If you’re reading this, you’re either an avid follower of our weekly Monday Musings (thank you) or my clickbait headline sparked a mental image of your irises, triggered your curiosity and compelled you to read on.
In the case of the latter, I hijacked your thought process by asking a question. Not just any question, mind you – a question that compelled your brain to visualise a response. It simply had to answer it. And when your brain is thinking about the answer to a question it cannot possibly contemplate anything else.
Questions are powerful. They focus your thinking. They create change and trigger a mental reflex known as “instinctive elaboration”. Apparently, the human brain can only think about one idea at a time, so when you ask somebody a question, you force their minds to consider only your question.
Questions are magical because they open complex problems, allowing us to see a problem more fully by broadening our own knowledge, training and experience. Admittedly we probably have more questions than answers right now. And when you’re stuck in a problem, it’s likely you’ll not want to make any decisions for fear of getting it wrong.
But questions are also powerful because they increase your success when you ask the right questions rather than focusing on the right answers. A strong lesson from the past week from our new favourite coach, Jodi Hume: “There are fewer wrong answers than right ones”.
So here’s a thought, take the first step away from procrastination and paralysis and start with a question because questions open your mind to what’s possible, they trigger those ah-ha moments you need to move forward.
If you’re in marketing, questions engage your audience and stimulate conversation. They draw in your audience and give them a reason to care. Posing questions in your content shows you’re talking to readers, not through readers, according to Derek Black (@ContentStride) via the Content Marketing Institute, one of my top go-to marketing resources.
Even Facebook does it: “What’s on your mind, Fred?”
But for questions to work, truly work, they must come from a place of genuine curiosity. “What’s really on your mind, Fred?”
What’s really on my mind is the South Africa is Travel Ready #LiftingOthers campaign which launched in the past week. For two months, we’ll be featuring 21 stories of super-lifters in our industry and you can read all about them on our South Africa is Travel Ready website or nominate your own super-lifter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. It takes less time than pondering how to describe the colour of your eyes.
Also on my mind, is our big news this month about joining Travel Lifestyle Network, a global alliance of travel and lifestyle communications specialists in over 23 markets. We are thrilled to be part of an established and talented network of like-minded professionals in the travel, tourism and hospitality communications and marketing space. There’s more big news coming so buckle up!
As another week of 2021 unfolds, we hope it is filled with thought-provoking questions that drive your passion and purpose. Remember, it is better to know some of the questions, than all of the answers ~ James Thurber.
Bah or Bzzz… Joining the herd
I was reminded this week about the power of herd mentality in marketing. We’ve heard a lot of talk about herd immunity this past year, so it’s not a foreign concept for most of us.
In fact, as the uncertainty gap widens, it is likely more than ever we’re looking for reassurance and information from our peers when making decisions. We’re in good company as humans. Sheep do it. Apparently, so do bees.
And so when the City of Toronto turned to social media for its latest campaign which ironically speaks both to herd marketing and herd immunity, we sat right up our chairs.
Turns out Toronto is buying two million pink Band-Aid stickers and setting up selfie stations at vaccination clinics as part of its COVID-19 campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy.
As part of the “Pink Band Aid Campaign”, Toronto residents who receive the vaccine will also be given a sticker and can take a photograph at the selfie station near the exit of the clinic.
We’re not sure if the Canadians are going to succumb to pink-sticker peer pressure in swarms and celebrate being vaccinated in selfie stardom, but we do like the reminder that humans are social creatures and connecting with our ‘herd’ is deeply engrained in our DNA. Trigger that need for connectivity and you’ll capture the herd.
What the world was musing over this week
From ‘mutant’ to miraculous
South Africa has had a fair bit of negative press this past month due to the COVID-19 variant 501Y.V2 which sadly due to virus nomenclature meant it was erroneously referred to the “SA Variant”, generally followed by words like “mutant”, “highly transmissible” and “dangerous”. Good news this week is that scientists believe those infected with the 501Y.V2 variant may actually have acquired heightened immunity. By the way, if you care about tourism, start calling it by its real name: 501Y.V2.
New mystery flight to…
Beat the border blues – if you’re in Australia, that is. Qantas is launching three domestic mystery flights for travellers who want to travel locally while international borders remain closed. Well done on ‘pivoting’ and appealing to the wanderlust and curiosity of your customers, Qantas.
Burpees in the bush
Thumbs up to SA wilderness guide and instructor Bruce Lawson who’s attempting to create a new world record of 30,000 burpees over 10 days to raise funds for conservation. Lawson and others will be sweating their way through a million burpees between March 15 to April 11, to fund anti-poaching efforts.
Chip off the old bird
Who says 70 is over the hill? Wisdom, the world’s oldest wild bird in history, has proven us all wrong and hatched a chick in the Midway Atoll in the North Pacific, where more than a million albatrosses return to nest each year. She’s outlived previous mating partners, as well as the biologist Chandler Robbins who first banded her in 1956.
Soccer Sniffer Dogs
And then there was this week’s news that COVID-sniffing dogs could become a fixture at mass events after a trial by a Belgian football club found they were highly adept at identifying COVID in a person on the first day of infection.
Listen up on World Hearing Day
Finally, our favourite Ndlovu Youth Choir released a special version of ‘Wonderful World’ this past week to celebrate World Hearing Day on 3 March and encourage those with hearing loss to achieve their full potential through rehabilitation, education and empowerment.