Richard: I LOVE IT! The sense of humor is so great that I had a smile on my face while I was reading the whole article- This article makes us remember that we are human beings and that we are dealing with human beings no matter what business we are in, it also reminds us that we should have some fun while doing our business. I also love the way the article is written in a story telling format that brings it close to the hearts of your readers. The call of action at the end is a nice complementing touch Cheers, Sahar Andrade
Is There Something Funny About Your Business? Hopefully It's You!
Times may be tough. But isn't that even more reason we need a good laugh? Besides, you may even attract a client funnier than you are.
Years ago I was the editor of an entrepreneurial magazine called the "Capitalist Reporter." We were a startup located in a low rent district on lower Fifth Avenue in New York City. Because it was a low rent district there were many "fringe" groups in the building advocating all sorts of political ideologies. One of these was a "Communist Committee" located just across from our offices on the same floor.
Just as we were expanding the Communists decided to leave the building and we took over their offices. I wrote and distributed a publicity release headlined "The Capitalist Reporter Takes Over the Offices of a Communist Committee." United Press International picked up the story and distributed it to newspapers all across the U.S. The resulting publicity helped put our name on the map.
We may be in a recession but it still holds true today that most people like a good laugh. Several of my favorite social networking business associates regularly send me funny quotes and one-liners and they are among the people I enjoy hearing from the most.
You don't really have to stretch for humor because it rears its head in nearly every business situation.
I recently asked a friend, a copywriter, what headline I should use for an ad I was planning to run for my Public Relations services. He said the headline should read: "Do You Hate Your Public Relations Agency?" I asked him why I should use that headline. He said: "Because everyone hates their Public Relations Agency." Sure enough, the ad was successful.
Granted, not everyone enjoys humor, but do you really want the grumpiest of clients?
Several years ago I was asked to give a talk on publicity to a state nursing home association. Nursing home owners, of course, are often not the most jocular of crowds--but I decided to start my talk out with a story I heard about the late comedian Milton Berle. As the story goes, Berle had been asked to perform at a nursing home. He entered the building and saw an elderly woman sitting on a sofa staring into space. He approached her and said "Excuse me, do you know who I am?" She responded "No, but if you go to the front desk they'll tell you."
I led off my talk with that story and it was greeted with gales of laughter. I ended up being rated one of the top speakers at the convention. After that experience I began adding more and more humor to my talks. The number of clients resulting from these talks increased and I credit the humor as having added to my likability. I also think that some of the success I experienced was due to the fact that my audiences expected only a serious discourse. The humor was icing on the cake. Had I been introduced as a comedian I likely would have flopped.
In summation, humor is as good for business as it is for your health so please let me leave you with these three thoughts:
Thought number one: How do we know what's behind the beyond? Very few of us even know what's beyond the behind?
Thought number two: Safety Warning: 90 percent of drivers were caused by accident.
Thought number three. For a while I tried being a magician. I would saw my assistant in half. But I had to fire her. She had a problem. She could never make ends meet.
(drum role). OK. If those made you cringe...send me your best jokes. Who knows? We may end up doing business together.
Learn more about the author, Richard Berman.
Comment on this article
Posted by Sahar Andrade, Burbank, California |
Jul 03, 2010
Posted by Lisa Ebner, Beaverton, Oregon |
Jul 05, 2010
Excellent point! We can put a man on the moon and time it with precision landing. What matters in this digital media revolution isn't technical capital, but social capital. Levity is refreshing!
Posted by Julie Weishaar, Nanuet, New York |
Jul 06, 2010
You are so right Richard. I so appreciate humor and wit and try to use it myself as often as I can. It is far better to laugh than to cry. LOL. Thanks for your refreshing article - it has put a smile on my face!
Posted by Carol Palmatier, Fenton, Michigan |
Jul 09, 2010
Richard, you always make me laugh :-)
"One never needs their humor as much a when they argue with a fool" ...or a cranky client.