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Brevity is bravery.

When I heard Teresa say that during a conference call the other day, I wrote it down. She credits it to Doyle Dane Bernbach founder Bill Bernbach, but no matter who said it the message is clear.

Marketing is not cheap. Unless it’s CreateAthon, where, in that case, it’s free for nonprofits. There’s a temptation to speak to everyone and tell everything all in one sitting. Don’t let your communications fall prey.

Speak to one audience.
You probably have multiple audiences, but your audiences have very different needs, varying interests. Make your work resonate by speaking to your most important audience. Don’t forget your other audiences if they are important, too, just speak to them in another way.

Make one point.
In some cases, bullet points are perfectly fine. Just because we have them doesn’t mean we need to use them. If your main message cannot be stated in one sentence, you haven’t worked hard enough on it. Editing is one of the sharpest tools communicators have. Wield it like a hungry pirate.

Make it fast.
Today’s communications move quickly. Audiences are bombarded with messages. Get in, get out and give yourself a chance at being remembered.

DDB has a wonderful recap of the many keen insights of Mr. Bernbach here. The next time you’re at a meeting where everyone is stuck on the fence, prod the herd for the good of all. That’s what Mr. Bernbach would have done.

 “If you stand for something, you will always find some people for you and some against you. If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody against you, and nobody for you.”

Nobody says it better. What motto would you share with Mr. Bernbach?

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