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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Brevity is the Soul of Business

Bill Joos' communications session last night at the Edinburgh University Business School was world class in teaching us how to get heard.

Bill is a VC and marketeer from Silicon Valley who gets 95,000 applications for funding. He and his team at Garage Technology Ventures whittle that down to 50 funded projects.

They have a high regard for education and ideas and a low tolerance of waffle.

He taught us how to nail the core business proposition in just 7 words. Once we'd done that we were allowed to add in a few more to smooth the sentence out, but the core is 7 words.

The father and mother of the 7 word pitch is the 27/7 speech contest - part of the annual Ig-Nobel Research awards for improbable research - research that makes people laugh then think.

In the 24/7 Lectures, several of the world's top thinkers explain his or her subject twice:

FIRST: a complete technical description in TWENTY-FOUR (24) SECONDS. It's fair to say the results wouldn't be riveting at a dinner party.

AND THEN: a clear summary that anyone can understand, in SEVEN (7) WORDS.
I particularly liked "greedy people competing make money" for economics.

Here's the video:

19th 1st Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony: Part 3 of 4 from Annals of Improbable Research on Vimeo.

PHPR's 7-word pitch is:
Publicity to attract customers to B2B businesses.

A close contender was: PR to get B2B businesses noticed.

The smoother version reads:
Online and off-line PR to attract customers and opportunities to B2B businesses.

There was a whole set of propositions as we added emotional force and cured the pain, but the core business proposition takes just 7 words.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK

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Anonymous Gillian Law said...

Great stuff! Sounds like a good session.

(Today I'm talking in seven word blocks!)

25 February 2011 at 08:52  
Blogger Penny Haywood Calder said...

Was brilliant and really nails USPs!

12 March 2011 at 16:34  

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