Podcasts: Old is the New New

Don’t get me wrong, I love radio.

PodcastsSome of my earliest and fondest memories are radio-based: listening to late-night Mets and Knicks games (and some of their most epic well past bedtime), growing up listening to the talk radio that played in the house continuously (I can still do passable imitations of Bob Grant, Barry Farber and Malachi McCord), and in my high school years listening deep into the night to the surrealistic dreamscapes of the great radio monologist Joe Frank. Years ago I wrote a pilot for a radio series called Dick Mann Undercovers (wherein the eponymous Marlowe/Bond-like hero battles an assortment of arch-villains, including the Game Show Host, Abstract Expressionist and the French Chef — the latter threatens to turn the Hudson into bouillabaisse). I also co-hosted several nationally syndicated sports radio shows.

So yeah, I love radio and if given the chance could probably explain what I love about it. Still, I was perplexed by the unexpected rise in the popularity of podcasts over the past couple of years (in 2018, 48 million people listen to Podcasts weekly, up six million from 2017 — from Edison Research).

For the full article, visit https://medium.com/@BackBoneInc/podcasts-old-is-the-new-new-837a65b28031

Open Enrollment Goes Open Mic

(NSFW from the Summer issue of Workspan)

Let’s face it: Open enrollment is not something that gets the pulse racing, unless you’re actively fleeing the fast- approaching HR person who would like to have a word about it. And there’s nothing inherently funny about it, just as there’s nothing inherently funny about complex periodontal work. Still, as open enrollment nears, HR tries yet again to conjure “fun” ideas to make communications more interesting and engaging. So while open enrollment is not exactly the stuff of (intentional) sketch comedy, why not try some humor?

open enrollment

First, we’d recommend changing the font to Comic Sans.

Theoretically this is a pretty good idea. Adding humor to an otherwise pretty grim process is certainly different, and to the extent that you’re able to achieve your minimal objective — actually being funny — sure, why not … but realize that it’s tricky. The workforce is made up of people from various backgrounds with different ethnicities, religious sensitivities and, perhaps most importantly, widely divergent views on what is and isn’t funny.

As someone who specializes in communications and dabbles in humor, let me suggest: If you’re entertaining the idea of imbuing your open enrollment messaging with comedic touches, don’t worry about the content — well, worry about that later. First, focus on matching the comedic form to the segment of your workforce that’s most likely to respond to content in that genre.

For more: https://www.worldatwork.org/workspan/articles/open-enrollment-it-s-funny-business-if-you-ask-me

When the Biggest Risk is Playing it Safe

This is probably not news – certainly not to me in my other life as a recreational tennis player: most of us hate losing more than we take satisfaction in winning or potential gain. If I leave the court with a decisive 2 set win, I’ll spend the next 24 hours playing the best points in my head…then move on with my life. If I’m on the losing end, it becomes an all-consuming obsession, eating at me like a rolling toxic heartburn. For days.

In business, loss aversion is perhaps most evident – and powerful – in the embrace of the status quo. Change, any kind and any degree, is risky. This is one of the biggest challenges a salesperson must overcome.

Averting loss doesn’t automatically mean playing it safe – it’s the sales rep’s job to make the terrifying prospect of missing out the safe play.  For more, visit https://medium.com/@BackBoneInc/when-the-biggest-risk-is-playing-it-safe-306a3ac35f39