Monday, October 22, 2012

Why It's Time to Get Rid of the Noise & Simplify Your Message

We are bombarded with noise on a daily basis. In my Modern Poetry class, there was a line in a Walt Whitman poem,"blab of the pave," that reminds me of all the noise that surrounds us, especially technological noise. When Whitman wrote "Song of Myself," he used this "blab" (and his rambling long lists and catalogs) to connect with his readers. Whitman was a democratic writer and wanted to include everyone in his message. However, blabbing in 21st century doesn't quite have the same impact unless you fancy yourself a Whitmanian poet. Good 'ole Walt wasn't known for  his less-is-more-approach with his poetry as he was quite wordy - and that's where you can get into trouble with your messaging.

If you feel like your messaging is getting lost and you are losing your audience as a result, it may be time to refine your message and keep it simple (the K.I.S.S. school of thought). You don't have a lot of time to make a good first impression so here are a few tips to help you cut out through the "blab" and stay on track with your messaging. Marketing and public relations isn't about who can be as grandiose as possible with their message. Sometimes simplicity can be just as powerful.

  • When writing a press release or blog post, don't cram every bit of information you possibly can into one page. Target your message and keep it news-worthy and pertinent. How will your audience benefit from the information you share with them? Just share the key points to get your point across. 
  • Say it with video or audio - the medium is your message. You don't always have to "write" your message. Use visual mediums to get your point across. You only have to look at the popularity of YouTube to know that video marketing can pack a walloping punch. Video is a very powerful way to send a message so look into shooting a short video to share your message - keep the video length around two minutes.
  • Scale back complex, confusing, and abstract ideas. Jargon can easily overwhelm your audience so remember to explain and present complicated ideas in simple, easy-to-understand language. 

Take a page from the Bard: "Brevity is the soul of wit." If you want to be an effective communicator, it's sometimes important to use less words in order to say more. While there is some "blab" that is important, blabbing for ten pages isn't always an effective way to get your point across to your audience.


  1. Oh, girl, you have said a mouthful here. There is so much !!!! in marketing and advertising - on tv, printed material, blogs, FB pages...

    I prefer a simple message. Give me the guts of your message, and I can decide after the FIRST message. Just because you send me 15 more messages, doesn't mean I'm going to change my mind! Quite the contrary. I will probably delete you with extreme prejudice. On some advertisements, I don't know where to look - there is too much info. Same goes for some blogs, websites, FB pages.

    Simplify, people!

    1. That's what makes my job challenging sometimes as a copywriter: how can I write a powerful message with a few simple but strong words? That's the biggest downfall of ad copy. Far too much verbiage going on with the ad and no one knows where to look first.


Therese Pope, Copywriter/Content Developer & Digital Buzz-icist

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