Account for the Twitter factor in marketing

    Attention spans have shrunk. Twitter has fundamentally redefined concise communication. However, even a 140-character tweet is too long if information doesn’t interest an audience.

    Appropriate length is determined by the relationship between communicator and recipient, and where a company is in its launch lifecycle (awareness, interest, understanding, trial or preference).

    As a general rule, less is more. Limit an e-mail to two paragraphs, a commercial to 30 seconds, a news release to one page and a Web video to two minutes.

    More is more only with killer creative, copy or execution. For example, Johnnie Walker (famed Scotch whiskey brand) released a six-minute Web commercial. This brilliantly filmed, single-shot video has garnered 184,000 views.

    This long commercial moved me from minimal interest in the brand, to greater understanding and probable trial. A successful creative endeavor!

    Know your audience. Quench their need for the right information and let the value of your communication determine length.


    Anna Baxter Kirk, public relations group leader at Bader Rutter & Associates, writes a weekly "Marcom A to Z" post for the company’s blog, Converge.

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