Spotlight on the Mantis Discovery Exercise

Written by Lauren Gill

Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian biochemist and 1937 Nobel Prize in Medicine

What does ‘discovery’ mean to you? Perhaps it is uncovering a new piece of information, to explore a new place or topic, or to learn or realise something for the first time. While the outcome might be both positive or negative, enjoyable and uncomfortable simultaneously – it is more often than not a highly rewarding process. This is because it enables you to move forward – equipping you to make better informed decisions by virtue of being armed with deeper understanding and knowledge. With last week’s Content Design Essentials fresh in mind – particularly the insights around discovering user needs and business needs – I’ve been reflecting on our own Discovery Exercise here at Mantis. What makes it so important is that it allows us to establish ourselves as a valuable extension of any clients’ team – meeting many of the key stakeholders during the information gathering process.  But more than that, the nuggets of information that we mine that are more than worth their weight in gold – not just for PR in driving the business forward as a whole. Bunie Anyaegbunam, Chief Marketing Officer at Florence, which joined Mantis’ client roster in March this year, agrees wholeheartedly.

Mantis came into our offices to conduct the Discovery Exercise within the first couple of weeks of us working together and we found it to be incredibly valuable in determining our thoughts and what we care about in the care industry as a team, Bunie Anyaegbunam, Chief Marketing Officer, Florence.

So, what does the Mantis Discovery Exercise look like? Like with Florence, we usually like to kick off our relationship with a new client by carrying out the Discovery Exercise early on. We spend time in the clients’ office, scheduling short meetings with stakeholders at every level and from every department through the whole business – finance to HR, sales to IT, operations to marketing. During these short meetings, we ask pose a series of questions to each participant – prepared in advance and shared with our client contact for their review, input and approval – which produces an incredibly rich set of information. There will be a set of questions that we ask everyone taking part, regardless of their role. This is where we start to see interesting results: when we ask people to summarise what their company is/does as if talking to a family member for example, which can uncover differences in the way people even within an organisation interpret what it does! There will also be questions unique to the role of each individual, so we can better understand their remit, their departments’ scope of work and the challenges they face in that context. What we uncover immediately serves to fully induct us in our clients’ business, but also forms the backbone of our PR campaign thereafter – having helped us to ascertain the key messages they want to communicate, the audiences they want to speak to, and the channels that are important to them. It can also highlight areas for development in a communications sense within an organisation – perhaps a need for spokesperson training or crisis communications planning. Whatever we find, it is always invaluable in terms of managing and building a clients’ reputation and awareness, and often more besides. Following our Discovery Exercise with Florence, our campaign got off to a flying start. We’ve positioned Florence founder and CEO Dr Charles Armitage as an expert commentator in the social care sector. In recent months he’s been featured talking about the impact of Brexit on the social care workforce; how workforce optimisation needs to become part of the care home psyche and discussing the outcomes of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report on social care in a variety of titles reaching the care home providers and managers which are important to them. And of course, the process of discovering doesn’t stop there. With the Discovery Exercise part of the Mantis DNA, it forms a key part of the mindset which helps us position every one of our clients for success.

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