How to stay in control of your online visual campaign

Image of International Women's Day poster

International Women’s Day is an excellent example of how organisations control their visual online message when promoting awareness campaigns.

Each year, International Women’s Day campaigns encourage women around the World to showcase and celebrate their success stories, while simultaneously highlighting the work that still needs to be done to raise awareness of gender equality. 

UN Women poster for International Women's Day 2021

Data from 38 countries around the World confirm that, while men and women have increased their workloads during Covid-19, women greatly outnumber the men in terms of just how much.

A Global Approach’s ‘Global – Local – Everywhere’ mantra means that the message needs to cross language and culture barriers; this begins with an appropriate brand palette. The UK’s first IWD took place in 1911, with their choice of primary colours already established by the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), founded in 1908. 

Any one colour can in itself represent a powerful visual message to its audience. This will differ widely depending on personal perspective, so an explanation as to why colourways were selected – and told as part of a story – will alleviate any misconceptions. gives clarity to their primary palette:

Purple: justice and dignity

Green: hope

White: purity ( understand this is controversial today and needs addressing)

Staying On Message’s message is simple – although complex in its delivery – and addresses:

“Women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements, plus a call for gender equality.”

Each year countries around the World chose their individual theme. The UK’s 2021 topic:

“Choose To Challenge” – A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. 

IOD template for Facebook

The Key to Control has ensured that everyone engages and shares on-brand, by creating templates using their official campaign colour purple, along with specifically designed social frameworks. These are then offered as easily accessible, free downloads on their website. However, it’s interesting to note that permission is required to use their logo. This is highly recommended for any brand. It’s imperative that third party brands sitting juxtaposition with yours are aligned with your values.

The hashtag

The global hashtags #internationalwomensday and #IWD2021 is used in unison with’s specific campaign hashtag #choosetochallenge. Each organisation selects its own hashtag – the UN uses #generationequality for example – but whichever personal hashtag is used, these are paired with the global ones, shared by all thereby making their message easily re-sharable.

So the key is simple…

Number One: Create your on-brand social templates

Image displays IWD's full range of social media templates

Number Two: Promote as freely available giving clear guidance & instructions

Image of Tweet sharing IWD Zoom background template

Number Three: Have fun engaging with your campaign countdown

Images of IWD's Twitter countdown promotions

Number Four: Share everyone’s stories

Images of some of the stories shared by IWD on social media

Header image credit:

A day in the life of a ghostwriter

Image of voice sound waves

One of the most gratifying things about being a creative ghostwriter is that it definitely contributes towards your continuous ‘lifelong learning’. While I specialise in key sectors, there’s nothing more exciting than being sector challenged, rising to the task when you only have a layperson’s knowledge around the core subject. It’s head down and focus for some intensive research!

But moving away from your comfort zone also pays off professionally. These assignments often translate into long term client relationships. It’s then really satisfying when – once established – all your client needs to do is jot down a few lines, along with an opinion on the subject matter, and off you ‘incognito’ go.

Beware Virtual Rabbit Holes

Take one of last week’s assignments. Subject matter: The economy. Oh no, I hear you say, how dull – we all know the outcome is grim. Turns out it’s not. Well it is for the next couple of years, but you’d expect that when we’ve been at war with a pandemic as our ruthless enemy. 

So my starting point was four fairly fleshy bullets and an opinion – these particular ones are carefully crafted, as you’d expect from an economist. Before you know it you’re reading opinion pieces in the FT, Bank of England bulletins, McKinsey Executive Briefings and following #America2021 project.

I do sometimes have to take advice from my conference speaker self as to how important time management is as I burrow deep into a myriad of intriguing virtual rabbit holes.

Managing Ghost Expectations

The majority of my clients simply want their voices heard. An illustration of their expertise and extensive knowledge, but without the obvious sales push, although it’s subtly there of course. Others believe in magic, that somehow by commissioning a creative writer they’ll get instant results. And well they might; indeed some have, especially when they offer high value sign up incentives.

Regardless of intention, it’s about targeting with a voice that resonates with those you’re trying to engage. Going viral gets attention, but it needs to be the right attention. Better to attract a few interested parties who are genuine buyers, than thousands who just ‘Like’ something doing the virtual rounds, but then becomes a one-hit empty wonder. Don’t forget you only see the successful ones…there are thousands (upon thousands) of daily posts that miss the mark.

Woman aiming an arrow at a target

How does your client know it’s worth the investment? 

There is no silver bullet, but there is a silver lining.

It’s a dual investment between two professionals: one on each side, both equal in their areas of expertise. As a ghostwriter I don’t need to be an expert in the sector, my clients have all the in-depth knowledge required. My task is to craft words – specifically targeting the chosen audience – using my client’s voice and ensuring that when the assignment is completed, the words, tone and overall content is accessible to all.

Naturally you can’t charge for all the initial work you put in (nor for the copious amount of research some assignments require for that matter). But if you’re going to do a great job, it’s crucial you understand your client, their market, their objective, their purpose, their life! 

You also need to understand the way your client prefers to communicate with you. You can’t make the communication rules – unless you’re prepared to adapt to their ways, it won’t work. This doesn’t mean anything goes, it has to be workable and this past year has meant a fluid transition from Teams to Zoom, from WhatsApp to FaceTime, even Skype; all this alongside good old fashioned snail mail and telephone, albeit mobile.

But it’s worth it; from tentative beginnings great relationships are born. It’s about having mutual respect for each other and loads of laughs along the way.

Oh and in case you were wondering. Opinions on recovery in the UK by leading economists is pretty much unanimous. GPD in 2021 will start the journey and reach pre-pandemic levels in 2023.