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The Art of Keeping Things Simple

 

We all know it – simple is best. It is a cross-industry fact that the most successful businessmen and women, musicians, sports people, journalists, media companies and indeed Meerkat comparison sites all have one thing in common; They focus on doing the simple things well. I myself have had countless debates and full blown arguments with friends on what is the main stumbling block for creatives, and we always agree that it often boils down to an urge to make things unnecessarily complex. And the same can be said for pretty much any profession.

On JOE’s recent podcast interview with Eric Cantona, the iconic former Manchester United footballer said; “Simplicity is the most difficult thing, like in football, the most difficult thing is to score a goal when 11 players touch the ball once and the last one puts the ball in the back of the net, so simple but so difficult.” What he’s implying is that simplicity is difficult to obtain and harder to maintain, but that’s where the creative and productive energy lies, not in over-complicating things to the point of losing their essence but in bringing them back to basics.

Musicians have echoed his thoughts, stating that the biggest hits have come from the simplest of writing processes, rather than almost trying too hard to create an obscure piece of art that, again, will not engage the average listener. Oasis’s Noel Gallagher, speaking to Evening Standard on the smash success of his debut solo album As You Were, had this to say on the matter; “It’s been mega. It’s not curing cancer. but there’s an appetite for a good album. The world moves so f***ing fast and everyone’s trying to reinvent the f***ing wheel. I’m not interested — the wheel’s alright.” It’s a typically honest observation from one of the most recognisable and successful figures in modern British music.

 

Film is another industry to suffer from over-complexity with more and more producers losing key audiences due to their commitment to creating works of art that are just so convoluted that they only appeal to a finite number of people. Anyone who had the misfortune of watching The Cloverfield Paradox earlier this year will know what I mean.

Unfortunately, in the increasingly tech-dominant media world we live in, the art of keeping things simple can also fall by the wayside amongst a myriad of complex techniques thought up to maximise reach to a target audience. Which is why here at 72Point, we let the content and coverage speak for itself.

Cision’s state of the media report indicates that if there’s one thing PR professionals can do to help journalists do their jobs better it is to ensure that any press releases they do send out have a clearly stated news hook. That was something 45 per cent of respondents said when asked how press releases can be more efficient. Writing conversationally is also important, as 27 per cent indicated that they dislike press releases that feel templated and include jargon. More simple quotes and multimedia elements would help, too.

An effective press release is creative and intriguing but for it to convey a message then it has to be simple enough for people to understand – something that is often forgotten in the PR industry. Toiling over creative briefs for weeks-on-end searching for the most complex idea wastes time and energy and often results in a solution that misses the mark because it’s far too convoluted to engage the general public.

It stands to reason that key messaging of clients could be potentially lost amongst a sea of confusing copy in a press release. At 72Point, our brilliant creative team craft stories with a dedication to simplicity, knowing that it’s what journalists want, and the results speak for themselves, with 5,269 pieces of coverage and 635,297 social shares in 2017 alone. When you know you have a winning formula, why over-complicate it?  



 

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