Category Archives: Communications

media and messages

Marshall McLuhan famously explained that “the medium is the message.” Although his context was not my context, the idea still applies perfectly.

Over and over again, I observe that marketers of all types make the mistake of not fitting or adapting their messages to a new medium. Every medium has its own requirements and imperatives for being used most effectively. If your messages are not re-shaped and stylized to fit some medium other than the medium of origin, your message will lose impact and focus.

The ephemeral nature of the live spoken word may require that you use more words to let listeners follow the thought trail and keep up. The persistent and referential nature of the written word allows you to tighten up the prose because readers can go at their own paces and re-read as necessary to maximize absorption. This is a big deal for marketers, where every medium counts and where you should always be concerned about bang-for-buck metrics.

Respect every medium. Use its unique potential in your messaging ensemble.


These three little words will trigger everything you need to remember about creating effective marketing communications.

Connect with your audience. What problem will you solve? What pain will you alleviate? What benefit will you offer? Be personal; be emotional; be direct; be compelling.

Inform them with what they need to know, and only what they need to know, to support the action decision you want them to take when you…

Ask them to take action.

No matter if you’re creating a three-line web ad or a white paper. Always, always, always use these three prompts to structure your communication. Forgetting any one of these, and especially the Ask, will doom your creation to the circular file in your reader’s mind.


social media is plural

beeI have a bee in my bonnet about how people are using the term “social media” in spoken and written communications. People who should know better.

The reason I’m bugged is that so many people are already struggling with how to understand and use social media marketing that we marketers ought to be making this easier and not harder so that business people can get on with their new, improved marketing lives.

Social Media Style

social medium: a World Wide Web-based software application that creates a two-way, interactive communication channel between sender and receiver, publisher and reader, seller and prospect, provider and user, etc. Compare with news medium,

social media: the various World Wide Web-based software applications and services used to implement

social media marketing: using the social media to implement typical marketing strategies such as prospect acquisition, customer communications, customer service, advertising and promotions.

accentuate the positive

Ever heard this old song? It’s all about marketing communications…

No, really! I can’t think of a better way to describe what distinguishes marketing writing from other kinds of communications. Continue reading accentuate the positive