Why You Need Clear Call-to-Actions (And to Wash Your Dishes)

By Yakesha Cooper, Associate Account Executive

I have a confession.

We had a terrible habit in our office. Amid the busyness of agency life— tending to clients’ needs, developing content marketing strategies and chasing down reporters — no one (except me because I’m perfect) washed their dishes. As you can imagine this did not always make for good office aesthetic.

There were many failed attempts on the part of our office manager to get everyone to clean up after themselves, but his threats always landed on deaf ears. Then, one morning I stumbled into the kitchen fully prepared for my day-starting-routine: I was to search for my water bottle, likely buried in a pile of dishes, get the water pitcher and store my lunch in the fridge. Much to my surprise the kitchen sink was empty. Clean. Spotless. Not a dish in sight.

I searched for the magic fairy who had obviously grown tired of our aversion to dish washing except there was no magic fairy. Instead there was a sign taped to the cabinet right above the kitchen sink. “Wash Your Dishes.” It was that simple. And you know what? From that day forward we remembered, we washed our dishes.

See, it wasn’t that we wanted our office kitchen to be unkempt and littered with the uncleanness of dishware. The problem was dishwashing appeared a low priority. Before the sign nothing served as a visible and tangible reminder to take action. Once the directive was staring us in the face it was too hard to ignore.

Marketing and communications messaging works similarly.

We all know how crowded the media landscape has become, which means we all know how increasingly difficult it is to get your message across. Businesses and organizations are in search of the golden ticket to unlock the messaging matrix. How do we get consumers to make the purchase? How do we get them to sign up for the newsletter? All valid questions asked of c-suite executives.

My office manager found the very simple answer; make your call-to-actions both clear and visible.

The common mistake business and organizations make in messaging amplification is shouting into the media abyss without an end game. Writing press releases and sending tweets are futile pursuits if you’re not providing specific instructions for your target audience. It is even more invalid if that directive is hard to find.

If you want your target audiences to buy your product, sign up for your newsletter or wash their dishes make the message clear. Give them a call-to-actions they can both see and understand.


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