Random Thoughts on Life and Work

January 21, 2016

Audience, Purpose, And Clarity

Filed under: Non-Profit — Darren Mullenix @ 3:46 pm
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There are two things (among others) to keep in mind when creating your communications piece. I’m making the assumption here that segmentation is not an option (for whatever reason) and we are dealing with print (physical or electronic) media that is delivered to the audience. However, these two items also pertain to other visual media as well.

  1. Audience – who are you communicating with? This can have great ramifications on the text and design of your piece. Age, gender, occupation, location, etc. All of this comes into play when writing your text, designing the graphics, and determining delivery methods.

    If you are not segmenting, your group will potentially cross a number of demographics. This is fine as long as you keep #2 in mind.

  2. Purpose – what do you want this audience to do? If you want one particular action from them, don’t muddy the water by including extra details or offering other options. If it is purely informational, don’t ask them to do something (except maybe to share it with others). If part of your audience might be interested in some other aspect of your product or services, avoid the temptation to add those options. Leave that for another day and another communications opportunity.

Remembering these two items in particular will help you keep your communications clear and concise and will increase your effectiveness.


December 10, 2012

Guaranteed To Ignore

Filed under: Non-Profit — Darren Mullenix @ 5:06 pm
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Wondering how to write an email that will guarantee it is classified as junk/spam and ignored? Write one like this:



I wanted to follow-up on the email that Peter Clark, our CEO, sent last Friday. We are now open in Toronto.

Is there anything we can connect on?


Diego Casco

Managing Director



  1. Never heard of this person
  2. Did not receive the email from the supposed CEO
  3. Don’t work in Toronto so don’t really care if they are open there or not
  4. Don’t even know what they do – so how can I know if there is something to connect on

Where do people come up with this stuff?


August 30, 2012

Basic Etiquette

Filed under: Non-Profit — Darren Mullenix @ 10:55 am
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Why is basic etiquette in business communications so difficult for some people. Especially when it comes to email. Is it a function of the “I’m too important to bother” syndrome? Or maybe the, “I can be more efficient if I don’t reply” syndrome.

Let’s review some basics:

  1. If someone emails you asking a question, respond. Even if it’s a simple “We’re thinking about it.”
  2. If it is an email that requires a third person being pulled in to the conversation, let the originator know the email has moved on to the third. Even better – copy the originator into the forward.
  3. Be clear in your subject line.
  4. Don’t SHOUT unless you mean it.

Email will be with us for a long time and we all get a lot of it. That doesn’t excuse boorish behavior.

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