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    There are right and wrong ways to go about marketing, and the pitfalls are many. A lot can be learned by seeing how not to manage your marketing. This original blog series weaves together an entertaining story that will help you navigate 21st-Century marketing with a view from “the dark side,” as “Screwtape” teaches his apprentice “Wormwood” via email how to sabotage your marketing. Enjoy…

    PART FIVE:
    To: Wormwood
    From: Screwtape
    Subject: Much About Nothing

    My dear Wormwood,

    Alright…I couldn’t resist following up my last email about wrecking the home page with tips on making the about page dry, boring and disjointed. It’s too tasty to pass up and, besides, I do not fully trust your amateur skills to thwart the Enemy’s plans to help the Patient write a good home page.

    Call this Plan B…and just know that Plan C is pain and suffering for you (I say that with all due affection).

    Should your efforts to geld the home page fail, you can target the ever-present about page. Here are a few tactics to employ:

    • Break the joints

    The best about pages are “team” pages. They weave together the personalities of the office, with a thread that ties everyone together as a mosaic of the brand (under no circumstances allow the Patient to write as elegantly as this!). Instead, influence each staff member to write their own bio, about themselves instead of their role on the team and their relationships with co-workers. Under no circumstances allow humor or personality to make these disparate bios a joy to read.

    • Take the pictures…

    …as in, take control of the pictures. Make sure some people on the team submits a clipped and grainy picture from a family picnic, or at the amusement park with awkward background props; put these next to stiff, formal suit-and-tie photos, and you’ve got a recipe for a cake frosted with suck. Do not allow the Patient to think, ‘hmmm. What if we hired a photographer to do a photoshoot where all our photos are consistent and professional quality?’ Extra points if you influence stiff, cardboard poses instead of letting each person’s genuine personality come through.

    • Keep it stale

    The about page is “done.” If we add new staff at all, or remove past employees, it will be “one of these days.” And, we already paid the photographer, so that photo of you eating a corn dog on the beach will be fine. This is the usual entropy of the about page. Even if it starts high class and interesting—human nature being what it is—it’s likely to descend into mediocrity.

    Mediocre is our favorite color.

    Your affectionate uncle,

    Screwtape

    P.S. Get it? Medi-ochre…Oh, forget it.


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