“Oriental Poppies”, 1927 oil on canvas by Georgia O’keeffe

Years ago I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the home of the Georgia O’keeffe Museum. I visited the museum several times during that period and to this day I remember a quote of hers that hung on a gallery wall next to a giant painting of a lily… (I very much paraphrase here), “People just assumed I loved flowers. But I don’t. I had looked at the huge buildings in New York and how their size is the reason that everyone was enraptured by them. So I decided to paint really large flowers.”

She’s been quoted elsewhere saying, “I’ll…


photo credit: Jason Rosewell

Engagement isn’t a given. While some marketers are blessed with a receptive audience of cheerleaders for their branded content, others are not so lucky. From advocate to antagonist, the reality is that our audiences exist on a spectrum of sentiment.

But what if your audience seems to be stuck in the awful territory of “negative brand sentiment”?

Fortunately, most audience sentiment is not at all static. It has the potential to evolve, and any shift will largely be in response to how and what you communicate, or what you’re doing or not doing.

Public speaking experts often break this audience…


photo credit: Joel Mwakasege

I’ve often observed an assumption among marketers, or anyone involved in content creation really, that “emotional” stories are primarily sad stories. That the only route to authenticity, a fundamental requirement of good content, is through the tears.

The advice, and it’s good advice, is that the most effective method of engaging and connecting deeper with your audience is through the heart. “Move from rational to emotional engagement” is wisdom we’ve been touting for a long time.

But the route to the heart has many paths, and often the more obvious paths yield thinner more substitutional stories. …

Katie Boyts

producer and writer in Melbourne, Australia.

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