The medium is NOT the message.
It’s not about technology. Never was. Never will be.
It’s about your message. If content is king, context is most certainly queen.
What you say, how, where, when, and to whom you say it, are all more important than any technology used to convey your message. Technology is part of the context as it plays a role in delivering the message, a supporting role, not in the light, but rather the light that illuminates the subject – the message.
Many people seem to be confused about this simple formula, especially those who are enamored of every new technical method. Don’t get me wrong. Technology is great. But it’s just a tool. It is not inherently valuable in and of itself. Its value lies in extending our capabilities beyond our human dimensions. It can amplify our senses, enabling us to see and hear things impossible to otherwise. It can do massive calculations in milliseconds. It enables individuals to do things relatively quickly and easily. Things that used to require large numbers of people many hours to accomplish. Of course this is a good thing.
Technology may be cool, but it’s just a tool. However, it seems that the tools are becoming more important than what you can do with them. People are executing creative work and communications that do not have an idea at their core. No big idea. No idea at all sometimes.
Why? Because they can, and there’s a deadline to meet. There is a whole class of people who are employed in communications that know the latest technology, but have no ideas worth communicating.
Too harsh? I don’t think so. Take a look at most business-to-business communications – especially advertising. It’s dismal at best. Much of it looks okay, but it’s content is very basic and lacks any spark of creativity that might have been employed to call attention to it.
Why is this situation so prevalent? I submit that the technology itself is partly to blame. It’s just too damn easy to make something that looks professional with a high degree of finish. So people move from no idea to finished production – and it shows.
At the highest level, creative work is powerful in both strategy and execution. Creative professionals, on Madison Avenue and elsewhere develop and deliver creative work based on big ideas everyday. But the vast majority of local and regional work is just plain awful – especially business-to-business creative work.
And that’s too bad, because it doesn’t have to be that way. People who are responsible (read: paying) for the creation of professional communications should insist that nothing gets executed without a big idea driven by a sound strategy based firmly on their business strategy.
What’s the big idea? Actually having one. Communicating your message depends on it.