What Train Disruption Notice Teaches Sellers About Obstacle Messaging


This panoramic is from inside a provincial British railway station.

In the midst of a Summer storm, signalling had gone to pot. Delays, cancellations and re-routing had taken firm hold.

Left-edge, the doorway. Centrally up-top is the small square orange-on-black electronic departure board, with subway to the platforms alongside. Right-edge, the ticket office window.

Buying my ticket, I was told the next train wouldn’t be for some time. The subsequent conversation revealed the frustration of the station master that no-one was taking notice of the sign he’d put out about it.

It is the red-framed flipchart white sheet below the electronic board. On the ground, well beneath eye-level and pretty much out of the way.

The handwritten message was barely visible. Marker nib too thin for the ink to stand out.

But worse, I thought on the placement of this easel.

It is in exactly the wrong place to get noticed.

I can see why it was put there. Aesthetically it makes sense.

But message-wise, it makes no sense.

To sink in, it must surely be where everyone entering literally trips over it.

As soon as they walk in, right slap bang in the middle of the foyer.

I can hear elf ‘n safety jobsworth’s grabbing their clipboards.

They can take a jump.

Even putting the sign slightly to the left of the ticket window would be an improvement.

Anyway, Sales pitches can take plenty from this.

You think your message will stand out.

Yet it is simply lost like this travel chaos alert.

You plonked it in a tidy, neat and perfectly logical place.

Destined to remain unseen.

Impact silent.

A wasted effort.

You make a lovingly long-crafted presentation.

Where’s the single slide leave-behind?

You provide a Prop.

What’s the one-sentence unique problem solve?

You send a sweeping prose midnight oil toil pdf.

Which goes unread, so where’s the stark instagram-style square image prime point reinforcer?

To hit home, your message needs to smack people right between the eyes. Make it an obstacle they cannot avoid. Ensure everyone cannot miss your key pitch point.

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