Get to the Point Quickly

I’ve been writing the past few days about constructing your content to make a point and get your message across quickly and directly. I wanted to use today’s post to go through some steps in creating effective content. Instead, I’m taking another approach.

Near the exit I take off I-10 to get home is one of these billboards:

In all honesty, I’m not sure which one, because as I am zooming by I can’t read the stuff written in orange (I borrowed these billboards from The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living website). Each of these statements is effective and should be used. But not on a billboard. It is the wrong medium for this many words (see my earlier post Content Construction).

The basic message, which is clear (pardon the pun) based on the statements isn’t used here. This is the perfect place for it. And that message is: “Secondhand smoke kills.” Three words. A powerful message. If you use it on the billboard, you will get your point across quickly. The supporting image is beautiful. Based on what you can make out at 60 mph you can easily guess that it is part of the TFL campaign. All of that works as it should.

These statements, however, are better used in print, with TV ads, on radio and online. If you’re going to say, “Let’s be totally clear,” then be totally clear. In a manner that people will get it where you put it.

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