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CREATIVITY

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If people ate only what they needed.

There’d be enough food for everyone.

‘The Platform’ is a new film from Netflix.

It’s set in a deep, vertical prison.

There is one prison cell per level.

And there are two inmates per prison cell.

A food platform moves from top to bottom each day.

Pausing for two minutes on each level.

Food.

At level one.

The platform is richly laden with plenty of beautiful food.

Enough food in fact.

To feed every single person.

On every single level.

Levels. 

As the film unfolds.

We see those at level one eat what they want.

Then it is level two’s turn to eat.

And so on.

The Platform. 

The mind whirrs at the irresistible simplicity of the setup.

The fact that there’s enough food for everyone.

So long as those at the top eat no more than they need each day.

But of course.

Those at the top do eat more than they need.

And that’s the mirror.

The mirror for us all to look into.

Right now.

Covid-19. 

There is enough bread for all of us.

And milk.

And toilet roll.

Yet because some grab all they can carry.

Instead of only what they need.

Others go without.

Netflix.

None of us anticipated the virus.

None of us anticipated that Netflix’s ‘The Platform’ would resonate so profoundly.

And none of us anticipated that public opinion would so quickly reframe some of the most privileged ‘go-getters’ in our society.

Those that could help lots and lots of other people if they wanted to.

None of us anticipated that perceptions of these people would shift so quickly from seeing them as successful, accomplished and admirable role models.

To seeing them as distant, self-serving, smirking shits.

But it has happened.

And whilst I hope we all eventually forget the dark shadow that Covid-19 will cast over tens of thousands of families in the coming weeks.

I hope none of us forget those on the higher platforms.

Gorging.

Whilst those below them.

Go hungry.

True story. 

And one of the best stories you’ll read on the subject of ‘The Best Social Media Strategy of All’.

I think that ‘The Best Social Media Strategy of All’ has two parts.

Part 1. Be yourself – unique, unafraid and interesting.

Part 2. Wait. For the luck.

That’s it.

The National Cowboy Museum.

The National Cowboy Museum is in Oklahoma City.

Their Instagram page was looked after.

For about 2,000 posts.

By (I think) the internal comms team.

Then.

From about the 2,290th tweet.

To the 2,336th tweet (today).

It was looked after by The Head of Security.

During the holidays.

He’s called Tim.

Tim. 

Here’s how the engagement went.

Across consecutive, very recent posts.

Internal Comms Team. 386 likes. 5 comments.

Internal Comms Team. 233 likes. 3 comments.

Internal Comms Team. 293 likes. 5 comments.

Tim, Head of Security. 14,000 likes. 681 comments.

Tim, Head of Security. 4,432 likes. 89 comments.

Tim, Head of Security. 3,346 likes. 73 comments.

Tim, Head of Security. 3,250 likes. 57 comments.

Tim, Head of Security. 4,320 likes. 71 comments.

Tim, Head of Security. 54,500 likes. 188 comments. (Toy Story video. Take a look. Brilliant).

The engagement has stayed at 5,000 to 15,000 likes and 150(ish) comments.

Per post.

To this day.

Social Media. 

So.

Two things.

Part 1. Be authentic, unique, unafraid and interesting.

Part 2. Wait. For a bit of luck.

Take a look: https://www.instagram.com/nationalcowboymuseum/.

Go back 45(ish) posts (at time of writing) to Tim’s first post.

March 17th 2020.

Time to think.

You have that now.

Do with it what you will.

But if you decide that one of the things you want to do with your newfound headspace.

Is to turn your business into a brand.

Here’s where to start.

Silence. 

First.

Sit alone.

Silently.

Read what I’ve written below.

Then close your eyes.

And think about what I wrote.

Brand.

To be a brand is to unearth.

To stake a claim for.

And to then grow to stand for a unique and ownable perception in the mind of the consumer.

This perception will be simple.

Clear.

Relevant.

Distinct.

And compelling.

So compelling in fact that.

To those responsible for building the perception internally.

As well as to those we want to attract on the outside.

It becomes impossible to ignore.

This is what it means to be a brand .

Remember.

And remember.

Remember why building a brand is a fantastic thing to do.

It is because brand-rich businesses.

Are rich businesses.

‘Just heard this row.

In the kitchen.

It was scary!

First Voice:  I’ll just have 2 eggs thanks. I’m eating loads. Being in all the time.

Second Voice:  You want 5 eggs.

First Voice:  Sorry?

Second Voice:  You want 5 eggs. There are 5 eggs boiled in that pan. Eat them all.

First Voice:  Ha! No. Thank you. I’ll just have 2 eggs thanks.

Second Voice:  Eat 5 eggs. It’s OK to eat 5 eggs. And you’ll need a slice of toast as well. With butter. You can do that because eggs are good for you and because you love eggs with toast. And you love toast with butter. So eat all 5 of those eggs. With toast. And butter.

First Voice:  Look. You really aren’t listening. I’m eating loads. Being in all the time. I can’t eat 5 boiled eggs. And toast. And butter.

Second Voice:  Yes you can. Eat them all. You want to eat 5 eggs. And toast. And butter.

First Voice:  I fucking DO NOT want to eat 5 eggs warmed back up in the microwave. With salt and pepper. And toast from that brown seedy loaf. And the butter with bits of crunchy salt in that’s in the fridge so I can take my time and spread it in little slices on the hot toast.

Second Voice:  Yes you do.

First Voice:  I fucking DON’T.

Second Voice:  Yes you do.

First Voice:  I fucking DON’T.

Second voice:  Yes you…

First Voice:  OH ALRIGHT! I’ll each 5 fucking eggs and a slice of toast from that brown seedy loaf then. Spread with little slices of cold, salty butter so I can watch it melt before I eat it. Fucking hell. Are you happy now!? I’m already eating about twice what I ate before this fucking lockdown. And I’ve got you telling me to eat more and fucking more! Are you happy now?

Second Voice: Yes.

First Voice: Thank you!

PAUSE. 

 

Second Voice: There’s Creme Eggs on the sideboard.

First Voice: OH FUCK OFFFFFF!!!!

 

Row. 

Just heard this row.

In the kitchen.

It was scary!

(Particularly as I was the only person in house).

If you’ve never met me.

This image will serve as a detailed introduction.

Here.

Take a look: https://www.50odd.co.uk/winkle/.

Winkle. 

Izobel (aged 3) just talked me through it.

So I’ll do the same for you.

Here goes.

You have 2 eyes.

And a bald head.

You always have coffee in one hand.

And a creme egg in the other.

And your hair stands up.

Two arms.

Two legs.

Beard.

Winkle.

There.

That’s about it.

So if you see someone in the street matching this description.

It’s me.

Like all good stories.

It’s just a little tale to make you think.

And on this occasion.

For most of us.

It’s a story to make you think about the person or the people you’re cooped up with at the moment.

The people that are doing your head in.

Getting in your way.

Trying your patience.

And invading your space.

It’s a story to make you think about the person or the people you’re cooped up with at the moment.

Go here: https://www.50odd.co.uk/tribute/.

 

50odd.co.uk is 3,650 stories.

1 each day.

For 10 years.

50odd.co.uk is everyday stories.

Every day.

Writing.

Some of the 10,000(ish) people that have read 50odd each day.

Ask me things.

For example.

They ask me how I write.

And here’s what I say.

From a pseudo-technical perspective.

7 Points.

When I write.

(As I discovered when I asked myself the question).

I write with 7 things in mind.

  1. Confidence. When my confidence is high, this is the most powerful trigger for the creation of fluid, higher quality stories. State of mind. Is key.
  2. Not sandwiched. I write best when I am not sandwiching my writing time too tightly between additional tasks. The little stories need space.
  3. One thing. One story should be about one thing. So when a reader is asked what the story was about. They immediately know what to say.
  4. Top and tail. Tell them what you are telling them at the beginning. Then tell them what you just told them. Again. At the end.
  5. Find your unique voice. This will take time. But once you find it. Be conscious of what it is. And stick to it.
  6. Write less. Write a story. Then edit it to half the length.
  7. Write for you(ish). At least 80% of every part of your content should be for you. And the remaining little bit is born from a consideration of. And a nod to. Your audience.

That’s it.

When we choose to take downtime.

In usual times.

We should celebrate that.

But when downtime is thrust upon us.

As is happening right now.

We must be careful.

We must be careful because things grow in the new space.

In The Space Created.

And we must watch that.

We must watch what grows.

This.

Is.

An.

Opportunity.

An opportunity for you to grow something amazing.

Something brilliant.

Something new.

So stay connected.

Stay structured.

Stay driven.

So when you start again.

As you will.

Be it 1, 3, 6 or more months from now.

You do so from a position of strength.

Build a bridge from where you are now.

To the other side.

Recovery.

Can start today.

Here’s a nice photo: https://www.50odd.co.uk/tri-hard/.

Morgan, Debbie and Daymon are North East UK based film makers.

And their company is called Tri-hard Films.

Award.

I know Morgan quite well as he’s been a friend for 20 years.

I know Debbie quite well because she’s been my sister for 48 years.

And Daymon I know a little bit and – as I understand it – he’s an all-round nice chap.

Anyhow, they won an award this week.

A Royal Television Society Award.

In the Drama – Short Form Category.

For a film they made together called OBSESSION.

Mention.

I think that this is a great thing.

And worth a mention.

So there it is.

Mentioned.