Is being long-winded hurting your communications

Picture_8 We seem to live in what I call a USA Today society.  "Give it to me short, sweet and if possible, in a colorful graph.  Otherwise, I’m going to ignore you."

Do you get that same sense?  Dr. Taly Weiss did some research on her blog TrendsSpotting that shows that of the top 100 blogs — most of them routinely have posts of less than 500 words. 

As communicators, we often have complex issues to discuss or complicated products/services to explain.  How do we accurately and adequately get the message across in this short and sweet world?

Here are a few ideas I had but I’d love to hear yours.

Chunk it.  Break up your content into bite-sized pieces.  If the reader is willing to invest in the first paragraph…and it’s relevant, they’ll keep reading.

Visually trick the reader’s eye.  Use lots of white space and color to break up copy and to create the illusion that the copy is shorter than it is.

Divert them. Use your initial pieces (direct mail, blog post etc.) to give your potential customer the highlights and then provide them with repositories of information.  Point them to your website, blog archives, more detailed collateral, etc.

So….how do you combat the USA Today mentality?

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