Sing something simple – simplicity in business & PR

There’s a new trend in the world – Simplicity.

It crops up as the very latest word in business efficiency and as a working party of that name looking into streamlining in the BBC.

It sounds like a great idea to me, although in truth we’re probably looking at yet another bunch of highly paid consultants helping managers to take a scythe to/increase profitability within their businesses.

I like the idea of “simplicity” because if reminds me what a good idea it is to keep your message clear and stripped back. It is no mistake that the management consultancy that calls itself The Simplicity Partnership is made up of the people who used to run Clear, the brand consultancy.

A clear simple message is the cornerstone of good PR – the “story” must shine through, as I told my daughter this week while she was writing a composition for a school competition. Her tale was so complex and dashed off at such speed that the result was a postmodern stream of consciousness in which the actual story was still trapped somewhere in her head.

It was with a heavy heart that I told her that she should treat her audience as if they were idiots, but it did help her get the message that you have to spell everything out clearly and simply if you want to take  people along with you. Once the architecture of the story, the actual message in PR terms, was there, she could decorate it with lots of creative and descriptive writing, which is her great strength.

It’s odd, but I think my daughter found simplicity something of a cop-out, she seemed to think that the more sophisticated and grown-up she wanted to be, the more complex her work needed to become. I think we all fall in to that trap sometimes, which is why the management consultants are now out in force trying to get businesses to believe that simple really is best.


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