ACCA: messaging system

Case Study

Client

ACCA

Type of Work

Brand messaging

Developing a messaging system to allow ACCA to tell its story consistently

Background

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is a training and membership body operating in 172 countries across the globe.

Its activities span everything from training entrants to the accountancy profession, through keeping qualified accountants and finance professionals up-to-date – and helping emerging economies across the world to set up governance infrastructure.

Which makes it an amazing organisation to work for… but had for many years also made it a difficult organisation for its teams to describe. As a result, your impression of what ACCA did, what its purpose was and the difference it made in the world could change drastically, depending on which team you were speaking to.

This wasn’t helping the organisation to raise its profile further. And it meant that very few people – whether they were accountants, members of the general public or ACCA employees – understood the full breadth of the organisation’s work.

What we did

ACCA asked us to develop an easy-to-use system that would allow everyone in the organisation to tell its story consistently.

We started by talking to teams representing people who were thinking of becoming students, current students, affiliates and members. We also spoke to other stakeholders across the organisation. The purpose of this was to capture all of the stories and messages the organisation was using to describe its activities and the benefits its work brings.

We then rationalised these messages into a framework which set out key messages for key audiences. We wrote it in a way that could be copy-pasted if really needed – but we encouraged and trained teams to use the system as a way of informing communications rather than simply bolting them together from pre-existing text.

Challenges

ACCA is a large organisation and it was imperative that we worked in a collaborative and accessible way so that we could get everyone on board with the new approach.

The Wordtree team played an instrumental role in distilling our brand into a powerful messaging framework that enabled us to ensure consistency and impact across our marketing campaigns. They really got under the skin of our business, working with a wide range of stakeholders, challenging us positively and delivering a really practical toolkit for us to roll out globally.

Sam Dukes Head of Marketing Services, ACCA

Results

The organisation now has a simple way to make sure all of its communications are telling a consistent story. It means that whatever someone needs to communicate about – whether it’s a reminder to pay fees, an invitation to an event, or even course content – there’s an easy way to make sure the content is all framed in a way that reinforces core ACCA messages.

Another positive outcome has been that more people internally are aware of the full range of activities that ACCA is involved with – which has boosted pride in the organisation.