Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Social Security speech for Mom
The elevator speech, if you are lucky enough to have never encountered it, is a marketing concept. The idea is to have a short speech that is able to define your product/service and the need it fills in the time space of an average elevator ride. That usually means a hundred words or less. Authors are often told that they need to be able to explain what their book is about in one sentence if they want to sell it.

During the tech boom, I worked for a software startup as their main writer. Though hired as a documentation writer, I ended up writing a lot of their marketing copy. We had a difficult service/product to describe. Before I learned the concept of the elevator speech, I thought of it as the Mom speech. How could I tell Mom what I did for a living in terms that she could explain to her friends?

We all need to be able to deliver the Democratic/anti-Bushevik position on Social Security as a Mom speech. It's not just how do we explain it to Mom; it's how do we implant memorable phrases that she can repeat, meme fashion, to her friends.

Bush is playing a sophisticated divide and conquer game with Social Security. He is telling people over 55 that they will get theirs, therefore they shouldn't care about anyone else, even though it's their children who will be screwed. He's promising young people that they will all be part of the minority that win in the stock market; everyone will collect winnings and no one will be the losers who pay. To the middle aged he says "look, homos are getting married!!"

Let's hear your elevator speeches. If we win my Mom's friends, the fight is over.

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