starting overThis past weekend, my friend Ken Mueller shared a video he’d taken of a Christmas flash mob at the Lancaster Central Market, singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

I love flash mobs – who doesn’t, right? plus, I think they’re in my DNA, since no one can flash mob like Bollywood can – so I watched it. It’s a cute video, albeit without much arm-shaking and leg-waggling. But it’s still fun, and it was neat to see some of the expressions Ken managed to capture (check out the lady in the blue sweater at around 1:39/1:41 – she’s completely tuneless but she’s having such a good time).

When Ken posted the video to Facebook, one of the comments was pretty negative, along the lines of “this is completely boring.”

To each their own; no one’s saying everyone has to agree with everyone else. And certainly, there wasn’t a lot of “action” in the video, but if you actually watched it through, you’d see the smiles on people’s faces, as well as bits and pieces of personality (like the afore-mentioned blue sweater lady) that would make you realize, “Hey, people really enjoyed this.” (I actually think Ken did a pretty decent job given he had only one camera and did this on the fly.)

Unfortunately, when we put together plans and campaigns for our clients/organizations, we are in the same boat.

People are bombarded with information, they have “asks” coming at them left, right and center, and if we are not able to capture their attention in a few seconds, we run the risk of losing that opportunity forever (or at least for as long as the campaign is running).

If something about that first touch point – whether it’s a pitch, a video, a blog post, a tweet – doesn’t appeal to them, it is highly unlikely they are going to come back for more, let alone pay attention to what we’re asking them to do. And even if their friends/colleagues/peers respond, they’re still going to think about whether they really want to do so themselves, because their first experience didn’t grab them.

Where we really want to get them is to the point of saying, “Hey, did you see what that blue sweater lady was up to?” Not literally, of course, but you get my drift.

We want them to enjoy the experience of communicating with us, we want them to derive value from what we are communicating to them, and we want them to come back for more. Right?

As you prepare to slow down a bit for the holidays (unless you are in retail, in which case my sympathies are with you), think about how you are crafting the communications with which you’re reaching your customers.

Have they been as creative as they could have been? Have they been as timely as they could have been? Have they done a good job of incorporating your core messaging, but in such a way that they’re not boring?

Have they made your customers say, “I like that. I’d like some more, please.” … have they? Or have they made you fail in business without really trying?

Now is a great time to look at how you’ve been communicating with your customers and tweak your approach for 2012. Maybe it’s great, and doesn’t need any tweaking. But there are very, very few of us who are so perfect that we couldn’t stand some improvement.

And once you do that, I know 2012 will be much better than 2011 for you. I for one am rooting for you.

Image: Taylor McConnell via Flickr, CC 2.0

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps smart businesses make bank by taking their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™. She is also the founder of The Social PR Virtuoso®, which provides online, on-demand training that helps you unleash your inner Social PR superhero. Shonali is mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke