We Sent Invitations, but Forgot the Party

July 29, 2009

It seems I made a bit of a boo-boo in Digett's July newsletter, titled "Join our Launch Party." You see, we try to center our monthly missives around one theme, a practice that helps focus the conversation. Since we completed a number of projects toward the end of June, I thought it appropriate to highlight them and call it a "launch party," a minor mockery of the irrational exuberance of the dot-com boom of the late 90s.

Unfortunately, the title caused some confusion—there was no actual party. In my zeal to create a quirky and memorable theme, I committed a basic communications error by not being clear. I've even been told a couple of people were confused about how to R.S.V.P. for the party, which probably means I now owe some folks drinks and a cheese platter.

There's a bathroom on the right

I've already carped about how using business-speak, getting too casual in online language, or making basic errors can give your customers heartburn. But if you recognized the subheading above, you know there's also a price to be paid for a lack of clarity; poor John Fogerty has spent the last four decades trying to set the record straight on "Bad Moon Rising."

Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles have suffered similar misunderstandings. You may be thinking these shouldn't count, though, since they may not have affected perception of the group or performer. If that's the case, you might want to talk the Eagles about how some folks ran wild after "Hotel California" hit the charts.

Man executed after long speech

There's another class of problems, of course, that has everything to do with the creator—just ask the guy who composed the above headline. Sometimes, people misunderstand you; sometimes, you screw up. These things tend to happen when you're in a hurry or because you're too close to the writing. Both highlight the necessity of getting outside perspective on your copy.

Still, there will be times when things get by you, your proofreaders, your clients, and your cat. They may not even surface until some time later. Mistakes will be made, no matter what steps you take to avoid them, and you might as well prepare to eat crow every now and then.

That being the case, if you're a Digett newsletter subscriber and feel you were mislead last month, contact us and let me know where to send the cheese platter.