goals• Surprise some people. (Official version: Enhance Clemson’s reputation as a research university.)• Reach some readers who can help us. (Develop a community of stakeholders who will follow Clemson’s intellectual achievements.)• Break down the silos. (Increase communication among departments and disciplines.)• Answer the skeptics. (Demonstrate that research is a way of learning, for students and faculty alike.)
brain rules for communications• Rule 4: We don’t pay attention to boring things.• Rule 5: Repeat to remember.• Rule 9: S timulate more of the senses.• Rule 10: Vision trumps all other senses.• Rule 12: We are powerful and natural explorers.
audience• the usual suspects: peers, prospective faculty and students, decision makers, media, selected alums and donors…• heretical assertion: the careful assessment of audience is relevant to distribution, choice of medium, and marketing, but not for writing, editing, and design.
two theories of audience • audience addressed – costly, endless analysis – the measurement problem: (think particle, wave, and uncertainty) • audience invoked – talent and sympathy
A magazine invokes its reader.Cos mopolitan reader: I am s m art, s e xy, s u cce s s fu l wom an wh o knows h ow to ge t wh at s h e wants .A irlines magazine reader: As I as ce nd th e corp orate lad d e r, I will le arn a fore ign langu age , e xp and m y vocab u lary, s norke l in th e C arib b e an, and p lay winning golf.
S outhern Living reader: Th e S ou th is a graciou s , ch arm ing p lace fu ll of d e liciou s food s and fragrant flowe rs , and I will fu rnis h m y little corne r of it s o th at noth ing u ns igh tly or u ns avory e ve r offe nd s m y gu e s ts or violate s m y love ly vie w.Glimps e reader: M y fre e tim e is p re ciou s , b u t I p ick u p th is m agazine and give it a ch ance b e cau s e I valu e id e as and th e qu e s t for knowle d ge , and I want to know wh at th e u nive rs ity is d oing to m ake th e world a b e tte r p lace .
name the baby• What is the competition doing, and how can we stand out?• What story do we want to tell?• What makes a name good?
what’s in a name?“Good brands, like poems, work by compressing intoa single euphonious word an array of specific,resonant meanings and associations. The goal is todetermine what story a client wishes to tell about hisproduct and then find a word that evokes it. It’sprobably best to keep the name short. Names thatdisplay a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern areoften easiest to say.”Excerpt from “Famous Names,” Oct. 3, 2011 New Yorker, quoting David Placek, founder and CEO of Lexicon
glimpseas s ociations :•glim p s e th e fu tu re•glim p s e th e p os s ib ilitie s•glim p s e th e e s s e ntial•glim p s e th e u nknown
glimpseim p licit m e s s age s :•vis u al and e nticing•nonth re ate ning•s p ontane ou s and qu ick, notp ond e rou s and p e d antic•Th e re s e arch is b ig and com p le x; wecou ld s h ow you m u ch m ore .
barnstorming• met with a total of 224 Clemson administrators, faculty, students, and staff.• presentations: – Creative Inquiry faculty forum – planning session in October – roll-out session in January – Administrative Council – Graduate Student Senate• guest lecturer in two classes, RCID 880 (rhetoric PhDs) and Journalism 512.
reaction to is s ue one• Most frequent positive comment: “Clemson really needed this.”• Most frequent negative comment: “I [or my unit] should have been featured in the first issue.”
room for improvement• stories should go deeper, risk more• save more time for layout• eradicate typos• use better paper• wean units away from multilevel review• develop more lively Web pages and social media
calculated candor• Ask what they want; listen to the answers.• Say what you plan to do and why.• Show them, with visuals, how you make choices.• Teach them talking points: – “A magazine is at least half visual.” – “Let’s tell good, honest stories. If we brag or spin, people won’t like us.” – “Sure, we’ll have a web version. But if we’re after prestige, print’s the way to go.”