Archive for Key Messages

Simplifying My Brand was So Easy – for Someone Else

[tweetmeme]It took a perfect stranger to simplify my brand.  I mean that’s what I do for a living:  help individuals and companies with their brands – the words they use in telling their stories.

I was at a networking event last evening, and took the opportunity to do a little tweaking of my message as I circulated among the guests when I first walked in.  I tried a few versions.  Here is one of my openings:  “Hi, I’m Jeannette Paladino.  I’m a business writer.  I help individuals and companies to sharpen their brands and shape the key messages they communicate to their target audiences.”  Then I proceeded to tell the little group gathered around the bar that my focus was on writing web copy and blogs, branding and employee communications. Read More→

How Judge Sonia Sotomayor Mastered the Broken Record

It is a rule of media training that despite the questions a reporter asks, you return or “bridge” back to your original point.  Like a broken record, you repeat your message over and over again as a fact that can’t be disputed.  If you stay “on message,” as they say in politics, eventually your point of view becomes embedded in the minds of your target audiences, moving them to your side of the argument (hopefully).  Judge Sonia Sotomayor has learned this lesson well.

Taking a page from President Obama’s playbook – his message as a candidate was a consistent “it’s time for change” – she has deftly deflected the parries of Senators on the Senate Judicial Committee who are trying their best to trap her into saying she would allow her personal biases to affect her decisions if she were to become a Supreme Court Justice.  She has basically repeated a variation of these words again and again, “”My record shows that at no point or time have I ever permitted my personal views or sympathies to influence the outcome of a case.”   She has also followed the rule of not answering hypothetical questions.  Senators have tried that gambit, but she has been up to the challenge.

You can only use the Broken Record technique if what you are saying is true.  It does no good for a murderer to repeatedly claim, “I didn’t do it” when he is caught with a smoking gun standing over the victim.  Conservatives and liberals who used a fine-toothed comb to pore through Judge Sotomayor’s decisions on the bench over the past 17 years have discovered, in fact, that in the vast majority of cases she has ruled against plaintiffs in affirmative action disputes.

Throughout today’s proceedings she has kept her cool.  No doubt she will be glad to don her judicial robe and return to the bench where it will be she who is asking the pointed questions.