Carville on Communications: Lose the litany

I just got back from the LMA convention held this year in National Harbor, MD, just outside of DC. The featured speakers Thursday morning were the husband and wife team of  James Carville and Mary Matalin.  I jotted a few notes on what Carville said legal marketers and lawyers should keep in mind in their marketing communications:

According to Carville, the least effective and most overused form of persuasion is the litany of accomplishments. Forgo the litany, he advises, and instead, think in terms of sound bites.

“’Love thy neighbor as yourself.’ Now there’s a sound bite that worked” he says. “It sums up a whole religion.”

Not surprisingly, he also cited “It’s the economy, stupid,” as another example of a sound bite that worked, this simple phrase being the essence of an entire presidential campaign.

An effective marketing message needs to meet a four-prong test, he says: It must be relevant, simple, repetitive and exclusive. Exclusivity in this context means the message has to be your own – unique to you and your practice.

Lastly, to reinforce the message or sound bite, tell a great story that illustrates the point.

So once again, I’ll repeat his relevant, simple and exclusive sound bite: “Lose the litany.” And of course, don’t’ forget to “Love thy neighbor.”