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April Fool's Day - What is your "War of the Worlds"?
By Edi Osborne - CEO Mentor Plus
Let’s assume you are too young to remember (or to have heard about) the 1938 infamous broadcast by Orson Wells based on the novel by H.G. Wells,
The War of the Worlds
. Although the radio broadcast took place on Halloween, it could have easily been an April Fool’s Day prank. What made the broadcast so believable was the format; it involved a series of news bulletins detailing the invasion of planet Earth by Martians. The broadcast led to varying degrees of public panic during the transmission followed by even more uproar afterwards. It took several days to debunk the prank since we didn’t have Twitter or newsfeeds to instantly clarify what was real and what was not. Orson Well’s prank could be viewed as an early example of a social media virus run amuck.
These days we get an annual flu shot to avoid a catching a real virus and yet, from a marketing stand point , we pray for the day our message/cause “goes viral” in the media. What message are you putting out to the social media universe? Is it a message you want to go viral? If you could start a viral message for your firm what would it be?
Viral headlines/messages to
avoid at all costs
Client flips out (goes postal) over missed deadline
70% of bills go out with a fee surprise inside – and we’re not talking Cracker Jack.
30% of staff walk out the door on March 1 leaving clients scrambling for new accountant
Staff mutiny forces partners to sell practice at a discount
Viral headlines/messages that would be
There is a year long waiting list of prospects hoping to sign on with YOUR FIRM
YOUR FIRM receives recognition by U.S. Chamber for “Business Champion of the Year”
Accounting grads line up to interview at YOUR FIRM
85% of YOUR FIRM’s clients did not experience any recessionary set backs
15% of YOUR FIRM’S billable time is “donated” to clients to help them ride out the recession
Independent study shows YOUR FIRM has had a significant impact on the health of local businesses and YOUR CITY’S economy
Wall Street Journal profiles YOUR FIRM on front page
Warren Buffet invites YOUR FIRM to speak at business growth Symposium
Have some fun with this concept and post an unbelievable (but possible) headline/message for your team to see. Then watch the team’s reaction. As you tell them the truth, ask the question, “What would have to happen for this headline to be true?” Let that discussion guide your firm improvement strategy going forward. Orson Wells made a name of himself by playing out an outrageous scenario over the radio. YOUR FIRM can enjoy the same notoriety, but without the negative spin, by seeking to take a seemingly outrageous claim and turning it into reality.