Effective Communication

February 26, 2020
A Lenten predictive text meme

How a Religious Television Network Successfully Used a Predictive Text Meme

The other day, I saw this tweet from the Catholic TV channel EWTN and was surprised: “For Lent, I’m giving up…” (finish with predictive text) pic.twitter.com/BzAFz9tVt3 — EWTN (@EWTN) February 11, 2020 I was a little shocked that this got into my timeline from people who are probably closer to pagan than Catholic. But it caught my eye just like that Variety tweet did during the Oscars. I had to double check to see if this was the same EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) I knew back from when I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. And it was! On the way to church with my family, through long winding roads up in the hills, we would pass by the TV station. I never would have thought that this most likely not well known religious channel would have a viral tweet. But they used a pretty common type of meme to do it: the predictive text meme. You can call it a sort of divination, or a just a way to have fun, but according to Know Your Meme, predictive text as a meme has been around on Twitter for a few years. So if you’re been on Twitter for any amount of time, then you’ve probably seen these memes before. But this was the first time I had seen a brand use a predictive text meme. And just like with Variety, I would not expect EWTN to use a meme or popular culture for their social media feeds. (They used […]
February 26, 2020
A gold iPhone displaying a Twitter logo

How Variety Used a Different Brand Voice to Drive Twitter Traffic

After being on and off social media since 1997, sometimes I’m still shocked at its power. I should have written about this on the 10th, but you’ll be reading this on the 26th, 16 days after this happened. ON Sunday, February 9th, I watched people on Twitter watch the Oscars. That’s because 1) I didn’t want to actually watch the very monochromatic Oscars and 2) it’s more fun to watch people watch TV than to watch TV. Still, despite the near whiteout conditions of the Oscar nominees, I was only rooting for two people: Matthew Cherry, whose film “Hair Love,” was nominated for Best Animated Short film; and Parasite, a Korean film up for a few awards including Best International Feature Film and Best Picture. Cherry won, which was lovely. And Parasite won four Oscars: Best Picture, Directing (by Bong Joon Ho), International Feature Film, and Writing (Original Screenplay). My timeline was intensely ebullient with each win. Seemed like everyone was hoping against hope that Parasite would win Best Picture. When Parasite did win, it was a Super Bowl type of synchronous excitement. Here’s a tweet that caught me off guard. #PARASITE FADSJKFDASLKJFALJKFASELJKDFSAKJLFDSAKJLADFXJKLFDSAJKDFASKJLASFDJKLFDASJKLFSDAJKLFJKL@#JK@RKWEFKJLFWEAJKL WE DID IT KIDS!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/cY2VaNAAwZ — Variety (@Variety) February 10, 2020 Variety as a publication has been around for eons and their Twitter page is usually quite sedate. They report entertainment news. The reports are not typically salacious. It’s Variety. So when this tweet came through, I lost it while everyone else was losing it. I couldn’t […]
August 14, 2019
A screenshot of Gmail with the arrow hand pointing at a spam folder

Don’t Be Sketchy: Build Your Email List the Right Way

Even though social media marketing is popular, email marketing is still a better bet for connecting with your ideal audience. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to build an email list. A Referral Gone Wrong The other day, I got back in touch with a friend who connected me with an organization for possible content marketing work. I was excited with the possibility of working with them and their friends. After the introductory email, I wrote them and gave them my calendar to schedule a call to learn more about how I could help them. I didn’t hear back from the organization, which is fine. It happens. People get busy and distracted. Of course, it’s a little disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world. But what happened next actually was surprising and a little dismaying. A few days later, I received an email from their email list — which I had not signed up for. The email was about some event coming up. I don’t even live in the city where this event was going to take place. Needless to say, I was quite annoyed. Not only did I not hear back from them, but they took the time to sign me up for a newsletter without my permission. I definitely did not want to partner with an organization that not only couldn’t be bothered to get back to me but then spammed me about their business. I immediately unsubscribed and said that I had not […]
February 20, 2019
Change neon sign

Watch Your Tone When You Have News to Share

But when change happens, it still takes time to adjust – even when it’s good change. Take for example, changes that happen in a business. You may need to raise your service rates or the cost of your product. Or, your business may have been acquired by another business. Or, you may be phasing out another product or service. Lately, I came across the following three emails from companies announcing changes. I found issues with the tone of these emails and how I was addressed as a customer. Email #1: On second thought… I use this app for my invoicing and contracts, and it had been acquired by a larger company a while ago. They were very excited about the acquisition because they touted this app to be “free forever” because of the merger. OK, cool. Strange, but cool. Fast forward to about a month ago, I get this email. It is so cheery sounding and self-congratulatory. I’m grateful for all the enhancements and upgrades, but apparently, that’s the motivation or reasoning for the change: This app is no longer free. And if you look at the thread of comments under there, you’ll see how people feel about this change – not very happy! To go from “free forever” to $18/month is not the kind of change that people will handle well – especially as freelancers. It’s a big jump in pricing! In retrospect, I would say that a merger making things “free forever” is highly suspect. But either way, […]