The Blog

How to Explain, Part 1: Know Your Audience

April 21, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

Whether you’re a marketer, a developer, a salesperson or an astronaut, chances are you have to explain things from time to time. And it doesn’t matter if you’re writing an email to a vendor or composing a scientific paper on space rocks—explaining things is hard. You can spend hours lovingly crafting a PowerPoint deck, searching for the right font, timing the transitions just so…only to receive a bunch of drooly stares in return.

Bored audience

Explaining is a big part of what we do at Jellyvision. We help explain healthcare benefits, complex software systems, crazy complicated financial stuff, and the difference between this laptop and that laptop. So now, we’re going to explain how to explain. So meta!

The first important part of a good explanation? Know your audience. Here’s a few tips. Make sure you check these off before you launch into, “So, space rocks…” (more…)

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Why There’s Crying in Good Communication

April 15, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

Emotion is one of the most powerful communication tools. Get someone to feel something, and you’ll get them to listen.

Jellyvision’s big on using humor to communicate (insert fart sound here). But emotions beyond amusement are just as effective for making a connection with your audience. Fear. Pride. Anticipation. Empathy. And in this example of Damn Good Communication, some good old fashioned tugging on the heartstrings. (more…)

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Communication Makeover: Receipts

April 10, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Communication Makeover

I recently read a great blog post about how one of the coolest untapped marketing tools out there is receipts. Yes, receipts. Think about it. People take receipts home. They hold on to them. They’re used to them—no one has to be trained on how to use and interact with a receipt, unlike some trendier marketing tools.

“What if we see the receipt more as a publishing medium—a product unto itself that people actually want to take home, that they want to engage with, be fully interactive with?” said Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO of Square and co-founder of Twitter, at the National Retail Federation’s expo. “What can we do with this everyday tool?”

Curious, I un-balled some receipts from my purse and decided to see how retailers were handling the receipt marketing opportunity.

Receipts in a bag

(more…)

How to Write an Un-Boring Legal Document

April 4, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

At Jellyvision, we believe that everything is marketing. And because everything is marketing, everything your company puts out into the world should reflect your brand and, in general, be pretty spankin’ delightful.

It’s pretty easy to picture a delightful thank you web page, or a delightful email (we’ve highlighted a few in the past). But when you start to get into the…let’s say “less enchanting” types of business communication, like contracts and estimates, it can be harder to imagine where the human element fits in. Is there really room for plain English, let alone your brand, in a 20-page legal document?

You’ll have to excuse me as I toot the horn of our sales team for a sec, because they (specifically this charming lady) recently wrote a document that proves that any piece of communication can be engaging and enjoyable. This is the introduction to a statement of work for a project that deals with benefits communication: (more…)

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The Right Way to Get Dumped

April 2, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

“Everything has to come to an end, sometime.” –L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz

“That jerk face jerk butt jerk monster jerk. They want to ‘part ways’? I’ll show them PARTING WAYS!” –Typical Businessperson, while lighting fire to desk and all personal belongings

Having a customer break up with you stinks. And it’s easy to react with anger and arson rather than taking Mr. Baum’s more philosophical approach. Losing a customer hurts, even if it’s not a real blow to your bottom line. And it’s easy to say, “screw ’em” and never talk to them again.

But take a look at how GrubHub responds to losing a customer: (more…)

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Texting While Driving? You May End Up on a Billboard

March 28, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

Texting while driving is unequivocally bad. However, lots and lots of people still do it. In fact, at any time during the day, 660,000 people are using their phones while driving. That’s a lot of drivers just asking to play bumper cars in real life.

How can we communicate the dangers of texting and get people to change their behavior? One guy is using the power of sweet, sweet shame.

Brian Singer, a graphic designer in San Francisco, has created a project called TWIT (Texting While in Traffic). He asks you to take pictures of drivers who are messing with their phones in traffic. (Only if you’re a passenger, of course.)

texting while driving

Then the best (i.e., worst) photos are used to create billboards of public shame. (more…)

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Personal Selfie Shoppers

March 25, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

Being a brand on social media can be tough. Too often, brands can come across as the awkward guy at the party. Everyone else is talking about the big game, and then ol’ Brand Brian butts in with, “Speaking of GAMES, doing your taxes with Taxiful Solutions is so fun, it’s like the game you play with your net income!”

Or brands pivot too hard the other way and try to be “fun,” and just make everyone uncomfortable in the process.

jcpenney tweeting with mittens (more…)

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So Long, Smell Test

March 20, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

Ahh, morning. You wake up, say hello to the sun, listen to the songbirds, and wander into your kitchen to pour yourself a nice bowl of cereal. You pull the milk out of the fridge…and everything is ruined when you get a whiff of rancid milk.

bad milk

Goodbye, nice morning. Goodbye, sun and songbirds. Yes, you’re left with a dark, cold Earth, because the sun doesn’t want anything to do with that nasty milk. Spoiled milk is the worst.

Thankfully, science and good communication are pairing up to save our mornings. (more…)

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