Why Does She Still Do THIS?

Here’s something I wonder during this pandemic: Why is the local news station still broadcasting traffic reports every 30 minutes in the morning?

I turn on the news, and there she is, the Traffic Reporter, standing in front of the map with all the highways and byways color coded — green for “all clear,” yellow for “moderate back-ups” and red for “damn this traffic jam!”

There she is, every day as we work from home, standing in front of that map full of green lines, reporting “all clear for the morning commute.”

As if we don’t already know.

It bugs me…

…and it puzzles me.

Hasn’t it occurred to her that we’re either sheltered in place, or we already know that traffic is light?

No one at the station wondered, “Why are we reporting the traffic now?”

No one wondered about viewers’ current needs?

No one stepped back and thought about how to connect more effectively with their audience.

They simply had the Traffic Reporter tell us about traffic because…

…that’s what they do, and that’s what she does.

Lots of businesses operate this way.

They do what they do.

They lose track of why they do it.

And their customers tune out.

So what do I do?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that since the outbreak.

I help businesses tune up their stories so prospects and customers tune in and act.

One way I do this (until recently): I send you regular emails with stories and observations that contain valuable marketing lessons.

I think most business people benefit from these stories, and I want to keep telling them.

But I also wonder what you need during this pandemic that you didn’t need before.

I concluded a couple of weeks ago that you don’t need me just plowing ahead, pretending that nothing has changed.

You don’t need cliches or hollow sentiments like “we’ll get through this” or “I’ve been wondering how you are.”

That stuff doesn’t connect us.

And when we’re cooped up at home, I think we desperately need to connect.

So I wrote this post to try to connect…

…to demonstrate that I, too, am cooped up at home, watching television, and sometimes saying, “WTF?”…

…to demonstrate that I’m not sending this email just because that’s what I do…

…to say, “I’m trying to help even though all of us feel a little helpless…”

…to laugh a little (sure, that traffic reporter in front of all those green lines annoys me, but she also amuses me).

So, what do you do…

…and, more importantly, why do you do it?

Now’s a great time to ask those questions.

Because if you don’t get that right, prospects and customers will tune out and move on.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.