Communications strategy: Heart n Soul

Heart n Soul is a creative arts organisation who work with people with learning difficulties. They commissioned us to work with them to deliver a new digital communications strategy and scope the rebuild of their website.

Our approach to strategy

In our view a well-formulated strategy should be based on a holistic view of an organisation’s customers or users, its context and competitive environment and of course its vision and purpose. Crucially it should also take into account the organisation’s resources, processes and culture – understanding that these internal factors provide both constraints and opportunities for the execution of a strategy. Building those internal constraints into strategy helps avoid silly mistakes and ground strategies in reality – we put a lot of effort into bridging the gap between a sparkly visionary strategy and the messy reality of real life.

So with that in mind, we also decided to create a series of tools to enable Heart n Soul to refresh their communications strategy on an ongoing basis – a strategy creating toolkit. This approach is central to the way we consider service design. A well crafted strategy should provide a strong framework for a period of time, but strategies inevitably age and go out of date. We wanted to leave Heart n Soul with a tool that would be the nearest thing to having us and our difficult questions in the room with them, without making them dependent on having us back every year. With our clients we always seek to build their capacity to refresh their strategy after our work for them has finished.

The strategy in use

A number of our recommendations have been put into practice, and Heart n Soul now has a new digital approach, a new brand and website. We think that Heart n Soul is now one of the very best arts organisations at using digital technologies to deliver its aims, and it’s not just us that thinks that. Heart n Soul has been very successful at winning funding and delivering highly complex digital projects over the intervening years.

Working with Unthinkable on our communications strategy has been incredibly helpful. Together we have explored and discovered new ideas, fresh thinking, innovative approaches and then been given the tools and confidence to make them happen – brilliant!
Mark Williams MBE, Artistic Director / Chief Executive, Heart n Soul