What do these three-word amalgams have in common?
For us music fans out there, we’ve most likely guessed it by now. They’re all band names. Today I will suggest words can be a catalyst to our success, or a detriment. Why? Because words are powerful. Words can be the most significant method to manipulate. Interrogators know this. Salesman know this. Teenage girls know this.
Words are also powerful resources for connecting, branding, encouraging, and inspiring. Use them wisely, for they can create wonder with proper storytelling, blunder with improper use, or thunder if AC/DC had its way. Let me illustrate this through a simple story.
There once was a band who mastered their talent in their garage for years. They could play in any chord, in any key, on nearly every instrument, and in any genre. They had the job skills.
This band melded together in friendship, openness, and trust. They were innovative, creative, and had moral character. They were a fit.
The group had a unique sound, they understood the industry and created music that appealed to their niche. They had a differentiator in the marketplace.
They got hired for gigs at local establishments, they proudly displayed their band name on the marquee, they sent flyers to locals, displayed ads in music magazines, and delivered social media to music fans. They had a good marketing strategy.
On the days of the performances, the band was pumped and ready to go – but nobody showed. They didn’t connect with their audience in a way that made them react and respond. They had poor communications.
The name of their band - “Closed for Remodeling."
My point – all elements of a strategy and plan need to align. And since I’m in the field of communications, I will boldly say that communications is the most important element. That’s right, I wrote these words. Why? Because, I repeat, words are powerful. They allow us to create an intended action and deliver results.
Now, consider these band names:
Regardless of whether we like the music these bands produce, in general terms, their band name is terrible. Even the members of the Goo Goo Dolls admitted they made a mistake with this one. Imagine we’re in a band and we have the opportunity to give ourselves a name. Anything goes! The world of words is ours for the taking. We have talent and a record deal, and we settle on the band name, “The The.” What I figure, is the sex and drugs may have gotten in the way of the rock ‘n roll naming convention for some of these band members.
“Words That Work.” It’s a wonderful book by Dr. Frank Luntz. In it, Luntz offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the tactical use of words and phrases affects what we buy, who we vote for, and even what we believe in. With chapters like "The Ten Rules of Successful Communication" and "The 21 Words and Phrases for the 21st Century," he examines how choosing the right words is essential. Oh, and yes, it comes in all forms of readable consumption – hardback, soft cover, audiobook, radio interviews, etc.
Words. Use them wisely, for they are our communications. I will conclude by reverting to band names through some fun and pun. These are a sampling of my favorite pairings, who at some point should have toured with each other, if not just for the marquee presentation alone.
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"freedom at work"