Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

“I’m excited to present this post to you.” [It’s OK when it’s meant]

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You’ve heard me share my displeasure with people using phrases like this in their news releases, product announcements and – yes – social media posts:

  • We are excited to ….
  • We are pleased to …
  • We are thrilled to announce…

top 10 finalistAnd then the announcement of some new development, hire, change or something else follows. I find that phasing quite market-y for the most part, but yet I’ve written copy like it before. For myself  and even organizations I’ve done marketing for. I used that kind of language when I shared on my different networks that this blog was a finalist in the Social Media Examiner’s annual Top 10 Social Media Blogs contest.

Perhaps a little bit of a double standard going on here? Maybe. I don’t like double standards so started thinking about this some more. When is it OK to say “I’m so excited…?” The answer is actually quite simple: When you ARE excited. It shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone that I am indeed super excited that my blog was picked for the final 20 from around 300 nominations.

Now, had I put the same in a news release and sent it out to media, put on PR News Wire, etc., that sentence’s intent might be different:

We here at The Authentic Storytelling Project Headquarters are extremely excited and pleased to announce that our blog is one of the top 20 social media blogs around.

(Insert three more paragraphs filled with superlatives and a quote from the CEO – me. LOL)

(Insert other usual news release stuff.)

I actually think there’s a place and time to do news releases, but it’s certainly a different kind of channel than social media. So the channel might matter, too.

Some people claim it’s bragging or a humble brag. Those are the same people usually that only complain that other people share their stories but they aren’t participating themselves.

Some of my own personal take-aways:

  • Remember that the intent matters!
  • It’s OK to change your opinion and be transparent about it
  • It’s totally OK to be excited! Even super excited. Beyond excited. Whatever – you get the point. Just make sure you mean it.

For people speaking on behalf of organizations – either as persons or behind the logo – remember that organizational “excitement” also should be exciting to the people involved.

While in general, I still feel we should avoid constantly announcing our excitement, pleasure, etc., in our daily social media correspondence, it’s quite OK to use that terminology from time to time. Just make sure you mean it and it’s believable.

Related: 

Intent matters – ask the people in prison for it!

Humble brags on social media

Words can have different meanings

Internal vs. external stories

The so-called organizational opinion


Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph ctrappe@christophtrappe.com 319-389-9853

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