Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

As If We Hadn’t Waited Long Enough

If you’re like us (i.e. obsessive communicators), there’s a good chance you were frustrated at last night’s historic speech when President Obama informed an anxious nation that our brave soldiers took out Osama bin Laden.

The keyword here is “anxious.”  News leaked out over Twitter more than an hour before Obama took the podium.  Cable and network news outlets soon followed, cutting into the Celebrity Apprentice and reruns of the Royal Wedding to bring us this most welcomed breaking story.  Even the Rock knew what was coming.  But the nation waited patiently into the night for our Commander in Chief to officially make the announcement and bring us the harrowing details.

The president reached the podium just past 11 p.m. and opened strong, announcing within the first two sentences that the U.S. had conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.  But then he left us waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

With the world on the edge of its seat waiting for the details of how we killed the man responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans, it took Obama 569 words before he got back to the point of his speech.  That’s 3 minutes and 55 seconds of poetic chronology covering the well-known events of the past 10 years…while everyone is staying up late waiting for him to get to it already.

Call us purists, but we still believe in the inverted pyramid.  Convey your most important messages at the top, and then get into the history and detail.  Everyone knew Osama was dead by the time the president appeared at the microphone.  He knew we wanted to hear the details, and for some reason he made us work for it.  There’s several conspiracy theories swirling as to why, but the last time I checked, poor communication is never a good strategy.  The nation had waited long enough.

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