Roger That: A few words on writing
August 3, 2012
Roger Shirley is a former editor of the Nashville Business Journal and longtime editorial director here at MP&F. He reads just about everything we write. And we write a lot. This is Roger’s column about writing.
Reach Out, Reach Out and Confuse Someone…
I went in to talk to the boss the other day about a great business development idea I had.
“Mark,” I said, “what we need to do is freshen up the menu of services we offer our clients. Then we need to reach out to them and let them know.”
“Can’t we just send them an email, or give them a call?” he asked.
“No, no, no,” I said. “No one calls or emails anymore. We must reach out to them. That’s much more bleeding-edge. Anyway, here is my suggestion:
“Let’s say that we now offer our clients a diversified portfolio of thought management solutions aimed at integrating their silos of vertical communications platforms and digital footprints with a cloud-based umbrella of scalable toolboxes.”
Mark squinted his eyes at me and asked what, exactly, all that meant.
“I have no idea, but that really isn’t the point. Business communication today is not really about communicating, it’s about stringing together new jargon with old clichés to deliver powerful images of core competencies, and then figuring out the best place to post it so the blogerati will send it to the five corners of the world.”
“I thought the world had four corners,” he said.
“No, no, no – the Web 2.0 is now the fifth corner. Actually, I just made that up on the fly. See how easy it is? In fact, we can add that to our portfolio of services: MP&F offers clients robust Fifth Corner consulting. We’d have to capitalize it so everyone would know it’s unique. We must, as they say, open the kimono so we can empower our clients in an impactful way. When we get them drinking the Kool-Aid, we will enhance our revenues while meeting and exceeding their expectations.”
Mark paused for a moment as he grimaced. At the end of the day, I knew I had overloaded him with my brilliance.
“You know, Roger,” he finally said, “I think we’ll just keep doing what we are doing. What we do best is help people clearly communicate their stories to their audiences. It’s worked pretty well for 25 years.”
And with that, I proceeded to climb back inside the box.