“What is…” Wednesday – What are the five deadly sins of communicating in a “digitoral era”?

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Everyone can tell a story or sell a product but becoming a modern-day marketer requires communicating a message in a compelling manner. I recently read the book Winning the Story Wars by marketing master, Jonah Sachs, who has been featured by dozens of media outlets ( CNN, New York Times and Fox News just to name a few) for being a pioneer in communicating, telling compelling stories and capturing audiences.

According to Sachs, there is a method to this marketing madness and it lies in one thing- communicating. Let’s face it; we now live in a “digitoral era” (an era that is more dominated by online/social communication and less of traditional media). To eliminate the chance of messages getting lost in the noise (other messages) around us, Sachs suggests we re-think the way we spread messages and reshape the media marketplace in a way that inspires people to think in a new way.

The first step as a communicator/marketer is to not fall into the old ways of communicating that simply don’t work anymore—and probably never will again. Here is Sachs suggestions for the five deadly sins of communicating which must be avoided to rule the world of communicating and tell compelling stories that will get your remembered:

Vanity: Ideas and messages won’t sell themselves by just talking about how great they are. Don’t let your love for your product or brands overshadow connecting with your audience.

The Sin of Authority: While we may think the facts speak for themselves, Sachs reassures us they don’t. The more facts that are used in our messages the less likely an emotional connection will be made with the audience- giving a false impression.

The Sin of Insincerity: You have heard it all before and I will say it again- don’t try to fit in, just be yourself. Your messages, products and brands, should address the masses not just one specific niche.

The Sin of Puffery: Heed warning to creating messages that issue commands or tell an audience what to do. The voice behind a message should be passionate and one that involves and considers the audience in the message.

The Sin of Gimmickry: While humor naturally brings people together and creates what communicators call a “shared identity”, it can be a risky way of communicating and marketing your brand/product. Don’t rely solely on how many viral hits you have, or what you think to be funny to communicate a message to the masses.

What are your thoughts on the 5 deadly sins? Are there any others that should be added?

Katie Snyder
Katie Snyder
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

4 Comments

  1. Stephanie Lough says:

    Not to judge a book by its cover – but that looks more like a Stephen King novel than a marketing book!

  2. Stephanie Lough says:

    Thou Shalt Not Spam – the Sin of Unsolicited Junk Content

  3. Katie says:

    Wasn’t my favorite book but it made for quite the interesting read. That Jonah Sachs has quite an interesting way of interpreting things.

    Spam- that might be the worst sin of all. I especially hate when it likes to clog up my Twitter inbox. I get excited I have a direct message only to find it came from a robot.

  4. You can combine vanity and authority to get advocates.

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