Friday Fun: How A Good Message Can Be Received By An Unintended Audience



Here’s something to bring some humor for your Friday. It’s shared with the hope it will bring a smile and a laugh when one realizes how a simple message can be interpreted in different ways by various audiences.Slide1

A good friend shared with me a strategy for starting her own business as a consultant in communications, marketing and fundraising. She was fired one day and had this business card created and printed the next day. We visited just hours before helping my son move into the St. Paul campus at the University of Minnesota at the beginning of his freshman year.

The card is clear and simple. It provides an email address and a phone number . It communicates three areas where she can assist a nonprofit or business.

After thanking her for sharing her card and marketing concept, the card was placed in a pocket with keys and a pen. Anxiety, emotions and some confusion lie ahead during the process of helping my son move into his dorm room on an all-male floor. Her card became an afterthought.

A few hours of moving carts filled with clothing and possessions into the dorm followed. Late in the day, a small and distinct piece of blue paper was observed on the floor near a commons area. Did someone drop an identification card or credit card? Was it a set of directions?


There was the business card with the word, “available,” showing.

It fell out of my pocket at some point.

It was in the middle of a hallway of a dormitory filled with 18- and 19-year old young men starting their freshman year. Their understanding of the word, “available,” was probably much different from the intended audience.

The card was retrieved before any calls or emails were sent to inquire about my friend’s, “availability.” She appreciated the humor when she heard the story and emailed a reply that went something like, “Whew, I would have been busy.”


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