March 15, 2017
I am often amused at the contortions that businesses or associations go through to increase their membership. They take surveys, analyze data, and concentrate their efforts on the completely wrong aspects of their offerings in order to woo the public. (Remember “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”? It took the comic relief parts of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, gave them center billing to the point of slapstick, and expected us to enjoy them. And threw in Kate Capshaw’s incessant screaming just to irritate the audience further.)
Here are some simple suggestions for some of you. If you don’t believe me, ask other people whose livelihoods don’t depend on saying what you want to hear.
Oscars Show: You keep amping up the glitz to gain viewers. If you really want more people to watch, cut acceptance speeches to 30 seconds. And stop trying to have presenters be witty—or write them better routines.
Churches: You want to increase or retain membership? Keep your services and your sermons short. Church people laugh when I say that; but if they’d heard the members of their own congregations talk freely, the way I hear them, they might actually take this sensible suggestion seriously.
Clothing stores: Please remember that there is a segment of the population that wants to dress somewhere between “Spring Chicken” and “Grandmother of the Bride.” You want to know why nobody buys your clothes? Look at them.
There are lots more examples I could give, but these will do to go on with.