The Message: Make It Personal

I see myself, among other things, as a messenger trying to ensure the message of the moment–some very simple, most not so simple–gets sent intact and received fully. Working in media, you quickly learn that you get a greater response to a particular message when you make it an experience that, to the listener, is truly about them.

We are a ‘me’ society. Just talk to teenage kids and you’ll think we are raising the most self-centered generation in history. That might be true, but my generation was and still is pretty self-involved. And there have been scores of materials written about the downsides of some of the actions of the Baby Boomers.

It doesn’t change the fact that the best way to get someone’s attention it to make the issues as much about them as possible. Even if it isn’t.

And that is the hard part. When it’s not personal, when they don’t have a dog in the fight, when the issue has less significance in one’s life than a coin flip, it hard to sell it to some one that the issue really matters.

It’s even harder when the issue really does matter, and will affect them eventually. Just not today, and there are plenty of other problems in front of them that dealing with a future worry that might not actually come to pass is a nuisance people will chose to ignore.

Remember that whenever you are trying to deliver a message. It has to be personal. It has to have meaning. It has to have an impact on their lives serious enough, good or bad, to make them take a moment to take note.

You still may not get the desired outcome from delivering the message. You will get the satisfaction of knowing the message was received, and received clearly.

It’s now up to them to act or react.


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