Monthly Archives: April 2011

That’s not what I meant

We’ve all been there. Something we write in an email, letter, or casual tweet gets misunderstood. Or perhaps, we’re the ones who have misinterpreted something a friend or colleague wrote. No matter how clear we think we are in our writing, misunderstandings happen. When they do, open communication is vital to resolving the issue as quickly as possible.

 But how can we keep misunderstandings to a minimum?

Context is key. When you compose an email or tweet, the recipient can’t see your face or hear the tone and inflection of your voice. They must rely on your words alone to guide them in interpreting what you’re trying to say. If the recipient knows you well, they may be able to infer meaning more easily, based on previous interactions, but even then, misunderstandings can occur.

To minimize miscommunication, keep your writing concise.  Stick with the facts, and move on.  Use humor cautiously, particularly dry humor that may be seen as being flip, curt, or rude.  Save the jokes for face-to-face situations, when your body language and vocal inflections can help in interpreting your words. And try to craft questions that cannot be accidentally read and interpreted in a different way than you intended.

A humorous example of this occurred around the turn of the last century. William Randolph Hearst made a bid to purchase a competing newspaper. He asked his rival for a selling price, to which the man replied, “Three cents daily. Five cents Sunday.” Obviously, the rival knew what Hearst meant by his question — and by answering the way he did, basically let Hearst know the paper was not for sale — but this does go to show that the same question can have more than one meaning if interpreted differently.

Of course, it’s not just what you say that matters; it’s how you say it. When communicating in writing, it’s important to know the subtleties of the medium you’re using. For example, most people now know that writing an email or Facebook post in all caps is often equated with yelling. For a medium like Twitter, with its 140 character limit, the challenge often comes in trying to say too much in such a confined space. When composing a tweet, it’s easy to inadvertently gloss over some of the details, in an effort to save space. Make sure you’re not losing meaning — or raising confusion — for brevity’s sake. If you can’t adequately say what you need to say in the space provided, choose a different medium

Joe Gasss @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Suite G, Charlotte, North Carolina 28269 * 704-551-0700     www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

 22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650 *                 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

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Wide Format – Signs, Banners & Banner Stands, Displays, Posters, Wall and Window Graphics, Vehicle and Floor Graphics, Backlit Signs, Retail Point of Purchase, End Caps and Toppers, On-Site Installation, Kit Packing and Fulfillment

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Lessons from the new google chrome

Several weeks ago, Google unveiled a new, simpler icon for its Chrome web browser. In a blog post explaining the change, Google designer Steve Rural wrote, “Since Chrome is all about making your web experience as easy and clutter-free as possible, we refreshed the Chrome icon to better represent these sentiments. A simpler icon embodies the Chrome spirit – to make the web quicker, lighter, and easier for all.”

Whether you love it or hate it, the new Chrome icon provides an important lesson to corporate marketers: When creating logos, color schemes, and icons to represent your brand, make sure those symbols represent the core values you want people to associate with you.

Another lesson comes in the way Google went about creating its new Chrome icon. “Redesigning the icon was very much a group effort,” Rural continues. While you probably should put together a core team of designers and marketing people who will have the final say in creating your corporate brand, don’t overlook ideas from “outsiders” in your organization (customer service people, salespeople, product developers, etc.) who might bring a different perspective to the discussion.

And finally, make sure your new identity translates well both online and off. “It was important to maintain consistency across all media,” Rural concludes, “so we kept print, web, and other possible formats in mind.”

One way to ensure a strong print-based presence for your new logo, icon, or color scheme is to involve a printing firm, like ours, early in the design process. As print professionals, we can help you choose colors that are attractive, cost-effective, and easy to reproduce, so you don’t wind up spending more than you hoped to for less-than-ideal results.

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Suite G, Charlotte, North Carolina 28269 * 704-551-0700     www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

 22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650 *                 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

 Veteran Owned and Operated

Wide Format – Signs, Banners & Banner Stands, Displays, Posters, Wall and Window Graphics, Vehicle and Floor Graphics, Backlit Signs, Retail Point of Purchase, End Caps and Toppers, On-Site Installation, Kit Packing and Fulfillment

Offset and Digital – Newsletters, Magazines, Publications, Catalogs, Conference and Meeting Materials, Brochures, Rack Cards, Presentation Folders and Direct Mail

Remember It with an E-mail

If you’re looking for an easy way to ensure important items and events don’t get forgotten, an e-mail reminder service may be just what you’re looking for! One such example is Followup.cc , an easy-to-use reminder service to help keep you organized. While this service is great for e-mails you want to be reminded of in the future, it also offers much more, such as convenient reminders for meetings, birthdays, anniversaries, medical appointments, and other important events!

For example, if you have an upcoming dentist appointment on August 21st, you can send an e-mail to August14@followup.cc that says “Dentist appointment next Thursday at 1pm” and another e-mail to August21-9am@followup.cc that says “Dentist appointment today at 1pm.” The reminders also feature a “snooze” option that will let you easily archive the reminder and set it to remind you in 30 minutes or more.

Once you register and set your time zone, you simply CC or BCC your e-mail to specify when the reminders will be sent. Here are a few examples of how to select a reminder:

  • August21@followup.cc = August 21
  • Monday-9am@followup.cc = Monday at 9am
  • 3months@followup.cc = 3 months from now
  • 2days@followup.cc = 2 days from now

If you add the follow-up e-mail address to the “To:” or “CC:” field, everyone who receives the e-mail will also receive the reminder. If you add it in the “BCC:” field, only you will receive the reminder. It is important to remember to add reminder@followup.cc and contact@followup.cc to your contact list to prevent your reminders from going to your spam box.

Followup.cc offers more than other e-mail reminder services in terms of usability and customization. Once a reminder has been set, you can log into your Followup.cc account to view, edit, or delete reminders from your calendar. You also receive a configurable confirmation e-mail every time you set a reminder (which can be easily disabled). A settings page also offers links for adding reminders to your RSS reader or calendar, and features a bookmarklet that allows you to set follow-up reminders on web pages.

We know your days are hectic, so whenever you need printing in a hurry, give us a call! We’ll save you time so you can focus on other important business tasks.

___________________________

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Suite G, Charlotte, North Carolina 28269 * 704-551-0700     www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

 22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650 *                 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

 Veteran Owned and Operated

Wide Format – Signs, Banners & Banner Stands, Displays, Posters, Wall and Window Graphics, Vehicle and Floor Graphics, Backlit Signs, Retail Point of Purchase, End Caps and Toppers, On-Site Installation, Kit Packing and Fulfillment

Offset and Digital – Newsletters, Magazines, Publications, Catalogs, Conference and Meeting Materials, Brochures, Rack Cards, Presentation Folders and Direct Mail