Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Fix: Packaging Your Message

This Friday's Fix centers around the packaging with which you deliver your messages.

You may have noticed the new blog template. It's an attempt to jazz up the ol' blah-g.

But just because the presentation--the package, if you will--has changed, doesn't mean the blog itself has changed. Same writer, same types of posts, same pretty much everything else.

But it needed an updated look, if not for readers, then at least for me. It was like I actually looked at the old colors one day and thought, "Yuck-o! Time for a change." And to me, this new look compliments my goals for what's posted here. It's cheerier, no? And a bit wistful?

So enough about that. What does this have to do with you packaging your messages? Simply this: consider the best, most complimentary method to deliver your message.

Case in point. Kids are playing loudly inside and you're trying to get some work done. Goal: get them to continue playing, but outside.

So you say, "Why don't you guys go outside and play?" Right? I mean, you can't convey your message any clearer than that.

But kids aren't stupid. Imbedded in this particular message is, "You're annoying me and I can't work with you in here." And they get that. Do they take it outside? Sure. But they carry a little extra chip with them when they do. Which is NOT the goal.

So then what about this? "Hey, you guys haven't been in the tree house for a few weeks. Why don't you take your game out there and also double-check to see if any critters have moved in?"

The original goal will be met, because, come ON... what kid isn't gonna rush right out, secretly hoping critters DID move in?! But more importantly, the goal was met without injury. It even provides the listeners with a goal of their own. (Adventure!)

If it helps, think of literal packaging, especially if the message you're sharing is important. Would this person like bright, frilly bows or an organic-looking brown bag with pine cones or stalks of wheat sticking out? In other words, and I've said this before, consider your audience.

We Christians talk a lot about meeting people where they are. Our message never changes. But our methods should never be one-size-fits-all. Jesus reponded differently to different people, according to their needs. Paul followed suit. Let's carry that over into our communication choices for maximum impact.

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