Category Archives: Corporate communications

Tweet tweet

Browsing around the whys & wherefores of social media t’other day, I stumbled across this:

Love that final sentence (in brackets). Simple, clear, immediate – and with a visual ‘tag’ – the paragraph itself – that means no-one who encounters it will ever again lack for a pretty good rule-of-thumb feel for how long a tweet can be.

Excellent communication! Ginger beers all round.

I say I say I say

Getting well into my second rewatch of The West Wing, and came across a presidential soliloquy that echoes something I came across recently: Alexander Pope stressing the importance of words’ sounds, and the importance of having them tally with – more, reinforce – their meaning:

BARTLET: Words, when spoken out loud for the sake of performance, are music. They have rhythm, and pitch, and timbre, and volume. These are the properties of music, and music has the ability to find us and move us, and lift us up in ways that literal meanings can’t. Do you see?
ABBEY: You are an oratorical snob.
BARTLET: Yes, I am. And God loves me for it.

As do we all, Mr President, as do we all.

“That resonates…”

Further to recent ponderings over the continued centrality of engagement in the communications process, I stumbled across this clipping from a few years back, singing a very similar song…

“Emotional resonance”. How many companies – how many professional communicators – really understand it, or grasp its importance?

(Near) instant, and for good

I like it when I come across an illustration that communicates near-instantly, and permanently. Most reasonably well-informed people would ‘know’ this:

But I suspect most will grasp and hold it more clearly and for longer having seen it presented so clearly and engagingly.

Alive as a timeless idiom

Came across a couple of crackers recently. First, the very-much-alive ‘dead as a doornail’, an expression which:

“… can be traced back to 1350, but could be even older. In the days before screws were commonly used in carpentry, nails secured one piece of wood to another. Unlike screws however, nails could often loosen over a period of time. To prevent this, it became common practice, particularly on large medieval doors, that when a nail was hammered through the wood it would be flattened or clinched on the inside. The process of flattening the nail would mean that the nail would be ‘dead’ as it couldn’t be used again.”

The other – like cheese at fourpence” – which I hadn’t even come across, being a soft southerner, but which is apparently very much in everyday use in its homeland:

‘…the mill towns of Lancashire, where fourpence was considered expensive for cheese, so cheese at that price would not be bought.’ So, say, a woman whose date failed to show up: “He left me standing there like cheese at fourpence”.”


One hates to grumble but…

Amidst the slew of recent accusations levelled at Facebook over its (alleged) stoking of the fires of teen angst, I couldn’t help but grimace at

‘super tragic’? Please. With two daughters I am very much alert to the pressures of social media life, but won’t somebody please give a thought to the feelings of us  gnarled old literary fellers? 

Only engage…

…was the title – and theme for that matter – I came up with for a brochure for a design/branding company many moons ago. It still seems to me a perfect encapsulation of the key challenge facing any would-be communicator: to initiate a two-way process. Where you take that process comes next…

It was brought back to mind recently when I logged off a Zoom call to be confronted with:

This picture, featuring just 31 words (who needs ’em) isn’t one-way communication. It’s inherently relational; it invites you in. You have to figure it out. (Who can resist a puzzle?) And it’s intuitive enough that you can’t not. You engage. That’s the whole ball game right there.

It’s the old door to door salesman’s foot in the door. “D’you mind if I use your bathroom?”

Then it’s just a matter of

  • Hook – “Magic quadrant”?
  • Line – Zoom: a Leader
  • Sinker – © Gartner, inc.

The upshot, Zoom deliver the payload of their message direct to your brain: Gartner say we’re one of the top three (and none of the others matters).