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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Power Words

An elderly woman had just returned to her home from an evening of church services when she was startled by an intruder. She caught the man in the act of robbing her home of its valuables and yelled, “Stop! Acts 2:38!” (Repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven.)

The burglar stopped in his tracks. The woman calmly called the police and explained what she had done. As the officer cuffed the man to take him in, he asked the burglar, “Why did you just stand there? All the old lady did was yell a scripture to you.” “Scripture?” replied the burglar. “She said she had an ax and two 38’s!”

Words have power. They have power to change people’s thoughts both positively and negatively. The unique thing about the words we use every day is that they are dynamically changing all the time. New meanings are constantly being created. For example, did you know that a “Silver Surfer” – is an older person who uses the internet. The word “Spin” is now used to describe the presentation of news/reports/information by politicians, business-people, etc., (typically cynically, dishonestly, unethically). I guess it was derived from the sense of putting a ‘spin’ on a story, so as to distort the truth to suit a particular purpose. Or how about the term “Prairie Dogging” – This occurs when someone who works in an open office, which is divided into cubicles, drops something or shouts and everyone else pops their heads above the dividing walls to see what is happening.

The mastery of selecting the correct words (and the new meanings) to clearly communicate is especially critical in the business world. Making matters worse, today in business you often have only a few seconds to get your “words” across to potential clients. With this very limited window of opportunity, the words we choose need to be handpicked very carefully.

Another new term is “Flighting” a cost effective method of advertising. A commercial is scheduled to appear on TV, usually when viewing figures are high (flight). There are periods in between the flights when the commercial does not appear on TV (hiatus). During the TV hiatus the product being advertised will often appear in newspapers or magazines, so the public is continually aware of it.

If you own or operate a business in Tama County (or work for one) – it is time to think about what words you are using. Are you getting the results you want? Are you stopping new customers with the effectiveness that the elderly woman’s ax and two 38’s? Contact our office and we can provide information on how we can help clarify and deliver your message.  Contact us at (641) 484-3108, or info@tamacountyiowa.org.


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