Extraordinary Tessellation

Inspired by Terry Fallis’s “PR Words to Ban” (past examples include “leveraged” and “impactful”) I thought I’d jump in and add in my least favourite word, and a word that I think should be used more often.

Extraordinary – as in “We generated extraordinary coverage during this campaign”.  There’s nothing worse than being mediocre.  Clients should want to be at the edges of popular opinion.  Their products should either be at the bleeding edge of popular opinion (the iPod) or be universally hated (both versions of The Office had the worst focus group testings for either the BBC or NBC).  

Any spotty 16 year old doing his GCSE English Literature exams will know that the opposite of love is note hate, nor is the opposite of hate love.  The opposite of both is apathy, the ordinary. 

So why do we, as PR practitioners, relish telling clients who are expecting fantastic, superb, brilliant and incredible pieces of coverage that we not only generated ordinary coverage, but that we went one step better and got them lots of ordinary coverage?

Tessellate – an absolutely superb word and one that was introduced to me by the quite amazing Jane Fordham, account director at Golin Harris.  As in “My new blog posting has tessellated perfectly with my audience’s interests”. 

In the new world of on-line communications, where our new goal is not to reach the masses but to influence the few, it’s increasingly important to make sure that we aren’t simply preaching from on high.  We need to encourage and nurture conversations and to do that we need to connect with our clients’ audiences in a far deeper, and dare I say it, emotional level than ever before.

And in the spirit of using other people’s ideas to jump start my own conversation, Jaffe had Budweiser as his loser of the week in ATS #37 for the Bavaria Lederhosen broohaha.  I’d disagree strongly here and say that the loser was FIFA.  Yes it’s up to the Sponsee (is that the right term?) to protect its sponsors, but FIFA also had a duty to pick the most appropriate sponsor for its event.

Germany has so many great beers that could have been the official beer partner of the World Cup, even Holland or Belgium could’ve put up a few contenders so why did FIFA feel the need to go for a culturally irrelevant sponsor that by its own admission has no deep connect with football in the same way that other beers do.

One Response to Extraordinary Tessellation

  1. From the Latin: “tessellatus” – made of small square stones
    Good post Ed. I hope you will do more like this.

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