I was reading an e-newsletter (well, it's actually an emailed blog entry) today from Mobile Insider called My iPhone Needs a Gun, when I noticed something.
I actually read the entry in its entirety.
It may not seem like a big deal to you, but I consume a lot of information every day, which means I do a lot of scanning - headlines, first sentences of paragraphs. And if the copy or subject matter doesn't grab me, I'm outta there.
But this article was different. Why?
Put very simply: it was written the way I like to listen. That's not a typo. I mean that if someone was reading the article to me - or telling it to me as a story - I'd want to listen. And it made me keep reading.
Now I'm not an iPhone user, nor do I really care about what apps are working or not working for it - which was the point of the article. What had me entertained and focused was that this guy was talking as if we were joking in the hallway or sharing a beer after work. He used attitude infused with humor as a way to tell a compelling story about some iPhone features (or those he'd like to see). An excerpt:
I also get to spend time with the iPhone now at the beach, because lo and behold my 15-year-old daughter has evolved into the nightmare of every father — the cutest thing on the sand. The first time she walked into the water I actually saw teen boys point and move towards her like shards of metal towards a magnet, like puppies towards food, like detestable vermin towards a 5-star kitchen.
Luckily, the iPhone has a good camera and loads of memory, so I was able to take snaps of all these little felons just in case we need to run them with the FBI. I dug into the Safari browser in search of online sign-ups for the NRA. No one delivers firearms same day to the north beach of Cape May, I discovered.And finally:
My daughter...was more interested in SeeqPod Music (seeqpod.com/iphone), which is a very nice index and front end for the thousands of MP3 tracks that are accessible for streaming directly from the Web. I am not sure about the legality of the rights management here, but the app uses the familiar iPod interface to slip through catalogs of artists and search for tunes that stream well into the Quicktime player. There are no ads here yet, but clearly there could be, and with people declaring their musical tastes so precisely, there should be some very targeted ad possibilities. "Ooh, look, they have Slipknot's 'Do Nothing Bitchslap,'" my sweet young girl said.
You know, when the mail-order gun arrives here at the beach, just shoot me with it.
Not the kind of writing you get from your friendly neighborhood traditional journalist, and certainly not the style you'd get from the typical marketing department. But informative and useful nonetheless. Which is a powerful reminder as to why blogs are becoming more and more legitimate and important in the media mix.
When you're preparing the copy for your blog, corporate website, brochure or direct mail piece, what style do you typically effect? Having worked in the b2b space previously, I can tell you there's a lot of dry, dull and seemingly overused copy out there. Corporate standards must be upheld, you know.
But what if you took that website or brochure and really made it sing? What if you wrote it the way people would listen to it? What if - just for a moment - you did something that was completely unexpected and out of the ordinary?
It might be slightly "off-brand," but you know what? The people that work for your company aren't all "on-brand," are they? What makes Corporate Communications think every microsite, every tri-fold, every newsletter has to be devoid of personality and as antiseptic and emotionless as a Stepford wife? Aren't rules made to be broken once in a while?
I'm sure no one is monitoring how your sales team interacts with customers in one-on-ones. They get to use their personality to persuade, inform and relate. Why shouldn't you?
Think about it. Don't make Steve Smith get the gun for his iPhone.
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Labels: blogs, brand, conversation, corporate blogging, iPhone, Marketing, rules