Break Perceived Rules

As much as I love the marketing industry, there are a few things about it that irk me. One of which is the notion of perceived rules: they are perceived because there are no real repercussions for breaking them other than perhaps pissing someone off (which might be a good thing).

Rules about writing. About what you should and shouldn’t do in social media. Or about certain styles or approaches to communication. The truth is none of this stuff is immutable and you should break as many of the perceived rules around you as possible just to see what will happen. Especially if you aren’t sure why the rule exists. If you provoke change, you’ve already won.

That’s half the point of learning isn’t it? That’s why we chose marketing or PR: because we like to experiment, try things out, communicate different concepts to see what happens and use data to improve. But the actual rules part and how you execute is less formal than you think it has to be. Just go.

Does your organization have an insane rule about something they do with their communications processes that always bothered you? Something seriously getting in the way of reaching your market? It was probably put there by a legal team, a legacy generation marketer or even worse it is a political thing. Here’s your call to action: be like Jack Bauer and break the rule. See what happens. Especially if it is in their interest: permission, not forgiveness, always.

Those embracing improvisation and creativity will dominate those who refuse to get agile with their communications. The traditionalists are going to have to break a lot of rules to maintain relevancy and that’s a good thing. Perceived rules were meant to be broken.

In a world where startups are designing their communications to be effective from the ground up, your legacy organization is screwed if you’re going to hold on to your sacred cows. Time to change or be ignored.

Break things. Then make them better.

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