Professional speaker Todd Hunt sends me a humorous e-newsletter about workplace communications, called Hunt’s Headlines. Hunt’s focus is language, and he speaks about how, too often, businesses use language in ways that confuse their clients instead of helping them.
Presenting for the first time in Tigard, Oregon, Hunt had dinner in a Sweet Tomatoes salad bar restaurant. When you order a soft drink or milk at Sweet Tomatoes, he says, you get a clear glass to fill at the beverage station, but, if you order just water to drink, you’re given a blue glass.
Hunt ordered just the water, and what amused him is that, along with his blue glass, he was given a card that read, “Our blue glasses are intended for water. If you changed your mind and helped yourself to our Bottomless Beverage Bar, place this card at the end of your table. Our staff will come by to ring you up.”
Always looking for simpler, saner, more customer-friendly ways to express ideas in business, Hunt suggests the following message: “Blue glasses are for water ONLY! Other beverages cost!”
If ever there was a lesson for bloggers to be found at a beverage station, Todd Hunt’s served it up, I think. Like medical students training to be physicians who are admonished “Above all, do no harm!”, bloggers should remember the maxim, “Above all, create no confusion!”
As I explained in From Meat To Mustard, when it comes to web-based communication, words, along with pictures, are a business’ only tools. That, in fact, is what we professional ghost bloggers do for a living – work with words, turn phrases, look for the “Wow!” factor. Above all, though, our job is to communicate what your business does for its clients and customers!. Yes, indeed. Clear glasses are for blogs!