The Treachery of Images, Rene Magritte, 1928-1929

Dirty Little Social Media Secrets: This Is Not A Pipe.

The Treachery of Images, Rene Magritte, 1928-1929

The Treachery of Images, Rene Magritte, 1928-1929

Rene Magritte painted the simple image of a pipe here in 1929 with the words beneath it that say “This is not a pipe.” I’m a big fan of surrealist art and I would love this almost as much if he was just being a smartass and making some inverted Captain Obvious statement; but he was not. In a simple act of realness in a surreal space, Magritte is making the statement that all he creates are still just images. This is NOT a pipe, you see, it’s actually just the IMAGE of one.

The Treachery of Images vis a vis, the treachery of words. And now I make my segue!

To conclude my Little Black Book series, I want to round out the exploration by simply saying this: no matter how beautifully we paint our lives and businesses here in these pixels, the truth is that it still does not embody the fullness of all the good, the bad and the ugly that existing together entails. Marketing 2.0 is still a spin crowd often trying to portray the “realness” of their business through adept communication of only the positive or endearingly mundane parts. With great companies that are ready to take the next step, where the “endearingly mundane” really is the majority of their business-as-usual, this is all right and good and the progression is very natural and can be an enjoyable business growth cycle for all involved.

But then there are the times when a business has something incredibly dark beneath its surface.

If I refer my own personal contacts to your business and they are more than once met with not just negligent but abusive service, you’ve planted major doubt. If I hear you spouting racist diatribes while chain smoking in your status meeting, that’s a serious problem. If you have unethical sales tactics that get you in trouble with the law and cause you to lie to your employees to try to duct-tape some control over the issue, I’m out the door. All the traditional marketing in the world couldn’t fix these things, and all the social media in it would only make it worse. (I am sad to say I have actually encountered each of these situations already as a young professional and I’m very serious about not pushing social media marketing onto companies who are simply not capable of it. They HAVE to be seriously committed to turning things around internally, first.)

Zombie vs. Human

Which is your business most like?

Though a pretty picture can be painted online where we have backspace keys and plenty of time to think before we type, this doesn’t automatically change a business’ ugly parts.

As consumers we still have the responsibility to guard our own minds and sort through pomp and circumstance for the flesh and blood.

As professionals representing our business and others, we then need to determine if it is warm, ruddy flesh and blood that the public can embrace and high-five, or the rotting, peeling flesh of a zombie from which the public flees.

…Or pays large sums of money to consume all media through which they can watch the catastrophe unfold? Yeah, mmkay. Maybe there’s still a place for ZombieBidnezz.

As I was thinking about zombies and looking for stock photos I started thinking the words “dead or alive” and NOW I have gotten Bon Jovi’s song stuck in my head…So I leave you with that as well! Enjoy!

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