Monday, August 31, 2009

An SASE is "organic?"

We suppose we could provide 1000 examples of our idea of “organic communications” and never exhaust creative discussion. One of the concepts of “organic,” as we conceive it, is made clear when someone take advantage of both “old fashioned” ways of doing business and combines it with new ways of communication. Here’s an example.

During a recent video shoot, we left a small cloth case behind for our Flip Mino HD. We tried to buy a replacement from the Flip website, but no luck - none are available. So we sent a quick email to customer support that explained the situation – we wanted to purchase a replacement case but we needed to know how to do it.

About an hour later, we received a surprising reply (see the image) :

So the next day, we dropped an “SASE” (Stamped And Self- Addressed Envelope, for those of you under the age of 30) and our request was on its way. And four business days later, our case came back in our envelope. Back and forth from Cleveland to San Francisco, two days each way. We never had to set foot out of the office (we left our envelope for our letter carrier in the mail box), and our total investment was 88 cents (two Forever stamps).

So now we have our handy little Flip Mino HD, protected from scratches once again. And we have a new respect for the efficient marriage of email and the postal service. It’s “organic” because it’s simple, it’s sustainable . . . and it works.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Would you rather. . .

Formally or informally, you’ve probably played this game: Someone asks a “Would you rather. . . ” question with two choices offered. An example might be “Would you rather have a great dinner or a great dessert?” or “Front row seats at a basketball game or private loge seats to a football game?” Then, people jump in and answer the question and maybe in the process reveal a bit about themselves, especially if they give a reason that makes sense (even more so if they give a reason that does NOT make sense). Good game to play with a group of 8 year olds or a group of college students – different questions, of course.

Based on this concept, answer this question: “Would you rather maintain your eyesight or your hearing – would you rather be blind or deaf?” When I was younger, I would have opted for eyesight. Too much to see, and so much that can’t be done (e.g., driving a car) without vision.

As I get older, though, I’m not so sure. I remember the opinion of my father, expressed to me when he was in his 70s. He had at least two good friends who had lost either their vision or their hearing, and he had much contact with other deaf and blind people. Without a doubt, he said that the blind people were far more social and connected to a world that they couldn’t see than were those locked in a silent world. Recently, I have observed enough to agree (posthumously) with my father.

As this relates to marketing, content and communications, I’m a bit torn. The power of visuals is with me everyday – photos, imagery, stunning video. In just a few moments, a few visual elements can tell a story with deep emotion and nuance. But lately I’ve become caught up in some amazing podcasts and other “audio only” media that conveys deep meaning and learning that seems focused due to the fact that only one sense is at attention.

So, if you had to convey your content to your audience and you could only utilize sight or sound, “would you rather . . .?”