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Employer Brand Headlines: The "Appitite" Edition (#94)

Employer Brand Headlines: The "Appitite" Edition (#94)
My mission: Help you understand your employer brand better and make it work for you.

In this issue
  • Beyond quality!
  • Grabbing attention!
  • Talent tsunami!
  • Infinite games!
The big idea
Did you know there’s a typo in the US Constitution?
Did you notice the stormtrooper bump his head into a doorway in Star Wars?
Did you see the Starbucks coffee cup in Game of Thrones?
It turns out, there are mistakes… everywhere. They happen in some of the world’s greatest works of art, entertainment, and philosophy (and… GoT, I guess).
There were 55 people at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, looking at Hamilton and Jeffersons drafts and there were still errors.
How many people were at the Game of Thrones and Star Wars shoots and how many people saw edits as they were produced?
Why point this out? Because these things, with their hundreds of eyes and dozens of drafts, objectively aren’t “perfect.” So? Well, the definition of the word “quality” is that it meets specifications and expectations, that the thing is free of defects. Thus, these things have an imperfect quality.
But that doesn’t stop those things from being effective. Or attractive. Or interesting. Or valuable.
In fact, George Lucas has spent millions and millions of dollars to “perfect” the very Star Wars, only to make it worse with every revision.
Look at a Jackson Pollock painting with its paint dribbled from the butt end of a paint brush in semi-chaotic patterns. Do you think Jackson wanted every single blop and line to be exactly there? How precise was each toss of the paint? It’s safe to say that his paints don’t have a high level of quality, but that didn’t stop one for being sold for $200M.
But here we are, in a world where we can undo every stroke of an Illustrator pen or Photoshop filter with a single keystroke. Where you can edit together two videos in seconds and then move that edit with a wiggle of your mouse. Where Grammarly can virtually stare at your screen and alert you to a misspelling less than a second after you made it. (Yes, Grammarly just told me that misspelling has a second S in it.)
We’re almost in a world beyond quality because quality is relatively easy to achieve. I can write an entire novel without a single typo. But does that make the novel worth reading?
So what’s left? How about building something that connects? Or resonates? What if you focused on writing something that changed the way people saw the world?
Sounds great, but you don’t achieve that through a lack of typos. High quality means “effectively perfect,” but that doesn’t mean useful.
Don’t get me wrong. Typos often throw the reader. But what if what you were writing were so engrossing and brain-melting, that no one cared about the typo? If you can fix the typo, fix it. But if I had an extra hour of time for something, I’d spend my time making it feel right than being “right.”
The trick isn’t to make typos or ignore typos, but to understand that no amount of typo-fixing makes boring writing better. You can’t copy-edit your way to great messaging.
You and I aren’t in the “typo-free text” business. We’re in the “resonance and engagement” business.
Attention Grabbers. If you were ever going to write a real job advert
Getting Ahead of the Looming Employee Exodus 
The Real Value of Your Brand Community
Without Purpose, You’re Hurting Your Product, Your Brand, and Yourself
Ad Aged: We've forgotten how.
To Make Real Progress on D&I, Move Past Vanity Metrics
What Does Organizational Culture Mean for a Remote Workplace?
How noisy is your company?
Become Happier in Work and Life: The Four-way View
The Anxiety of Influencers
What's going on here, with this human?
Quick hits
Tip of the week
Open some AMA office hours with all your stakeholders. Booking 30-60 minutes every few weeks and optional inviting all your recruiters, marketers, comms folks, hiring managers (who now you) and saying you are there to help, to answer any questions they may have, to let them vent their challenges (and uncover new opportunities for you) is a great (free!) way to engage your advocates and present yourself as a leader.
Inside the fortune cookie
“What seems like a difference in talent often comes down to a difference in focus. Focus turns good performers into great performers. Two keys to focus are saying no to distractions and working on the same problem for an uncommonly long time. Both are simple but not easy.” - Shane Parrish 
Thanks, everyone!
There are now more than 800 links in the link archive. That’s 38 articles on diversity, 39 on employee engagement, 42 on trends, 30 on metrics, 9 on pipelining, 2 on micro-culture, not to mention the other 100+ tags to sort by.
And as always, when you reply to this email I will read your questions and comments. Is there any article I should be commenting on? A book? A podcast? Is there something you what to know? How can I help? Just reply to this email and it comes directly to me.
Cheers and thanks!
-James Ellis (LinkedIn | Twitter | Podcast | Articles)
One last thing...
I have a big update coming next week. Biiiiiiig. Stay tuned.
Where the subject line came from:
Prefab Sprout - Appetite
Prefab Sprout - Appetite
Did you enjoy this issue?
James Ellis, Employer Brand Nerd

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