“If I say, “Don’t think of an elephant” what do you immediately think of?

“How long is his trunk?””

Messaging Mistakes (Don’t Think About The Elephant) – Gemma Pitcher

So Crisp Podcast

I came across Gemma in a random post on the Freelance Jungle, big shoutout for these guys – best large group I’m a member of for freelancers on the Facey – where we were blowing off some steam chatting about “the overpour” – that one topic you could talk about for ages even when other people’s eyes had glazed over and they’d started backing away slowly.

And Gemma wrote this:

Cognitive-linguistic mistakes made by advocacy organisations. I’m a blast at parties.”

So, of course, I immediately wanted to know her.

 The Crisp Takeaways

* Yum *

The facts are not actually enough to sell people into a cause – no matter how well researched. 

Without a good story or a cohesive narrative, people will not buy into supporting a charity. 

Carefully consider the metaphors you use. These have a powerful impact on how people view your situation, and how they react to it. Often we can find metaphors that do help to explain the ‘thing’ but the way it leaves people feeling about it is the opposite of what we want to achieve. 

“If you want to bust myths – put the truth out there, rather than the myth with the word NOT attached to it. They won’t remember the NOT, just the myth!”

This episode was proudly sponsored by MADhub.co – Making A Difference. Visit them here. 



Connect with Gemma

Gemma is a consultant who helps advocacy organisations and NGOs find more strategic ways to tell their campaign stories.

As well as her passion for more effective messaging,  she loves research, writing, technology, training, connecting people, generating ideas, building relationships and working in fun creative teams.

She dislikes bigotry, misogyny
and celery.


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If you’ve enjoyed this podcast it’s probably only partly due to the dulcet tones of my voice. A truckload of credit has to go to Elle Roberts, OBM and all-round smart woman, as she splices and dices, organises and Asanas, launches and consults, tweaks and twiddles so much of what happens for So Crisp to go from chattery to podcast supreme. If you’re thinking of launching a podcast, you need Elle on your team. Find her here.


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