Friday, October 18, 2013

The First Rule of Communications

I woke up this morning, wandered into the kitchen and made a radical decision. I'd have tea rather than coffee to kickstart my day. Of course, it had to be the right tea. Not the sleepytime, fruity-tooty teas I drink at night.

English breakfast tea? Just the thing!
I boiled the water, brewed the tea and started sipping. I sipped. And sipped. And never felt that lovely jolt of, "I'm waking up and everything is possible with caffeine."

So I took another look:

Huh? Naturally decaffeinated? But it's breakfast tea!  
It's hard to see (and that's my point), but the label says "Naturally Decaffeinated." Why would Twinings make that hard to read? And why in the world would they think it's natural to take caffeine out of breakfast?

I don't care if you're writing, designing or talking with your beloved. Remember the First Rule of Communications:

Always think about your audience.

There isn't a single soul in England -- or anywhere else -- who wants decaffeinated breakfast tea. What we do want, at breakfast, is simple:
1. Respect for the fact that we're not fully awake, focused and functioning.
2. Packaging that doesn't require us to be fully awake, focused and functioning to read it.
3. Caffeine, so that we can be fully awake, focused and functioning.

Always think about your audience. Always. Who are you trying to reach? What do they know? What do they want? What do they want to know? What would capture their attention long enough to get them to hear/see/understand your message?

First things first, folks. It's not about you. It's about them. In this case, it's about me and my tea. See what happens when I'm deprived of caffeine? I start blogging again. Be warned. And feel free to make Constant Comments.


CJ Kennedy said...

Yup, decaf teas don't cut, day or night.

Bud Simpson said...

Bury that teabag monstrosity in the tulip bed, Jan. Decaf is the work of the devil. I'm totally jacked up on caffeine this morning and ready for another day of Sisyphean fun.