Issue.8 - Copywriting for Crisis
Fighting for your future, one word at a time.
Ladies and gentlemen…
We are back.
*makes a trick with the drumstick*
Can you feel this longing?
*points it at the reader*
Is it coming from you?
*points it at the ground*
*points it at the sky*
*looks at the drumstick*
Longing for… what?
You know it…
I know it…
*throws the drumstick away*
Let them rain.
8.1 The Last Form of Expression.
And why this article will exist forever.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
You know where this comes from, right?
How do you know?
Well, because John wrote it.
The written expression has been humanity’s main method to transmit knowledge and wisdom through generations ever since a caveman decided to paint animals on the wall of a cave.
Because if information was to be only transmitted through speech, then most of the words would forever get lost in translation in a long broken telephone with a billionaire amount of phone calls. The true knowledge would be either forgotten or misrepresented. Like… boring gossip.
Back to the caveman! That guy was a true genius, wasn’t he?
Credit where credit's due.
No, not because he had some cool inventive skills, nor because he invented drawing, under no circumstance because perhaps he was trying to impress the cavewomen.
But precisely because he did it to teach the caveteens to be aware of the animals that presented a threat.
Even more so because he put himself into that drawing, he forever documented his vision and teaching to the cavecommunity of cavepeople.
What he did was simply absurd, do you know why?
Think about this: He did that approximately 45,500 years ago and here we are talking about him.
He made himself eternal. Timeproof.
Some people flex their muscles in the gym, wake up at 4 am, take cold showers, and eat the healthiest foods in order to get longevity.
This guy made a drawing on the wall and is younger than all of us.
“Yes Thi, but he didn’t write words, he drew symbols.”
That’s because symbols were the only language back then.
Now we have a massive amount of methods of expression and perfectly structured linguistics and visual tools at our disposal.
But absolutely nothing beats the simplicity of words.
Because written words are powerfully timeproof.
Hard to master, but fast to transmit a message. Any message!
Do you know who is your inventor of words?
No, not Johannes Gutenberg.
Call him or her immediately, there is a mission.
The typewriter is ready.
But first, here is a story.
The Way - Short Story
Shifu - Buddhist Monk
Valor - Lost Wanderer
You look up, the sun shines incessantly, your vision blurs, your face burns, your skin stings, your body feels dehydrated, your knees and spine bend, your hands rest on your leg and you begin to catch your breath.
Suddenly, you realize that you are following a path that no longer makes sense with the way you think today, who you are, your dreams, and your desires. There aren't enough flowers, plants, and trees decorating the sides of the road to make you feel good, the obstacles don't make any sense, your body feels exhausted, the ground hurts your feet, and the people who were supposed to be with you moved on without you because it didn't make sense for them to help or wait for you.
So you wonder. “Where exactly is this path leading me? When did I start following it? What is at the end anyway? Wasn't this supposed to be an adventure?”
Coming up behind you, a wise and old Shifu appears, walking with all the tranquility in the world, holding a staff in one hand, a scroll between his arm, carrying a full waterskin, and wearing a refreshing flannel outfit and a yellow cape that can be seen from far away, covering only one of his arms and shoulders,
— Greetings, my child, would you like some water?
— Please, sir. You just saved my life. Thank you very much.
— What is your birth name?
— Valor, it is. How about yours?
— People call me Shifu but my mother used to call me Little Buddha.
— I'm glad we've crossed paths, Shifu.
— You look exhausted, hang in there. I'm sure you're getting close to your destination.
— I don't know about that, I think I have been lost for a while.
— After all this progress and effort? What makes you want to give up?
— This path doesn't make sense to me anymore, I feel sick, weak, and alone. I don't even remember what or who is waiting for me at the end. This adventure was a lost cause ever since the beginning.
— Interesting, but is it about giving up or starting over?
— I just need a map, I need to understand where I am. Can you help me?
— What a beautiful coincidence, I have one right here. But is that really what you need, my child?
— The problem is that I don't see any signs around, and without a map, I might get lost again.
— Listen to the wise heart of these old words, my son. Said the Shifu as he kneeled down to meet the height of Valor, who was resting on the ground. — I understand that you don't want to take a risk with this decision, but maybe that's what it's about. Is it really a map you are waiting for, or do you lack the courage to explore the unknown, Valor?
Valor started looking at the ground, feeling like he had lost all words of his vocabulary while the Shifu continued.
— It's only after the risk has been taken that the new path will begin to make sense to you, the universe can’t help you if you don’t tell it what you want. If you are so stuck on an old path, you will never be able to start a new journey, the art of detachment is subtle and light, but it can only be cultivated in the bravery that dwells in the strongest of hearts.
— I don't know about that sir, it would be irresponsible to start trailing a new path without a map.
— Understand, my child, that there is a path set in stone for each of us. I ask you one last question: Do you really need this map if you can deeply understand in your thoughts that the guidance of your heart awaits you? It's all about trusting yourself, and in this brief conversation, my young one, I feel that you are destined for greatness.
— I think I understand now, sir. Thank you for this conversation, it's exactly what I needed.
— Take the water, you'll need it. Amituofo.
8.2 The Words of Your Boat
The boat in your words.
Meet me halfway, reader.
We have been talking about our boats, paddles, leadership, and a tsunami. All of those topics have been covered.
The compass is now in your hands. West, north, east, south…
The tsunami is coming from one of these directions.
It is time for your call. In what direction are we going to row?
“I have been thinking and I think we should…”
No! Please don’t say these words, write them. Otherwise, they can be forgotten amidst the noise of the waves from the sea.
What you are about to say is going to resonate throughout all the levels of your company, from top to bottom, from bottom to top, from right to left, and from left to right.
What you are about to say is going to establish the culture your collaborators will live in, the culture your partners will admire, and the reason that will make your consumers choose your brand.
Something so important should be written, and documented. Not said in a verbal conversation, not told in a zoom meeting, not yelled at your team because you delegate the blame and responsibility of having a paddleless boat to them.
It should be written in an email, in a treatise, in a manifesto, in a paper letter, in an agenda, in a memorandum, in a corporate newsletter, and in a poster at the entrance of your building.
Talking about the mission, vision, and values of your company is not just an exercise because if you are able to get them right, they will drive your company to absolute success.
But here’s a question: When was the last time you updated the mission, vision, and values of your company? If it is more than a year ago, then it is time to rewrite them. Otherwise, your company may be outdated.
Is your copywriter around? Here’s the assignment.
Vision / 1 Dream
The destination. The future your company is building.
How does a future with your company look and feels? If you close your eyes and imagine 20 years from now, what do you see? How many floors do your headquarters have? How many branches? How many brands? How many products and services? How many collaborators? What innovation did it bring to the world? What is the most unique thing about it? How does it help fight climate change? How it gives back to society?
Is it a better future for consumers, collaborators, the planet, just the company, or just for you?
Mission / 1 Journey
The assignment. The daily commitment in every action outside or inside your company.
The word "mission" comes from the Latin word "missio" which means "to send". When everyone, including you, wakes up in the morning for the daily commute, what is the true reason for doing that? A mission is an important assignment, it can either be an inspiring adventure or a long-lasting punishment. It is the guiding principle of your organization and represents what should be done.
How broad, scalable, bold, and tangible is it? There is always a sweet spot.
Valor / 6 Core Values
The guidance. The foundations that need to be constantly reinforced, the Vision's fuel, and the true arguments behind the Mission
The word valor derives from the Old French word "valour," which means "worth, value, or strength.”, your core values are the pillars that sustain the weight of your endeavors. They are the guidelines and requirements that assure your boat doesn’t stir away from the right direction.
Do they, in any way, give back the immense amount of human time, mental health, and natural resources the company spends to grow? Is there diversity and social inclusion?
Ethos / 10 AI Ethical Principles
The beliefs. The rules that your company implies and applies to the world and itself.
In Greek, "ēthos" refers to the moral nature or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution. If you will build a future that doesn’t yet exist and your company will be an important part of it, then you need to start asking what could go wrong if your dreams come true. In addition to the positive side, what are the negative impacts of your ideas, and how to mitigate them? The advent of AI technology will empower absolutely all the companies that know how to properly use it, but it should be used with responsibility.
If your company will innovate in such a disruptive way, then what rules it will end up breaking in order to do that? What rules will replace the old ones?
Research on AI Ethics: https://www.deepmind.com/publications/ethical-and-social-risks-of-harm-from-language-models
8.3 Pandora’s Box
A Fresh Digest on my latest discoveries and some other things.
8.3.1 In the Lenses of Thi
There’s a huge misconception nowadays in regard to what meditation is. It is mostly related to an immediate spiritual exercise and some apps teach us that meditating is about dodging our thoughts to find absolute silence and balance.
That is not what meditating is.
The word "meditate" comes from the Latin verb "meditari," which means "to think, contemplate, devise, or ponder."
To meditate is to think. Have a conversation with your thoughts and go through every single pending thing until you find yourself contemplative and free of worry. Like clearing a huge inbox of unread emails until you know a little bit more about yourself. Until you know a little more about the world.
If you think hard enough, there is a triad of questions that might show up at a given moment, these are the questions that every human being have tried to answer at some point in their lives. “Who am I?”, “What is life?” and “What happens after life?”.
If you skip these questions for long enough, you will find yourself in the short story told at the beginning of this edition.
If you ask them every now and then, you won’t get an answer, but at least you meditated on it and found a new hypothesis.
8.3.2 Chords 🎶
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About the Author
Made in 1996. Born & Raised Brazillian. Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Communication. Adept to autodidactism. Curious Soul. Published Author. Founder of Sentient.
That’s me in a nutshell but you can learn more about Agency and myself on the About page!
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