A Monthly Meditation on Branding and Language
From Your Favorite Copy
#36 (January 29, 2010): Amping Up Nonprofits
A belated (which we just realized is an anagram of "bleated") Happy New Year to you, gentle reader. In this issue we help nonprofits get their KISS boots on, ponder the implications of a Facebook fraud, find hope in the faces of Haiti and shake our heads in dismay at another Not Our Clients abomination. For those about to read, we salute you.
Rock-Star Branding for Nonprofits
See if you can stay awake to the end of this sentence: "When data are aggregated across programs, services and institutions, a broader picture emerges that can be used to assist families and other constituencies in a more efficient and effective manner."
Still with me? Okay, try this one: "Our programs and services utilize various treatment modalities drawn from evidence-based best practices that have been thoroughly researched and formalized through the establishment of precise protocols by experts in the field." (Click here for even more egregious verbiage.)
Feeling understood, invested, eager to donate money, time and resources? Me neither.
Read the rest here.
How I Almost Got Mugged on Facebook
I owe my mother an apology.
I've chided her over the years for forwarding e-mails warning of the dire consequences of downloading unsolicited attachments from strangers, and suchlike frauds and menaces. Some of these caveats were inspired by hoaxes, while others, I complained, assumed people were too stupid to know an obvious danger or falsehood when it was staring them in the face. My often pat replies moved her to preface subsequent circulars with "I've looked this up on Snopes and it's real!"
But I recently got up close and personal with an online scammer — and nearly got taken. So: Sorry, Ma; the next time I get all high and mighty, please remind me of the following story.
Read the rest here.
Editorializing editrix Julia once lived in Haiti, not far from the epicenter of the devastating earthquake. Remembering Port-au-Prince, Petionville, Jacmel and other locales that will never look the same again has been a source of pain and disbelief.
Our friend Jeff Antebi, a successful artist manager and music entrepreneur (Gnarls Barkley, Danger Mouse, Waxploitation Artists), decided to take a sabbatical from the industry not long ago, traveling and snapping pictures of some of the most fraught areas on earth, including Darfur, Afghanistan, Juarez and Haiti. He amassed an incredibly powerful array of photographs in Haiti mere months before the quake and is now using his images and testimony — which have been featured in Rolling Stone and Good Magazine and on NPR — to raise funds for nonprofits Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders. Prints are being made available (with proceeds benefiting these worthy causes) at London's Stolen Space Gallery. You can view Antebi's Haiti portfolio here.
Despite the deprivation he captured there, Antebi says he hopes that disseminating his pictures "helps Haitians be seen as the fantastic people they are. Or at the very least not just earthquake victims."
Round and Shiny will return next month.
Not Our Clients: Marquee Edition
When you've got a big canvas, you need a big message. But you might want to have someone give that message a once-over before you climb the big ladder to spell it out.
Well, you could tell us how this happened.
Not only did "performance" not perform well, but where's the question mark that should follow even the most rhetorical question? Yes, yes, by now we should know better than to ask. Once again, we thank Editorializing pals Wendy Bryan and Codi Lazar for contributing to the Not Our Clients collection, where more always needs to be said.
Have you seen your own sign of the Apocalypse? Snap a photo and
If we decide to post it, we'll reward you with an iTunes gift card, redeemable for such finely performed musical questions as "Is This Love?" "What's So Funny (About Peace, Love and Understanding)?" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"