I have it on good authority that explicitly quantifying what you’re writing about in the title of your story leads to a higher click-through rate. That’s a shame, because so often the “Six things you didn’t know about cataracts” or “Eight reasons not to believe a digital marketer” stories can leave you feeling a little ripped off. You get the impression that somewhat less work has gone into that particular list than went into, say, the three laws of thermodynamics. In an article I saw recently, “Seven ways to get a flight upgrade”, the number-one tip was:
Be a frequent flyer.
As if you can decide while you’re in the check-in queue to magically become one. You either are or you are not a frequent flyer with that airline, and speaking as someone with a bit of travel-hacking experience I can tell you that anyone who is not a frequent flyer need not trouble themselves with the remaining tips in that particular article. Smile all you like, dress to the nines, if you ain’t Platinum status you’ll sit where you’re bloody well told, you cheeky sod.
Anyway, thanks for indulging me. To the point of my essay, which I could argue segues nicely from the frequent-flying gripe because it was a plane trip to Japan that prompted the idea.
Here are some ‘objectives’ I randomly plucked out of three current government strategic plans. You know the type of document: the one that sits on the organisation’s website to demonstrate that they’re on the ball and forward thinking. It'll be apparent that it’s a strategy document because it will have the words ‘strategic plan’ in the title.
False metrics are everywhere in our media. There’s a TV commercial from QBE insurance that asks,
“What's the chance of this young woman getting a great deal on car insurance? Maybe five per cent? Ten per cent? Actually it’s one-hundred per cent, because we know she’s a safe driver.”
The beloved bloodsucker from True Blood (beloved, at least, by my missus Jess) has nothing to do with this post, but it was Jess who gave the thought its life, so here's a picture of Bill.
After fielding yet another annoying marketing call Jess observed that we should have a government bill that says, as is the case with vampires, telemarketers can only come into our home if we invite them.
Serious stories about communication
told in a silly voice.
I dig a little deeper than most comms folk. From science at university, to a cold-and-wet career as a commercial diver, to working underground, and for the past 15 years as a communicator-at-large, I've had my fair share of weird experiences in all sorts of situations. It's given me a fair-to-middling grounding in all things explanatory.