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Embracing the days when you don’t have anything to say.

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There’s a book that intrigued me for years.

On the one hand, the topics is absolutely fascinating. On the other, the language and writing style make it a beast for my meager brain to process. When I finally did go cover-to-cover with Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman, there was a line that has intrigued me time and time again in the years since.

He refers to a response from Thoreau about the excitement of a telegraph being built all the way from Maine to Texas. In more words than this, I’ll summarize his point like this:

“Everyone is so excited to have this ability for Maine and Texas to talk to each other, but what if they have nothing to say to each other? You say we can transmit news instantly across these lines, but what if there is no news?”

As marketers, we’ve similarly built incredible “telegraph lines” across the country in the form of social media followings and email databases and CRMs. Some resorts have more than a million people following them, waiting to hear what they have to say.

But, what if you don’t have anything to say to those followers?

What if it’s a quiet shoulder-season day at the mountain with pass deadlines in the past, lodging on pace, next season’s day tickets not yet online, and nothing much to sell for another few days or even weeks? I’d recommend two things.

First, the skill to create.
I think there is absolutely a case for learning the skill of finding things to say. Teasing out stories when none is readily apparent or identifying a part of the resort that could use some sort of boost. That ability to sniff out marketing narratives and needs is underappreciated because even during times when there’s plenty to say, being able to tease out a deeper or better or more engaging angle is a handy tool to have in the belt.

Second, the skill to embrace.
But I think there’s another skill (or option) worth exploring. The skill to embrace that moment and…well…say nothing. Or maybe the lack of something to say is the story. But over and over again I find there’s immense value in taking a step back – even if it’s for a day – and reflecting on what you’re doing instead of just doing that same thing again.

Marketing is tricky right now. Life is tricky right now.

If you get a moment to take a deep breath instead of a take a photo, to sneak out for a walk instead of crank out some copy, to listen to your a guest instead of talking to them…I think there’s value in there worth considering.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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