Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Flexibility is not a criterion of the young. I have learned this bitter truth while teaching a 9-year-old to sing and play the flute. The young memorize and spit back what they think they hear. They read melody from memory and memories play tricks. The worst part is that once the young learn something wrong, it is almost impossible to correct it. Their brains read out the same mistake over and over and over. An instructor has to play tricks with their minds to get them to hear a mistake and present melody accurately.

What has any of this to do with PR? It should be a lesson to look at a target audience closely and to understand limitations before sending a message. With the young, one should choose familiar patterns their conservative minds can grasp easily. Asking them to stretch too far is asking the impossible. A few might do it: Most cannot.

I suppose that is why most of us should not write for the young. We are past the point of understanding the barriers, and we cannot grasp why children have difficulty with obvious ideas. But then adult populations have trouble as well. Perhaps then, if we can communicate to the young effectively, we should be able to communicate to adults powerfully too. An interesting idea.


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