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MarCom Matters

February 2012
Issue: #28

Fly Like an Eagle

Maybe it was because I grew up in the city, but Scouting wasn’t popular among my friends and schoolmates. Certainly nowhere near as popular as hanging out on the street corner and arguing over who should be crowned World’s Greatest Guitarist.

So while sitting in the audience a few weeks ago watching my nephew Ethan and his friend Michael take the Eagle Scout oath, two things occurred to me:

While the first observation might seem entirely reasonable, I suspect the second needs a little explanation. Here’s what I mean…

During the ceremony, three politicians gave speeches in which they congratulated the two new Eagles. First up was the town’s mayor, who read a formal proclamation. Twice, in fact. Once for Ethan and again for Michael.

Loaded with “Whereas” and “Therefore” clauses, the text breathed a solemn legal air. It was an honorable recognition for sure, but kind of dry (especially the second time around).

The next speaker, a state representative, started out by mentioning that his son is also an Eagle Scout. I understood his paternal pride, but the misdirection lost me. More so after he went on to explain to these newly hatched Eagles their responsibility to uphold the Eagle oath and honor.

Finally, there was Connecticut’s U.S. Senator, Richard Blumenthal. Standing in front of the audience, he spoke of the rare talent these scouts displayed and what all of their hard work meant to the parents, to the community and to themselves.

When the ceremony was over, it occurred to me that what I had just witnessed was a primo example of how differently organizations approach marketing communication.


Because all three speakers had the same objective – to recognize and honor these new Eagle Scouts. Yet, each took a different path. And, consequently, each ended up in a different place.

As a marketer, you probably make similar choices — not only about which messages to communicate, but also about how to convey those messages. And when it comes to capturing and keeping a buyer’s attention in the digital world, how you say it is as important as what you say.

Here’s what I took away from the event…

The bottom line: Talk to your customers, find out what they think is important and make that part of your own story.

Then before you know it, you’ll be soaring above the competition. Scout’s honor.