So it took, of all things, the hyperbolic media coverage of Snowmageddonpocalypse along the East Coast recently to drag me back to my blog. No promises, but let’s see if we can’t keep this going.
Unless you are living off the grid in a national park somewhere, you couldn’t help but be battered by a 24/7 informational assault to the senses earlier this week. TV. Radio. Social media. Internet. All caps headlines. Flashing lights and sirens. Warnings using words like “worst ever,” “life-threatening” and more.
All over a reasonably significant but hardly historic snowstorm. In the Northeast. In January. (Jon Stewart has a great take on this.)
In fact, it seems like each new weather “event” is heralded by increasingly poignant language and dire warnings. Reporters standing in floodwaters. Government officials urging citizens to buy powdered milk and D batteries. That sort of thing. And the result is that the target audience grows increasingly deaf and indifferent to their cries. I wonder when (not if) one of the 24/7 infotainment channels will forecast that the sky is, indeed, about to fall.
So what does this have to do with your mortgage or title focused marketing or PR program? Why, everything!
You see, for years, our choice of adjectives for our products or services–be it on our websites; in our news releases or in our ads–has been similarly hyperbolic. As a result, once-powerful words like “revolutionary,” “game-changing,” “cutting-edge” or even, er…”powerful,” have become cliches. In fact, some have taken on almost opposite meanings to the cynical ear. It appears that each and every similar new technology lives on the bleeding, leading, cutting edge (must actually be a lot of room on that edge). Pricing is “competitive?” Uh oh…it’s pricey then.
Once upon a time, this was refered to as “puffery.” In selling one’s goods or services, one was actually expected to accomopany his/her pitch with trumpets and dancing bears. But we live in a different world now. The louder you yell, the less you’ll be heard…and even less you’ll be believed.
Stick to authenticity. You don’t have to promote your weak points, of course, but be objective enough to understand that very, very few products or services in our world are truly “game changing.” So choose your words carefully as you promote your brand…or you might as well tell them the sky is falling.