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What catches your eye?

by Randall Craig on September 8, 2009

Filed in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet

Tagged as: , , ,

What can we learn from the world of advertising? That ads that are intrusive or annoying might stand out for some, but billions are spent each year, in every country of the world — surely something has been learned that can have direct applicability to us?

Effective advertising shares a number of key attributes. Consider this advertising checklist:

  • Is the ad matched to the intended audience?
  • Does the ad stand out from the noise of other ads?
  • Does the ad have a clear message?
  • Is it memorable?
  • Does the ad build on – and help define – the underlying brand of the product?
  • Is it free of silly mistakes?

All common sense, yet whenever we “advertise” our message, in proposals (or resumes), our efforts rarely measure up. We become lazy, relying on boilerplate, memorized presentations, and content that is irrelevant at best.

This week’s action item: It’s not just sales pitches that can be improved, but all of our communications: from simple emails, to resumes, to complex proposals. This week, make sure that whatever you say or write catches the eye (or ear) of the audience. Before you deliver it, run it through the advertising checklist first.

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

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



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 and

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