They want to share Happy Hearts Day with everyone, even the Rainbow King’s gloomy cousin, Glummy Glooma, who never joins in. They have the best of intentions, are being generous and genuinely want to be friendly.
Glummy tells them: “Happy’s not really my thing.” The duo are taken aback. “Really? Happy is everyone’s thing!” They reply.
Glummy tries to join in with inevitable consequences: the happy hearts become miserable.
True saves the day (that’s what she does) by empathising with Glummy Glooma and seeing things from his point of view.
Often things fall flat because we don’t see how our actions or viewpoint might play out from where others are standing.
This week a school apologised after children were asked to nominate classmates for awards including best looking female, biggest poser, most irritating habit and biggest strop.
It might have seemed like harmless fun when someone came up with the idea but the kids nominated for some of those awards would not have felt good about it and others who didn’t win would have been upset too.
Before you launch something think about how it will play out from another person’s point of view. What stories will they tell about it? Do those stories dovetail with the story you want to tell?
You can’t please all the people all of the time. But having a very clear idea about who your ideal customer is and how that person (you do need to have a single person in mind) would respond to your product, service or message, is important if your efforts are going to be well received. Glummy Glooma was not the ideal client for Happy Hearts Day. A class of 13 and 14-year-olds, and their families, were not the ideal clients for the awards suggested for that assembly.
You should also consider the PR implications of your messaging. The key test is whether you would be happy for your company name and the message you have put out being splashed across the front page of a newspaper.
Not everyone wants the same thing. Be sure you know what your ideal customer wants, rather than giving them something you like and assuming they’ll be into it too.
Rachel Extance helps business tell their stories so they can reach a wider audience for their work and ideas. A professional journalist, she knows how to write stories people find relevant and engaging. If you would like help to get your message across, need someone who can write articles for you regularly, or you would like actionable ideas for how to tell more people about what you do, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her on social media.