I was reading my monthly CW
magazine (Communication World for you non-International Association of Business Communicators members) and I stumbled on a great article by Steve Crescenzo called "When is a deadline not really a deadline?"
It had great energy and anecdotal evidence...and he didn't have to work too hard on the anecdotes because for those of us in marketing and communications, it was all too clear just by the title what he was talking about. But more than that, it had some concrete executable ideas.
"...Communicators spend too much time fighting the wrong battles. Two of the most common are the battle to make the deadline and the battle to create something - anything! - that will make it safely through the approval process. The good news is, we win those battles. We get our stuff out, for the most part, on time. The bad news is, nobody is paying attention to our content."
Amen, brother, so what do we do???
- Rather than organizing like the old days around print deadlines, "do what the consumer news sites do and publish content as it comes in"
- If your communications are tied to public release of information schedules, go beyond the Day 1/Announcement and create "Day Two stories, after the news has broken, when you can do more in-depth pieces....if done well, they're the kinds of stories that people will read."
How refreshing! Most articles (including those I ghost write) are written to just skim the surface without much real content because who wants to give the store away for free? It made me think that Mr. Crescenzo may have much more good advice to give.
I noticed that the sidebar referenced his twitter, web and (joy of joys) blog sites. I've been trying to gather more professional resources on this end as I consider moving into a more transparent blog entity as (gasp) myself in real life. I'm mere steps away from Google fame I figure. I strolled on over to the blog link, took a sip of water, and within the first paragraph was immediately choking and spluttering and spit-taking the water all over my desk.
Today's post was all about the Time article on the "100 most influential people in the world"
"I don’t want to sound bitter, or that I have a mouth full of sour grapes or anything . . . but not making the list would be a much easier pill to swallow if it wasn’t for some of the assholes who DID make the list. I mean, Simon Cowell? Lady Gaga? Sarah Palin?
Good Lord, what is this world coming to when those three bimbos can make the list of 100 Influential People instead of a real thinker and intellectual like myself?"
This guy? doesn't seem to have a PC bone in his body. Although it was equal opportunity insults all around.
I kept reading.
"For each person picked, Time asked one of their fans or colleagues to do a little write-up on that person. For Palin, they picked Ted Nugent, arguably the most over-rated rock star of all time.
Terrible Ted likes Sarah. He wants to hunt with her. We can only hope that might happen, because if you put guns in the hands of both of those morons, the odds are very good that one of them will accidentally shoot the other one, and the world will be a much better place."
Ok...so he won me over here because I kind of agree with him. But not sure I'd have the guts to put that in writing on my CORPORATE site. I mean, I guess the guy doesn't want to work for Republicans.
Moving on to Hollywood...
"Under the “Heroes,” category, they put actor Ben Stiller. Huh? I like Stiller . . . but, a Hero? This guy is most famous for a scene in “Something About Mary, where he jerks off onto his own face without realizing it, and Cameron Diaz uses the output of said jack off as hair gel."
Shocking sentence after shocking sentence I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. Did I have the right site? Yes. It was linked right from his company website right? Yes. It sells him as a trainer/corporate communicator advisor, right? Yes.
Simultaneously shaking my head in wonder and laughing out loud I continued to read...
"If you go outside right now, and urinate on your neighbor’s front porch, you are already 100 times more influential than Ashton Kutcher. As far as I can tell, the only thing Kutcher has ever done is screw Demi Moore . . . and while that’s certainly a worthy accomplishment, it doesn’t exactly make him influential to anyone but Demi Moore, does it?"
I work for a conservative company. So conservative that I pause for several minutes and re-read my Linked In status update considering any repercussions on the information I put out there before hitting enter, but this guy? He gives it right from the nuts. And I kept reading.
And it was then that it struck me. I kept READING. While I'm sure (think?) he would advise a tempered content for corporate messaging, he had me at the very first sentence and I followed him to the end. This was no short Twitter post either, it was over 1,600 words. But just like Renee Zellweger, he had me at hello...he had me at hello!
So as I continue to contemplate coming out of the blogging closet with some professional positioning, I will consider the value of shock, awe, laughter, and reader engagement as part of the strategy.
But maybe I won't start with a post about Ben Stiller's spunk...at least not right away.