Friday, February 6, 2009

Telling your story to men in the 21st century

Notes from Dangerous Man Day 2009: Tell Your Story - Communicating To Men In The 21st Century

Class description: Remember UHF, rotary phones, the radio dial, and the postage stamp? Learn to tell your story in the brave new world of social networks, blogs, e-blasts, and more with communications maven Steve Chavis.

PREMISE: experience in traditional forms of mass media do not matter as much as facility and flexibility with new forms of media, including social networks. Some basic discipline, however, still apply.

the 5 W’s: Who, what, where, when, why

A verse from King David: “…promotion comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another.” Psalm 75:6,7


1. ISOLATION. (distance = safety).
2. BOTTOM LINE – men communicate via questions.
3. DESIRE TO WIN, men are goal or “challenge” oriented.
4. COMPARTMENTALIZE - men focus on either logic or emotions
5. ORDER - rules over relationships.
6. ANGER – men need safe place to express emotions.

Know your mission – honed to a “matchstick” version or 20-second elevator speech

Keep it LOCAL and UNIQUE (specific to your calling or niche)

Practice message discipline -- In any communications, avoid too many images, too many messages.
“We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective.” President Dwight Eisenhower, April 2, 1957

Call for action: give your audience easy, specific ways to get involved, do something.

Readers are looking for more personal revelations

Shorter messages and more often

Human language (Cluetrain Manifesto – Thesis #4, see HANDOUT, inside)
-Jargon is out, “insider” language is out, Christian-ese is out
-Dilbert / corporate speak is out, PR doublespeak is out
-Respect your audience – find the feeling is mutual

Note the transition from quality (excellence) to authenticity (transparency, humanness).

For a free copy of the E-book Communications Attitude – a study of Proverbs 15, e-mail

NEW AVENUES (Looking for immediate ROI?)
The future is now! Adaptation is key. The pace of technological and societal change has accelerated. Commit a portion of your time to study where things are going.

Today, the watchword is VIRALITY.
From technology guru Tim O’Reilly ( Note the way shifted the online media game by offering embed codes that allow anyone to post the videos at their own sites, and not require all visitors to come to (and their advertisers). It was a clear choice, and it has made YouTube far more prevalent in cyberspace.

(from Steve) Also note the way Adobe introduced their reader. The reading software (and other products) are free to everyone, and we love access to all those documents and articles on line as PDF files. But if you want to create PDF files (and other types of media files), you have to buy the creator software.

These new technology corporations understand virality. Project your product and make it easy to use. Content producers will always pay the price to reach large audiences. Are you willing to give away half of what you do, in order to see the other half go global? (Why is it that business is so much better at giving things away than the Body of Christ?)

Think about your audience. Understand your men. Observe. Survey. Ask. That will help shape which strategies you pursue with greatest return.

-Internet users between the ages of 35-54 now account for 40.6% of the MySpace visitor base, an 8.2% increase during 2006.
-Peaked in June 2007 with 7% of all Internet visits
-“Struggling societies” (lower income)
-4% more women visitors than Facebook
-More affluent “affluent suburbia”
-Growing to 1% of all Internet visits
-1.2 million visitors per month
-A weekday event, with weekend use dropping to half its weekday rate
-10% more likely to be male than the average internet user
-25-44 year old segments have found more value in Twitter and started to ramp up usage.

How many people can you reasonably be expected to keep up with?
Dunbar’s Number - the theory of anthropologist Robin Dunbar popularlized in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point (Back Bay Books, 2002.
-Theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom you can maintain stable social relationships – 150 as an upper limit.
-The larger the group, the more rules, limits, parameters.
-Drawn from size of the human neocortex, village size and migration, and behavior of non-human primates
-A different theory called the Bernard – Killworth number is 230.
-A guy in NY has 693 MySpace friends, but is creating strict rules about who he will accept, and promises to write 12 friends a day and eventually rotate through all of them.

- for e-blogger / Google
- – Wes Roberts, Rick Kingham
-Keep it short – keep it current (unlike this blog)

-Obama's amazing success built on the work of John Edwards in 2004,
-raised gobs of $$,
-sent messages aimed at their region, one message for states that border Mexico, a different message for Michigan – “Houdini Project” real time reporting on election, crossing off names within 30 mins. of their vote, to cull the call lists.
-Announce the VP pick via text message
-3.5 million Facebook friends

News, photos, - KEEP IT CURRENT
Use natural, intuitive flow to your pages

RSS – Longmont FYI
By e-mail address


From the “95 Theses” in The Cluetrain Manifesto
Levine, Rick, Locke, C., Searls, D., Weinberger, D. The Cluetrain Manifesto. Cambridge, MA. Perseus Books, 2000. (
1. Markets are conversations.

4. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.

18. Companies that don’t realize their markets are now networked person-to-person, getting smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation are missing their best opportunity.

21. Companies need to lighten up and take themselves less seriously. They need to get a sense of humor.

22. Getting a sense of humor does not mean putting some jokes on the corporate web site. Rather, it requires big values, a little humility, straight talk, and a genuine point of view.

38. Human communities are based on discourse – on human speech about human concerns.

50. Today, the org chart is hyperlinked, not hierarchical. Respect for hands-on knowledge wins over respect for abstract authority.

62. Markets do not want to talk to flacks and hucksters. They want to participate in the conversations going on behind the corporate firewall.

78. You want us to pay? We want you to pay attention.

91. Our allegiance is to ourselves – our friends, our new allies and acquaintances, even our sparring partners. Companies that have no part in this world, also have no future.

Gladwell, Malcolm. The Tipping Point. Boston. Back Bay Books, 2002. (

Levine, Rick, Locke, C., Searls, D., Weinberger, D. The Cluetrain Manifesto. Cambridge, MA. Perseus Books, 2000. (

Tancer, Bill, “MySpace v. Facebook: Competing Addictions.” 2007, New York.,8599,1675244,00.html

Moskalyuk, Alex, “Age Demographics of MySpace visitors.” 2006

Freiert, Max, “Twitter Traffic Explosion: Who’s behind it all?” 2008.

SOURCES AND RESOURCES (the technology place for non-profits) TopRank’s internet marketing blog on the intersection of digital PR, social and search engine marketing. (Steve’s business communications blog) (Steve’s personal blog commentary)

MEN’S MINISTRY WEBSITES (from my bookmarks)

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