Politicians (local, regional and national—all of them at every level) love to use facts and figures (stats) to prove their point:
“Reaching Net Zero by 2050 with investment in clean energy solutions and green infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions and pollution.”
“Our first priorities in the next parliament will be…raising £7 billion a year in additional revenue by putting 1p on Income Tax, with this money to be ringfenced for spending on the NHS and social care.”
But statistics don’t sell. Facts and figures are rarely meaningful in and of themselves, especially if they do not form part of a story or evoke a strong emotion.
For example, take the question “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” Ronald Reagan famously posed this question to the audience during the 1980 US presidential debate with Jimmy Carter.
Reagan could have focused on the stats—the high inflation rate, the loss of jobs, the rising interest rates. But instead of selling his case he deferred to his audience. He invited them to consider how they felt about the situation and use their own experience to answer his question.
Instead of using big numbers that don’t mean anything to anybody other than to statisticians, tell stories that illustrate the stats to help your target audience form a relationship between their own experience and your version of events.