A message to you…

Posted by on May 5, 2008 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Whatever you think about the recent election competition for the Mayor of London job and whatever you think of either the winning or losing candidates, the most striking thing of the aftermath is the kneejerk default of spokespeople of the defeated Labour Party:

“we’re not getting our message across…”

Again and again I’ve heard it in the last few days, the same few words.

Bet you’ve heard this any number of times before though, from disappointed managers, marketers as well as politicians: “The message” and “getting it across”.

As if what shaped behaviour was “messages” and their transmission from one person to another.

As if it was just a matter of finding the right information and sending it – like an arrow through the air – to hit the right person…and that’d be enough to change things

What kind of bonkers model of mass behaviour is this?

Oh, yes that’s the one that we in the communications world’ve been using for ever…that presumes we humans are mere information processing units….

As if messages ever changed anything…

As if audiences were passive…

As if it’s what we in marketing or politics or management do to people out there…

Today’s free gift: go here to hear the original version of the song in the picture, here to here the more famous Two Tone cover featured and here for Shane and the boys’ effort

BTW Think Iain’s piece on experience has some important clues as how experience might do the job we’ve been pushing on messages


  1. Charles Frith
    May 6, 2008

    One of my all time favourites Mark. Thanks.

  2. Tom
    May 6, 2008

    It’s the same stuff in the States. It’s not an election. It’s a business. We have “election cycles.” Every quarter there’s a profit statement from all candidates. How weird can it get?