It Can’t Wow ‘Em If You Can’t Use It!

A friend who collects anecdotes shares an interesting one, probably not true, but one which illustrates a useful point…

65 years ago, the story goes, Carnation Milk offered a $5,000 prize for the best slogan submitted in the form of a rhyme beginning "Carnation Milk is best of all…."

A little old lady from Wisconsin, who’d worked on her family’s dairy form since early childhood, was awarded $2,000. The Carnation Milk rep said to the lady, "Carnation loved your entry, even though we will not be able to use it."

(Hold that thought and your question for a moment….)

Fellow blogger Matthew Stibbs, director and co-founder of Heart Internet web hosting in the UK, comments that "A company blog can be one of the trickiest forms of marketing." However, the company blog has to be one people will actually read, he adds.   It also needs to be one that doesn’t offend readers

In "Why Do Educated People Use Bad Words?", the editors of the New York Times point out that while public language in America is becoming less restrained, racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks are even less tolerated today than a generation ago.

For me as a business blogging trainer, the rule is quite simple:  If something you write is likely to offend at all – leave that part out and find a different way to convey your idea.  After all, why distract online visitors’ attention from the business message you’re going to all this effort to promote?

(Now, back to the jingle our little old lady from Wisconsin wrote (remember, this is supposed to have happened almost fifty years ago…)


    Carnation milk is best of all

    No tits to pull, no hay to haul

    No buckets to wash, no s–t to pitch

    Just poke a hole in the son-of-a-b—–!

Word to wise business bloggers: Don’t let it all hang out in your blog…exercise good taste. 

(If they can’t use it, they won’tl be giving you $2,000 before clicking away to a different website!)


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