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A New York state of mind

by Randall Craig on June 28, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Blogging, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Presentations

Tagged as: , ,

How would you describe a typical New Yorker?  More likely than not, you wouldn’t use the same words to describe someone from Los Angeles, or from a small mid-western town.

People are a product of their environment, and often will take on the mindset, attitudes, and perspectives of where they are from.  (They also take on attributes based on their culture, upbringing, and many other factors.)

There are two ways we can use this information:

1) When we write or present a topic, we can focus our content and style for the specific audience, tying into their collective experience. A reference to the Yankees means something very different to New Yorkers than Parisians.

2) If we don’t know who our audience is precisely, we can pretend that we do:  How would someone from New York react?  Someone from San Francisco?  Or from Geneva, Switzerland?  Predicting their reactions helps us finesse our communications – and possibly avoid embarrassment.

One caveat: every reader (or audience member)  is an individual; be careful not to stereotype, or you’ll lose all of the credibility you hoped to build.

This week’s action plan: When you need to create the new (or solve the old), select several cities – or cultures – and consider the challenge from their perspective.  Having a New York state of mind is a powerful way to improve your creative output.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com

How would you describe a typical New Yorker?More likely than not, you wouldn’t use the same words to describe someone from Los Angeles, or from a small mid-western town.

People are a product of their environment, and often will take on the mindset, attitudes, and perspectives of where they are from.(They also take on attributes based on their culture, upbringing, and many other factors.)

There are two ways we can use this information:

1) When we write or present a topic, we can focus our content and style for the specific audience, tying into their collective experience. A reference to the Yankees means something very different to New Yorkers than Parisians.

2) If we don’t know who our audience is precisely, we can pretend that we do:How would someone from New York react?Someone from San Francisco?Or from Geneva, Switzerland?Predicting their reactions helps us finesse our communications – and possibly avoid embarrassment.

One caveat: every reader (or audience member)is an individual; be careful not to stereotype, or you’ll lose all of the credibility you hoped to build.

This week’s action plan:When you need to create the new (or solve the old), select several cities – or cultures – and consider the challenge from their perspective.Having a New York state of mind is a powerful way to improve your creative output.

About 

Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

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