RepMan will be vacationing and passing his baton to friends and colleagues, so stay tuned for some great guest posts next week.
One of our employees recently forwarded a piece from Accounting Today, calling it '….the greatest article ever written.'
My curiosity being piqued, I read the story . Entitled, 'The Hunger Games of Accounting,' the article neatly tied the white hot movie of the same name with the latest news on mandatory audit firm rotation by public companies.
The author, Michael Cohen, began his tome in this manner: 'Like Katniss Everdeen, the young heroine of the hit movie The Hunger Games, auditing leaders are facing a test of survival.'
Cohen then proceeded to sprinkle the names and subplots of the movie throughout the rest of the piece (i.e. 'Like the Gamemakers,' and 'In Katniss's case, her hunting skills with the bow and arrow…' and 'Like the genetically altered mutations created by the leaders of Panem…', etc.).
Cohen's Accounting Today piece is a nice attempt at injecting creativity in an otherwise dull subject. But, it fails miserably at being the greatest article ever written. Here's why:
– While I don't have Accounting Today's rate card in front of me, I can assure you the average reader is a middle to senior-ranking accountant, risk manager or CFO. My guess is the reader's average age is 50, the gender is male and the hair (if any) is gray. I can also assure you 'he' didn't spend the past weekend in a movie theatre watching The Hunger Games.
– High school and college kids, as well as Millennials everywhere, constituted the core audience of The Hunger Games. And, except for those interested in learning more about, say, IFRS or FAS 159, none subscribe to Accounting Today.
Ergo, Cohen wrote the right piece for the wrong audience. And, in my book (or periodical), that's a cardinal sin.
Here's another example of writing for the wrong audience. It comes from health care publicist Debbie Hays who, despite my previous attempts to stop receiving her press releases, just sent me another one with this whopper of a headline:
'VasoStitch Access-and-Closure System for Non-surgical Deployment of Transcatheter Therapies has unique benefits.' I'll bet it does! In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this access-and-closure system for non-surgical deployment of transcatheter therapies turns out to be the iPod of the non-surgical heart diseases world. But, I wouldn't have a clue, since I have nothing whatsoever to do with medical instrumentation or health care.
And, that's why Debbie Hays and Michael Cohen would be an ideal match (maybe both are already registered on eHarmony?). Neither has taken the time to listen to her or his audience. Debbie chose obfuscation; Michael opted for cuteness. Both failed.
Do you agree? Or, as someone who loved, loved, loved The Hunger Games like our staffer did, do you think Cohen's story is the greatest article ever written?
I'll be listening (which is more than I can say for the journalist and publicist featured in today's blog).