Communication Tip: People Don’t Read

I was working away in our Alexandria, VA office the other day when I heard a weird noise just outside my window. My office mate, Robert Bailey, stuck his head out the window to investigate. Low and behold there was a guy on his ladder removing our company sign from our building. WTF!

Turns out it was a nice man from Banana Banner hired to remove the sign from the antique store next door. The work order (1) had the antique store’s name and (2) the antique store’s address. However, overshadowing all this information, was a photo on the work order that had our sign in it. So, without reading anything, the man from Banana Banner looked at the picture, set up his ladder and went to work.

Using this as inspiration for your efforts to communicate. Two big takeaways:

  1. Make sure your visuals send the right message or someone could get the wrong message and climb up a ladder on the wrong building and get harassed by Robert.
  2. Copy can be powerful. But keep it simple and short.


Karen Ong Barone is Principal + Executive Creative Director at Marketing for Change.


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