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Action, Interaction and Reaction from the Ritz team

Instant replay

Posted: October 18, 2012 - 5:01 PM ET - by Elisabeth

This week makes two years we’ve been “on the air” with AIRtime; every other Thursday we’ve shared an idea, an insight, a laugh. … and we’re going to replay some of our favorites, starting with one from the self-proclaimed “queen of three-way calling.”

Contrary to popular belief, I am a fan of technology. I am fascinated and delighted by the technological advances that allow us to communicate quickly and effectively as a virtual agency. I’m like the queen of three-way calling around here!

Seriously, smart phones, Google apps and Skype are just a few of the tools that help us to interact with each other and our clients efficiently. In many cases, we have even been able to expand our services or avert crises.

Yet (couldn’t you just feel that coming?), there is truth to Marshall McLuhan’s expression “the medium is the message.” Some advancements can create a barrier to your audiences’ receptivity to your message. Let’s take me – and texting – as an example. I wish I could declare my beloved iPhone a “No Text Zone.” Not just in the car. Everywhere!

If it’s such a burning issue that you need my attention RIGHT NOW and you are interrupting me with an urgent tone being emitted from my phone, then why isn’t it ringing? If you know me well enough to text me, you probably know how annoyed I am by the abbreviations and grammatical shortcuts that are inherent to texting. You also know that I am not hip enough to know whether your are Laugh(ing) Out Loud or wishing me Lots of Luck and that I am old enough to think BFF is a typo. If it’s not urgent, send me an email. If you’re 1) a client, 2) somebody I like, or 3) you give it a catchy title, I may even skip over the 50 or 60 emails ahead of you and open it first. … and if you have called and/or sent an email, enough already!

I recently signed up to follow a particular marketing guru on Twitter and was surprised to receive four – 4! – text messages promoting books, lectures, etc. Now I’m no guru, but I know it’s not a smart strategy to run up my phone bill for text messages and expect me to spend more money on your product or service. I selected Twitter as my preferred format to receive the information.

If you ask me, I will happily tell you how I want to receive information from you. … and here’s the most important part of this post: So will all the rest of your stakeholders. Let each stakeholder tell you whether he or she prefers phone, email, text message, Twitter or another channel. Don’t annoy them before you even capture their interest.

For me, if it is really important, pick up a phone. … or you could set yourself on fire and run through my office. If it’s urgent, I’m going to need to feel the heat.

Originally posted on November 12, 2010


Can you make lightning strike?

Posted: October 20, 2011 - 9:26 PM ET - by Elisabeth

My last couple of blog posts have considered the impact of connection – both emotional and technological – as an essential part of communications.

There’s another critical element … in fact, the thing that drew me to communications: the words.

I have this quote on a bulletin board next to my desk. I believe this quote. I admire the awesome power – and the huge inventory – of words we have to express the slightest variations in emotion, efficacy, everything.

From my first journalism class in college to this blog post, I have always loved the challenge of choosing just the right word to convey my thoughts and feelings.

For marketers, it is often the adjectives and verbs, more than the nouns, that have impact; where “new” and “improved” once generated customer interest in a product or service, breaking through the clutter requires more passion and purpose.

How much thought are you giving to your words and their impact? In this day and age of instant messaging and texting shorthand, can you make lightning strike?


Short and sweet

Posted: July 14, 2011 - 7:15 AM ET - by Elisabeth

My blogs have become essays, but I’m actually a fan of the short, sweet, memorable post; the clever turn of phrase; fewer words with more impact.

… at least those are the ones I actually read. The lengthy essays go into my “read” file … which eventually goes into my delete file when I realize I have hundreds of “important” documents, articles, essays and emails to read. I read the short posts immediately … and often they have an impact.

I want my blog to be more like that, and I’m starting now with this important reminder about writing with impact: keep it short, to the point and memorable.