Pardon me while I continue to rearrange my sock drawer.
The statement is about as exciting as noticing water is wet.
What else could be king?
Are numbers king?
Sure, you can find books and articles that are mostly numbers, but these are written for a very narrow audience of scientists and mathematicians. Write a marketing document with nothing but numbers and what do you have? A P&LO statement!
Hell, even numerology books are mostly text. As are, interestingly enough, most math books.
Is design king?
Without doubt design is a powerful tool. It can illustrate and dramatize the written word. And, truth be told, there are books consisting of photos and illustrations with little or no copy. Often they are called “art books” and represent one of the few ways art history majors can earn a living.
Design is also important for those who learn visually (me being one of them). Give me all the directions you want, but unless I look at a roadmap I have no idea what you’re talking about.
But you can’t create a useful marketing plan or a website or a blog with design alone.
Is music king?
Music can certainly enhance the written word (try watching a movie without it). But without content popular tunes would be elevator music, karaoke would be humming and Broadway musicals would be plays. (Compare and contrast Pygmalion with My Fair Lady.)
Is cotton king?
Senator James Henry Hammond of South Carolina claimed such in an 1858 speech to the Senate. However, this has absolutely nothing to do with the present discussion.
But content is king only if…
…it is relevant and interesting.
One of my all-time favorite ads ran the headline: “Isn’t it amazing how boring tire ads are…until you need a tire.” Now that’s relevance!
Always keep relevance and interest in mind when you produce your website, blog, newsletter, white paper or other marketing communications. Always put yourself in the readers’ shoes. Write about them, not you. How can your product/service make their lives easier, more productive, more efficient, and more cost-effective? How can you relieve their worries, their fears?
The final proof
I can write a 5,000-word essay in a tiny, cramped font with absolutely no design value (no music or numbers either) and feel confident you’ll read every one of those words because the content is too compelling to ignore.
The subject? Everything everybody ever wanted to know about YOU.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know.
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer of Daly-Swartz Public Relations. He has absolutely no talent for design, music or numbers, which explains why he’s a writer.