Avoiding the temptation to do it all

October 26, 2009

The web offers infinite publication space on multiple platforms at zero cost other than time. Result? Busy organisations communicating everything anyone does a thousand times, just because they can.

Most of the time it’s a mistake caused by two instincts:

  1. The belief that – surely – plenty of people, somewhere, will pick up your material and be interested, given that there are millions of people surfing all the time.
  2. Thinking that because Mr. Hotshot X is considered very clever indeed in your organisation or HQ spent a lot of time and effort on a great launch, obviously everyone else will love them/it too.

The truth? The fact that it’s easy to surf will make it harder to push your material, not easier, because there’s a hell of a lot of competition and consequently, people will find something else which they like better unless you have a good story and communicate it well. Remember, the web is SEARCH – not headline – based.

Meaning that you MUST put yourself in your target’s shoes. Imagine you’re them and think: “what do I like, what will make me laugh, what do I want to learn today, what will engage me, what are my values, how finely honed is my bullshit metre?”

Do that well, and you’ll realise that when your target goes online, he/she probably won’t be interested in finding your highly-polished CTO talking about the launch party and what your product will mean for 6 million eager customers. What he/she will really want is material – whether produced by you or someone else – that has real people (maybe your CTO, probably someone else) giving clear, engaging and honest answers to questions that concern them or others in their community directly.

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