Swearingen Communications Insights

Fresh ideas, seasoned perspectives, and solid marketing strategies to keep you grounded and growing.


An October Ode To Engagement

In addition to crisp weather, baked apples, crimson foliage, and Halloween, October is  official poetry month.  October 6 is National Poetry Day.  Having loved poetry since childhood, I’m thrilled that we officially recognize the expressed stirrings of our souls once a year.

We all know that poetry ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. “Ode to Advertising” is one of the sillier poems I have encountered through my work.  Yet it packs powerful insight:

“The codfish lays ten thousand eggs, the homely hen lays one;

The codfish never cackles, to tell you when she’s done.

And so we scorn the codfish, while the humble hen we prize.

Which only goes to show you, that it pays to advertise.”

The reason this poem has stuck with me is because it’s so true. I frequently meet  quality professionals who “lay ten thousand eggs,” but few know about it. I also encounter not-so-humble hens who make laying one egg sound like the most valuable skill set in the workplace.

What’s the difference?  In most cases, it’s under communicating. The great thing about today’s digital age is that anyone can connect directly with clients, colleagues, and centers of influence.  Expertise can be shared across a variety of platforms, for a fraction of what it once cost. Engagement has essentially eclipsed advertising in attracting and influencing others.

If you’re a high-achieving, under-communicating professional, you’re in luck. Never before have you had so many opportunities to engage.  Just a few of your options are relevant website content, blogs, email, video, and other social media tools.

October may be National Poetry Month.  But in today’s world, I believe that every month needs to be “Engagement Month.”