Sometimes the fun of constructing an analogy can get the best of you. What perhaps started out as a nice, simple way to relate a complex idea evolves through the course of writing into a convoluted mess that’s more forgettable than relatable.
Take, for example, my last post titled “Is Your Social Media Marketing Evergreen?” The concept was simple enough: some kinds of social media efforts are short and marketing campaign-driven, while some last indefinitely as the foundation of your branding, service, and communications programs.
Easy, right? I could have written a simple post, expressing the idea largely like that, with a few examples of real world efforts. Instead I felt the need to make it catchy and memorable, and off I went with the analogy.
In this case, I turn to nature, as any good Pacific Northwesterner would. I started with the idea that the long-lived social media efforts were “evergreen” – as in trees that stay green year round and never lose their leaves. All well and good, off to a good, catchy, easy to remember analogy.
What, of course, is the opposite of evergreen?
Who doesn’t think of the word “deciduous” in everyday life, right? Totally relatable, right? Yeah, looking back this is where my wonderful post, which I felt conveyed a fantastic message, fell off the rails.
So a lesson to myself, and anyone using analogy to convey a message. Stick with analogies that resonate in everyday life for most of those in your audience. If it doesn’t quite work, don’t push it.
*Photo by zabowski on Flickr via CC license.
We recently completed two case studies for Visible Technologies (@Visible_Tech), a leading vendor in the social media monitoring and measurement space. Both focus on online brand management: One covers Microsoft and how they are using Visible to better engage their IT community, and another centers on how Xerox used Visible to monitor online buzz around the launch of a major new product.
We’re currently available for new copywriting projects, from PR and Web copy to case studies and brochures. Drop us a line!