Words of Wisdom
The Sunday New York Times Style magazine had an article this past week titled “Google’s Doodles”. It seemed the writer did like what they do with their logo although there were a lot of words like “gauche”, “childlike”, “corny” describing various expressions of it.
Well, I just love it. Having spent lots of time listening to logo police for many large corporations, I admire the friskiness of the Google people. There’s a lesson in the looking. March 14th was pi day. Heh heh. A little piece of fun for the numerically literate, the Google logo was executed with nicely done geometry. And guess what, logo police? You could find the corporate identity in there. Also during the Olympics with the lovely illustrations showing us all those graceful winter games in the logo. Apparently, we’re able to fill in some blanks and get the nods to current events and holidays and all of that when we sign on the Google home page. It’s refreshing and fun and a treat to see it when it comes up. And the logo fun comes up with some predictability and some randomness. That’s part of the fun too. It makes you pause for a moment and think in a blink while you’re on your way to something else. I liked the plain Google logo and name from the beginning. But what they’ve been doing is so smart. They’ve let me in on the secret behind this big, big corporate entity. It’s headed by humans with wit and intelligence who are current and enthused about all sorts of things. I like them.
Would it be the breakdown of civilization, as the logo police would have it, if other corporations decided to let designers ‘fiddle’ with their corporate dress? Probably. What do you think?
During the Mad Men hiatus I use cable on demand for episodes I missed or want to see again. A recent one showed a secretary being hit on and verbally swatted by a group of tipsy account guys. She walked away with personal dignity; but how did she come back day after day to face the same people and the potential of the same humiliating treatment? Remember that this TV show takes place in the early ‘60s before there were any sexual harassment laws, before there was any consciousness of the corrosive effect on women’s careers.
Not only was a woman personally degraded by sexual harassment but her career was also degraded. Who can rise in an organization, who can become a leader if she is seen as a victim, as a potential plaything instead of any type of professional?
These days things are quite different in most workplaces thanks to activists and feminists of the recent past. However for many men and for some organizations treating women fairly is not done out of a raised conscience but only because of the raised cost of violating new legal standards.
Many organizations continue to diminish women even if they keep to the letter of harassment and equal opportunity laws. Let’s look at the largest and most influential groups in the world—the Catholic Church. Women cannot take any post of meaningful leadership, as they are not able to be priests. And why is this? Certainly there is no commandment from God or proclamation by Jesus on this subject. It is simply that the men of the church do not want to share the power and the riches. And sadly there is no legal, moral or societal pressure to make them share it. Which not only keeps women out of that workplace, it fosters that attitude of women as “less than” and second class. And directly results in policies that are contrary to the best interests of so many women. Birth control except for the unreliable rhythm method is still completely prohibited for anyone for any reason. As is abortion.
Of course, Mad Men hasn’t got into ecclesiastical gender politics; but it clearly and powerfully shows the historical position of women in the corporate workplace. And it makes me feel really good about all the positive changes. And makes me a raving mad woman about all the organizations, people, attitudes that are still wallowing in the patriarchies of the past.
While doing social media training here at the agency, I finally figured out why so many people do not respond or follow on Twitter...
They don't know how!
Although Twitter seems pretty self explanatory, especially to those of us that were in college when Facebook and MySpace first hit the social media scene, that doesn't mean everyone can follow along and quickly grasp the concept. For those who need the extra help, it means there will be some research involved... yes, you have to google how to twitter. Sounds like a simple enough request, right? Wrong. Most people look to social media because it should be fun, easy and exciting... not one of those words implies having to LEARN first.
I can now say from experience, that little effort to learn something new goes a long way to gaining a positive new tool to promote your business and yourself. Do you disagree? I'd love to see your thoughts.
P.S. If you can't get somebody's attention through social media like this poor man, maybe you should try a new tactic!
The thing that's kind of numbing about Facebook is the number of messages suggesting "I'm going to the refrigerator now." "I'm looking at my cat." "I'm thinking of going to a movie. hmmmm." It's like your dog has begun talking and you've suddenly learned he's dull. Geez. Disappointing. Friends have an obligation to be perky. Fun. Tell me something new. Show up interesting or stay home.
"If the client won't buy good work--try great."
I didn't suggest this first. One of my bosses at DDB said it to me many years ago. I don't know if it was original to him. (John Noble. A funny, smart, irreverent man who said lots of good stuff. May he rest in peace.) It may have come from Bill Bernbach (May he rest in peace.) who was infinitely quotable and said many things worthy of stitching on a pillow or tattooing on your arm.