The Sunday Letter, 6 Jan 2019

Put in a real lawn, and water it.

Happy new year! (Also, happy New Moon!)

This year is a no-BS, take-no-prisoners kind of year. Therefore, I’m going to call you out today if you ask your people to create ‘authentic’ content or experiences.

You won’t like me ordering you to be quiet about it, but I do it for your own good. Here’s why. If you want ‘authentic’ content, or an ‘authentic’ experience, then you actually have no idea about how to be yourself. You have no idea about how your brand is supposed to act.

It’s like fake grass.

Yesterday on my evening walk, I saw a beautiful garden. But at the base of it was this lush-looking grass… with wrinkles in it. It was fake. It screamed, ‘I am not a gardener, I got someone else to do this, this beauty is all to make me look good’.

Fake grass is what people put in place because they don’t want the hassle.

Wanting ‘authentic’ content or experiences is exactly the same. It says that you want to paste in some false thing in place of doing the work. Just like fake grass, it raises the heat inside, because what appears to be is not what is. It increases stress and pressure, and what you deliver won’t match your (possibly wrinkled) exterior.

If you don’t want the hassle of meaningful, important content and experiences, those who DO the hard work will beat you in the race.

Deservedly so, in my opinion.

Until next week ~
Leticia, HRH the Queen Pixie.

PS. Enjoy the new format of the Sunday Five!

Tip of the week

If you’re going to persist with social media in 2019, calculate how many hours you spent in 2018 vs the value you and your clients got in return. If you can’t calculate it, your first job this year is to put in a table to keep records. Go. Right now. Otherwise you’ll have no idea again this time next year.

The Sunday Five

Below are 5 articles we think you’ll love this week. Every one was published in the last 7 days. If you find any gems during your week and want us to share them, email them to hello@brutalpixie.com.

[ SocialMedia ] WeChat plays follow the leader

The Luxury Daily this week published a story about how WeChat is following the social media giants by adding a ‘stories’ feature. ‘Stories’ really mean ‘disappearing content’. More than a billion people in 70 countries use WeChat, and many in China use it exclusively to interact with brands. The Luxury Daily suggests that getting on this train is a good idea if you’re in luxury. I suggest that if you’re not there and want to be, design a pilot and test it intelligently before you put resources into it.

Read this article here.

[ Storytelling ] Warwick Roger ran against most publishing, most journalism, and succeeded

Last year, the kiwi journalist Warwick Roger died, and the NZ Herald’s Simon Wilson pays tribute to this big story of 2018. Warwick Roger, like all of publishing’s greats, had some rules. They were: ‘…employ the best and insist they be the best. Be original. Write for grown-ups. Write it long. Tell the truth. Have some fun. You don't have to be nice.’ It’s true that most publishing, or journalism, isn’t like that. I can tell you that most business publishing isn’t like that either. If you have the courage to establish firm rules for your business’s publishing that are even a shadow of these ones, they’ll stand you in good stead. This is an excellent read, by the way.

Read it here.

[ Law ] Winners of the 2018 ABA Techshow Startup Alley Competition were announced… and they’re fab

So, LawSites this week listed all of the tech startups who won prizes at the ABA TECHSHOW Startup Alley Competition. There are a bunch of samey document formatting (yawn) startups, but there are also some killer ones. Like the messaging app for separated parents, which disallows editing, deletion, or manipulation of messages by either party; and a blockchain solution that creates fingerprints of your digital assets that apparently can’t be falsified. These two are potentially groundbreaking, maybe one of you lawyers can convince me that the others are, too. ;)

Check them out here.

[ Teams ] A whole lot of industries are seeing the value in having remote workers.

This week Business Insider listed nine industries that are experiencing an explosion in remote workers. Some of them might surprise you - like science, maths, engineering, and project management. The others - marketing, real estate, law, etc - are really a no-brainer. Yet while this is great for flexibility, access to talent, and much more, I predict that this is going to swing back the other way once it hits a critical mass. Then we’ll all be excited about ‘going to the office’ and having a desk someone else pays for. Ha! Truthfully, I LOVE that more project managers are remote. It’ll make them way more efficient, because they’ll be forced to be.

Go through the list here.

[ Insider View ] Intercom publicly dissects its lessons from product and design in 2018.

You guys know that I am a huge fan of open companies. Even if Intercom isn’t one that you’d put at the top of the list, this deep-dive, public article, in which they dissect what they learned from what they did last year, absolutely counts. The discussion about ‘design operations’ matches the ‘content operations’ trend in our content strategy industry: The acknowledgement that the systems driving or enabling another function are critical - and that the overall velocity of the business increases even as the operations themselves become less visible. This article is critical reading for you if you are a C-Suite executive, founder, or owner because you’ll learn a bunch of lessons to apply in your own world in 2019.

You can read it here.

Who do you know in engineering, law, accounting, or health, who could benefit from an amazing case study?

From 28 Jan - 8 February, I’m hitting the road in Victoria to go and have conversations with services businesses about their content operations. Who do you know in engineering, law, accounting or health, that could use an amazing case study for their portfolio or sales? Email hello [at] brutalpixie.com to let us know.