Short winded: How less copy can spell more candidate engagement.
by LeAnne Miller
Word is, that in spite of Hurricane Isaac, political activities proceeded normally at the Republican convention. In fact, according to Russ Schriefer, a Romney campaign aide, “Even though we were planning to do it in four days, we absolutely think we can do it in three. We will absolutely be able to get our message out.”
Funny how that works. If the convention can absolutely be done in three days, maybe that should have been the plan up front. I’m betting that the three-day convention wasn’t just shorter; it was actually more productive.
It’s the same for HR communications. Take a longer message—one that generally gets passed over more quickly than a tropical storm surge—and craft it into a punchy, content-rich, concise version. Typical readers, afflicted with 21st century short-attention-span syndrome, are now buying what you’re selling.
Shorter is better.
Want your employees to read what you write? Try honing your missive a day after you write it. Reread. Re-edit. Editing isn’t complete, say Elements of Style authors Strunk & White, until you make “every word tell.”
If you enlist the services of writing experts, you’ll be connecting with professionals eager to learn everything about you. Sifting through mounds of information, we concept, write and distill your message until it hits the mark. The end result is a succinct, eye-catching representation of your company that speaks directly to the candidates you want to reach—the talent you need to hire.
Short and sweet.
BTW, that goes for TV commercials, too. The trend, according to NeuroFocus, a Nielson-owned research group based in Berkeley, California, is to compress all TV spots to 15 seconds. Why? Because research proves that viewers are retaining just as much pertinent information from the shorter spots as they are from 60- and 30-second spots.
Dr. A.K. Pradeep, founder of NeuroFocus insists that 15 seconds is, by far, enough time to get the jist of a message. “Our brains are so smart,” he says, “they retain the key pieces of logic.”
Both political parties may want to take note. As it is, people can’t get to the remote soon enough to change the channel. If your spots were shorter and more to-the-factual point, we might even consider listening once in a while.
Wearing both creative and strategic hats, LeAnne Miller writes and produces videos for the U.S. Army Medical Department, Toyota, Ross Stores and other employers. She has been instrumental in the completion of successful and award-winning employment branding projects for NAS clients such as American Family Insurance, H.J. Heinz Company and PetSmart. And, having begun her NAS career supervising the agency’s writing staff, she remains a go-to copy coach and mentor.