I was attending an all day account meeting with an out of town client this week reviewing projects, deadlines and budgets. After a while the conversation turned philosophical as we explored the true meaning of our work in the marketing and communications world. In today’s multi mega media world of high speed digital, smart phones, tablets, e readers and aps by the truck load, the proliferation and fragmentation of messages we are bombarded with daily – hourly - and by the minute, is increasing exponentially. Throw in Social Networking, Face Book, Twitter and LinkedIn and we are in dire straits with our time. Our attention span is being slowly eroded minute by minute, second by second.
As communicators, we now face the challenge of creating high impact messages that are short and to the point. All important information needs to be up front and right off the top - bang! - before someone switches channels or moves from their laptop to their iPhone.
In business, we live in a two sentence environment. Blackberry responses are short and no one reads past the first few sentences. Too long means too many details…and I’m not interested. Either you have me at hello…or you don’t. If it’s longer than 140 characters, I get cut-off. Thank Twitter for that.
In television commercial production, the art of communicating is telling your story in 30 or 60 seconds. TV commercial writers and directors learn the craft of story-telling, of crafting the tale and sending your message in a very defined time period. It’s the ultimate short story and it takes years to learn the skill of television production. They use special effects, sexy men and women, movie celebrities or rock stars to get your attention. It’s truly an art.
Just as electronic communications is an art. So we must learn to choose our words wisely. Short and to the point is our rule. Just get to the point - the brain will fill in the rest. We are truly the deliverers of… the punch line.