8,500 social media conversations on Purple Tuesday – demonstrating interest and understanding. Ultimately, it must lead to conversion – actions which change the experience of customers.
Changing the conversation around disability is about engaging all voices, delivering commitments and continually communicating why initiatives such as Purple Tuesday, matter.
To make disability matter to your organisation every day, start a conversation about conversion and become a Purple Member today
Mike Adams OBE
Chief Executive Officer