Brand storytelling · Power-Words

Helping changemakers, I can be a changemaker

Although it happened somewhat 20 years into my professional career journey, I’m still glad that I finally came to recognise my talent (with words), my passion (for human psychology, behaviour and wellbeing) as well as certain beliefs I have about copy and content excellence (as vehicle for driving positive change).

More than that, linking these with each other – and with my formal qualifications (communications, marketing, project management) and professional experience (managing digital business change projects and programs) – has given me the greatest sense of clarity and purpose for my work yet, namely to offer my copy and content writing, editing and proofreading services specifically to organisational and social culture changemakers.

In today’s post I wanted to contemplate and clarify what I mean by culture builders and changemakers, who they are, why my focus on changemakers and how I can help them.

Helping changemakers, I can be a changemaker

What is a changemaker

A first look in various online dictionaries found me well surprised as the only ‘changemaker’ definition offered by most of them seems to be related to a “device that mechanically supplies change in coins of desired denominations upon the operation of the proper levers or keys.”

That’s clearly not what I expected or was hoping for. Instead of attempting my own short and sweet definition though, and inspired by two main literature sources as quoted at the end of this post, I came up with a set of characteristics and attitudes as I see them fit with my picture of a changemaker and the business of changemaking:

  • Purpose – far beyond money-orientated and technology-driven goal setting, changemakers get meaning and purpose from people-centred and humanitarian goals such as peace, health and overall culture of wellbeing – whether it’d be for individuals, organisations, wider society or also for the environment.
  • Results – rather than counting leads, profit, and getting high on big wins and instant results, changemakers measure the support, engagement and impact their work is driving, and they believe in growth from within and in small changes adding up over time to create transformative and long-lasting results.
  • Values – guiding principles and values can be tricky to establish and nurture, they are unique to each organisation and they will evolve over time, however what all changemakers’ values have in common is a human-spirited core. Think empathy, integrity, authenticity, leadership, community and teamwork.
  • Approach – in line with these values, changemakers focus first and foremost on leading, inspiring and empowering (people) as opposed to managing, directing and controlling (events, tasks, resources), and when it comes to rating success, they know it’s a team sport.

Who are changemakers

Considering the above points and agreeing with Ashoka’s* statement that “a changemaker focuses on solving a social problem for the greater good” – a short and sweet definition after all – I am inclined to categorise into four types of changemakers:

  • Internal communications, HR specialists and organisational leaders – I believe that organisations have a responsibility and are agents of change for wider society.
  • Copy, content and communications specialists – I also believe that both, technical and strategic excellence of messaging is a vehicle for driving change.
  • Third sector and charities, public sector – this is self-explanatory as societal and individual wellbeing is at the heart of what these organisations do and why they exist.
  • Individual business owners and thought leaders dedicated to bringing about positive change and transformation for individuals and society as a whole – also self-explanatory.

[*Ashoka is a global social entrepreneurship organisation credited with coining the term changemaker]

Why changemakers

As, naturally, I want my work to have meaning and purpose, and be congruent with my own values and beliefs I have about leading by example and inspiration and about leading from within, many answers to the question ‘why I want to work specifically with changemakers’, are already implicit in my list of changemaker attributes above.

In addition, focusing on working with culture builders and changemakers,

  • I have finally worked out (as touched on in the introduction of this post) is the perfect (energising!) link between my talent and passion; as well as formal qualifications and professional experience, which is a real bonus!
  • Provides a space to re-kindle with my keen interest in human psychology and behaviour, which in hindsight was already evident back at school and university (somewhat 25 years ago), I just never regarded it as something to nurture or even pursue professionally.
  • May also offer opportunities to share and pass on my own life-changing breakthroughs and mind shifts – or internal culture changes as I often refer to it – a lot of which I attribute to a much more conscious use of language as well as the action of writing itself.
  • Last but not least, helping changemakers express their heartfelt message and purpose to their target audience is a way of planting seeds and spreading the positivity to the world and all of humanity, hence using my skills as a force for greater good and to build a worthwhile legacy.
“By helping changemakers, I can be a changemaker.”

How I can help changemakers

Whether it’s to build a brand, gain support for a cause, spread a heartfelt message or to deliver a project, success ultimately comes from connecting, engaging and winning over people.

Words have the power to do all that, and some of the ways I can help changemakers tap into the power of words are:

  • Proofreading and quality assurance
  • Writing, editing and developmental editing
  • Strategic copy and content audit, roadmap and refresh
  • Streamlining copy and content across various channels
  • Best practice content grouping and architecture
  • Content migration and digital project planning
  • Style and (mini) Tone of Voice guides

My main areas of experience include intranet/website content, business cases, charters and plans for digital (intranet and website) projects and programs, internal communications and change management initiatives, user guides, blog posts, thought leadership pieces and similar more.

However, I have also helped write, edit and proofread pitch letters, policy documents, research reports, print magazines and flyers, and I will be delighted to cast my strategic and editing eyes over any editorial material that is aimed at touching hearts and transforming culture, performance and wellbeing.

Literature sources

Need help with your website, marketing and business words?

I am in my element when I can help small business owners with big-hearted ambitions bring their unique mission and story to life (brand storytelling strategy) and to shine (website content optimisation, copywriting, editing, proofreading). If this sounds like you, I’ll be delighted to hear from you and discuss how we can work together!

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