Adjectives are Fossilised; Make Verbs Work!

I hadn’t expected this to be a trilogy. When I posted Prediction and Predictability, it was just some internal discussion document I’d written a long time ago, that somehow found its way to the light of day. Ironically, given the title, I had no idea that anything more would become of it.

But like George Lucas and that crazy standalone space story he had lying about, very soon, there were obvious questions that needed to be explored – and eventually, the demand for a whole three-parter.

Admittedly, Mr. Lucas was fulfilling the wishes of moviegoers around the world, whereas I simply asked if I should “turn this into a Trilogy” on LinkedIn and, very kindly, one person said yes. You might say that’s nothing like the same thing but I think, principally because of the way I’ve worded the second paragraph, the comparison still stands.

You see, words matter. Big time. I wrote something about the power of words here. They are the bricks with which we build meaning and understanding. There are whole branches of science that believe they even shape the way we think.

And they’re being weaponised like never before. Okay, not like never before, but certainly more routinely than ever before

Before we get into that, let’s re-cap the story so far, through the medium of The Marketing Textbook:

  1. You’ve looked at your list of customers and looked at where and how they differ. You’ve defined those groups and and chosen those you wish to contact. Using our friend Ed Mayer’s analysis, you’ve now determined your audience, something he suggests can contribute upto 40% of the success of any campaign. In short, you’ve chosen the people whose Attention you feel you can gain.
  2. You’ve looked at each pf these groups, analysed their various profiles and tried to understand what may best motivate each group. You’ve decided what the offer should be to most effectively reflect those motivations. Again, Mayer suggests that, done well, this should make up another 40% of your campaign’s success. The key metric at this stage is level of Interest you can generate.
  3. And now, the next bit: the execution. Specifically, what words and pictures, tone and format are going to take your campaign from being merely eye-catching and attractive to becoming compelling enough to achieve the best level of success? Mayer states that this is where the remaining 20% of a campaign’s effectiveness lies. Words must take us well beyond the constraints of simple communication at this point. They’re there to create Desire. Finally, we must also ensure we finish off with an effective Call to Action.

At this point, ‘old-school’ marketers would be gleefully deploying a wide range of linguistic and literary tricks of the trade to create a favourable image, to flatter the reader, to build credibility, to suggest like-mindedness, to build towards a USP. In short, to construct all the elements of face-to-face salesmanship, to take a curious prospect and point them towards the life-affirming status of customerhood.

Look at any 1970s press ad and, once you’ve tried to ignore the almost constant casual sexism – and, sadly, more besides – you’ll see that writing ad copy used was very often a protracted attempt to schmooze the reader into submission, with florid language and ridiculous metaphors. Even ads for bread could use up three columns of text to luxuriantly, verbosely, disproportionately extol the virtues of the open sandwich:

“The Danes call them smørrebrød. But never mind that.”

All this self-importance from a time of fewer distractions and greater attention spans has contributed to a lingering stereotype of marketing presentation being a little insubstantial, superficial… …’fluffy’. Like any stereotype, that may well be based on a kernel of truth but it isn/t really a fair depiction, especially without the consideration of context.

Time – the availability of it to the reader – seems to be a key reason behind the changes to the words to which we most-demonstrably respond…. Sorry, I’m in the wrong decade to structure a sentence like that. I’ll try again:

Today, we expect punchier words. Shorter sentences. Day-to-day language and less ‘correct’ grammar. If that means less nuance, so what? And it’s nothing new – the further back you go, the longer ads seemed to go on for.

It’s easy now to lampoon even famously ground-breaking ads from the mid-20th Century for the length of their prose, their seeming ‘over-production’ but again, context plays a part. They were consumed in an age where time and attention were more abundant, where you had a whole five seconds to lure the reader into deciding whether or not to read on for the full half-minute. To quote Obadiah Yorkshireman, “Luxury!

The actual ‘Lily The Pink’

Yes, even in those heady days, there were still limits to attention. Go back even further to the 19th Century and you see ads for the most utilitarian products, like soap, that were billed with the same sort interminable of ‘step right up’ repetitive hucksterism and dubious claims that you only really hear from boxing emcees these days. People back then must have had attention spans that ran into minutes! The very distinctive selling style from this time was memorably satirised by The Scaffold in the 1960s, a treatment which really was “most efficacious in every case”.

It seems inconceivable today that anyone could write a strapline like “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of improving prospects must be in want of a better soap“. But in the context and era-defining phrasing of the recently-published ‘Pride and Prejudice’, it could have been the 1813 equivalent of “Got Milk?“.

Back in the 21st Century, we’re now expected to get the whole ad done with in five seconds. How do you realistically establish credibility, demonstrate need, get to the Unique Selling Proposition and give your Call To Action time to land in that time? You have to edit it right down. and make every character count. It’s not just fewer, shorter words, it’s the maximum level of promise you can elicit from what remains – and for that to happen, there’s been a grammatical evolutionary advance.

Remember, we’re in the business of ‘promise’ here and this was almost always conveyed by description; how something was, how it made you feel. ‘Luxurious‘, ‘Tasty‘, ‘Confident‘, ‘Unbeatable‘. The product was represented with the most flattering describing words (adjectives) available whereupon the consumer was simply invited to appreciate that description and, if they agreed – how could they not? – do the obvious thing and buy into it. Literally. The virtues of the product were used as a means to appeal to – and unlock – the discerning customer’s critical faculty. The language might have become slicker over time but we were still mostly flattering the reader into submission.

With less time to process all this impeccable logic into two-stage flattery and recognition, even the loveliest descriptions quickly become little more than a mushy word soup, just as Jane Austen would have become to our Boomer parents and grandparents. How can we continue to assume that flattery gets you everywhere, if you don’t have time to do all that? More recently, all we really have time for is just to tell people what to do.

Adjectives have become dinosaurs, Verbs are their mammalian heirs.

As you’ll remember, ‘doing words’ are not adjectives but verbs. They’ve always been there, evolving where their natural advantages allow but more recently, they’ve begun to out-compete slower, more cumbersome forms. Linguistically, we seem to be experiencing little short of a mass extinction event, a transition from the Adjectivian into the Verbian era, which is every bit as profound as the end of the Austenian eon, long ago. There’s an old political adage that says “if you’re explaining, you’re losing” and it follows that if you don’t then wish to ‘explain’, you won’t need to describe. It’s quicker and, it seems, more productive merely to instruct.

Many commentators have remarked at the growth of the verb-based slogan in the last decade over the adjectival equivalent, particularly its apparent suitability for political slogans. Thus ‘Take Back Control‘ out-performed ‘Stronger In‘ in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Later that year, Trump’s ‘Make America Great‘ pipped Hillary’s ‘Stronger Together‘. In 2019, Boris Johnson told you he’d ‘Get Brexit Done‘ while Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour were, as it transpired, unconvincingly ‘On Your Side‘. When we were faced with the stark uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, the measures required of us were boiled down to similarly short, verb-led maxims. We now expect that such comms will follow this simple but clearly effective format and, inevitably, the same is true of marketing messaging.

But here’s the bit that’s often missed: you can’t just tell people anything and expect them to do it – there has to be something in it for them. Remember ‘feature’ and ‘benefit’? That’s still very much a thing, possibly more than ever. So the other stipulation in this new era is that the verb must convey some form of advantage. ‘Make‘, ‘Build‘ and ‘Save‘ all imply the construction or retention of something worth having. ‘Get‘ goes even further; it suggests the acquisition of something worth having. The only downside it has is that it’s harder to adhere to a promise of something being acquired – what if you can’t actually give the thing you’ve mentioned to everyone who read it?. Conversely, making and building things is a process, expected to take longer, which may even be revised thereafter, so it’s much harder to suggest that such a promise isn’t being kept.

Obviously, the other words have to convey some sort of positive outcome. Three words seems optimal but Subway and Alamo have boiled their straplines down to two. “Eat Fresh” and ‘Drive Happy‘ are notable for using only a verb which conveys the things their customers do, paired with a stated advantage imbued in that brand. Both choose not to turn the second word adjective into its correct adverbial form (“freshly” or “happily“).

An actual 1970s soap ad. Spot the sexism.

Back to that hypothetical 1813 luxury soap ad channelling Miss Elizabeth Bennett’s narrator: such a brand would, throughout that century, have extolled at length its highly-acclaimed (but unverified) efficacy, just like Mrs. Lydia Pinkham’s’Vegetable Compound’. By the mid to late 20th Century, its tone would have changed to mirror a more aspirational time, in which even a brand of soap constituted a lifestyle choice. It would also stop being marketed at men because as a household item, only women would be responsible for its purchase. It might suggest an exotic, even ethereal provenance and address psychographic rather than utilitarian benefits. Full-page glossy magazine ads would be filled with nouveau-riche couples smiling confidently, while not using the product, with terms like ‘secret weapon’ and ‘jet-set freshness’ punctuate the lengthy prose before a small picture of the product, suitably lathered, to remind you what’s being sold.

In contrast, such a soap, would now find itself continuing to connote aspiration and success but having slipped to mid-market affordability – or even lower. Social ads now feature a suggestively-posed, provocatively-cropped pair of same-sex, ethically diverse, naked millennials in a bathroom with the ironic headline ‘Get More Lathered’. Obviously, its true market is still 30-to-50s, as it always was, but something has to cut through our heightened defences, to divert eyeballs just long enough to make another 0.05% think it worthwhile clicking for more. Obviously, any hint of sex is a proven way to do that and, given our more enlightened times, we can all pretend that it’s not prurient anymore but inclusive and challenging. Whatever, dude. I made you look.

Again, I’m possibly exaggerating a little for satirical effect – but not by that much. Marketing literature has always been easy to parody because it has always had to be easy to distinguish and recall. Remember: the reason why so many of these historical campaign are so easy to poke fun at now is because, then, they worked.

Some suggestive soap. Possibly more compelling than advertising it in the style of Jane Austen.

Is Your Messaging ‘Comic’ or Multiversal?

Any marketer worth their salt will know the value of segmentation and many will be practising it to some extent – but are you doing it properly?

A few weeks ago, I shared a discussion document, about the ability to predict demand curves across segments – and how it was beneficial to work with a greater number of smaller segments, to aid predictive ability.

But this is only half the point of Segmentation.  It’s all very clever to be able to decide which segments will and won’t reward the cost and effort of contacting them but that logic ignores one massive extra variable, which can change everything – the fact that you don’t have to say the same things to the whole list.

Having gone to some trouble to understand and divide up one’s customer base, it doesn’t exactly make a lot of sense to stop there.  If we now know what makes the people in ‘Segment X’ different from ‘Segment Y’, why aren’t we incorporating that knowledge into our messaging?

If we were working in a face-to-face environment, this information would inform our choice of words.  A well-known long-standing ‘good’ customer will, of course, be received quite differently to a new face, not quite sure if they’re in the right place.  You wouldn’t use the same salesmanship to sell to an elderly lady as you would to a teenage boy.  You’d incorporate all the context you have at your disposal.

So why would you expect to gain the best response from an activity that puts the same words and pictures in front of every recipient on the list?  The larger your database, the greater the potential to identify distinct differences across the list – and speak to each segment in a context that far more accurately reflects their part in the customer life-cycle.

By that, I don’t just mean the ‘textbook’ groups of Prospects, Triallists, Current Customers, Lapsed and Cold – although that would be a start.  There’s also the possibility to identify ‘Risers’, ‘Fallers’ distinctly from the ‘Non-Movers’ (people who are continuing to exhibit consistent purchasing behaviour).  At a time of flux in the wider economy, how many of your customers are suddenly struggling to afford the things you offer and are cutting back?  How many are now doing well – or have down-traded from a more expensive competitor – and seem to be making a flurry of unexpected purchases?  How do you understand these segments?  And how do you best stimulate them?

Instead of your brand being simply the same version of itself, whoever is reading – like an old comic book from the analogue age – it should really inhabit a ‘multiverse’, where different audiences view it in different ways and you ensure it engages with each of them accordingly.

Of course, we do practice some context-driven differences in our messaging – but it tends to be informed by the medium, not necessarily the recipients.  We’re likely to word our social activities differently because we’re aware of demographic and behavioural biases across them: younger, sharper messaging in Instagram and more professional-sounding, commercially-aware content on LinkedIn.  Largely this is based on assumptions of the profile of each medium and, rightly or wrongly, rarely verified by any analysis of the populations themselves.

So, what of email messaging or, more importantly, expensive direct marketing?  How are they best served by a ‘once size fits all’ approach to large quantities of very different people?

When this happens, we tend to write imprecisely and blandly.  The effect is like Christmas Day television: suitable for all but a bit….boring  It can also risk sounding inconsistent, or even self-contradictory to some parts of the audience – but if there is no seemingly viable alternative, we arrive at a ‘lesser of all evils’ fudge.  It can result in a *targeted mailing*, which – and I’m exaggerating only a little for the purposes of satire – can read a little like this: 

Dear Sir/Madam/Non-binary Identifier

You’ve been a Prospect/Customer of ‘GenericBrand’ for a number of months/years so, like everyone else, you’ll be delighted to learn of today’s exciting announcement.

And, like everyone else, your purchase history and product choices suggest you’ll be really interested to learn about our offer – which we’re also making to anyone else who’ll read it.

Still, we know that this is just right for you because, on balance, this is right for everyone, based on our knowledge that the last time we did this sort of thing, it proved to be a few percentage points more popular than anything else we’ve tried.

Please respond ASAP, to and you too can redeem this great offer – just for you!

Very often, the justification for this sort of uninspring guff is that the polar opposite seems even worse.  Using our ‘knowledge’ of the recipient to appear to be a benefit to them seems to be an exercise in proving our omniscience – which can easily scare the reader into wondering what the hell else this company knows about them.


We’d like to thank you for being a fan of ‘GenericBrand’ since <TIME_CREATED> on <DATE_CREATED>.  Because of your affinity to our brand over the last <DAYS_SINCE_CREATION> days, we think you’ll be interested in this message!

Also, given the fact that, in that time, you’ve placed <TOTAL_PURCHASES> purchases, worth <LIFETIME_VALUE>, we think you’re ideally suited to this offer – <TAILORED_OFFER_1>.  We hope you agree, it’s the best offer we’ve made you in <DAYS_SINCE_CREATION> days!

To redeem it, all you have to do is visit and be fully confident that your next purchase – number {<TOTAL_PURCHASES> + 1} – with GenericBrand will be the best you’ve ever made with us!

And, it’ll be with you at <ADDRESS_1> in <POSTAL_TOWN> in no time!

There is – as always – a better solution in between the extremes.  Data will always drive these distinctions but salesmanship is still storytelling and, as any film-maker will attest, ’show, don’t tell’ is the best way to go about it.  Customers don’t want to be beaten about the head with how much you know about them; they want to know that they’re understood.  The data you have is the key to demonstrating that understanding.

Let’s take the ‘Risers’ and ‘Fallers’ idea.  Having arrived at a data-led definition of each group, you populate them both with the accounts that meet those criteria and you cultivate an offer which you hope will most clearly chime with their perceived requirements.  How do you then go about communicating each one to each group?

First the ‘Risers’.  They’ve suddenly started to purchase more but whatever brought about this change may easily be reversed.  Their activity needs to be acknowledged and their new-found confidence thanked.  In an unstable market, you can’t expect them to simply remain with you indefinitely – you need to protect this new business.:


You’re amazing!

We’re so pleased to learn that you’ve become such a friend of ‘GenericBrand’ over the last few months.  In a changing world, we hope you agree that we can offer you the choice and quality you require – and always the value you deserve!

To thank you for your support, we’d like to offer you <RISERS_TAILORED_OFFER>.  We have a good thing going – and we hope we can take it to the next level!

Just go to this offer is yours!  

Let’s continue to be amazing – together!

The ‘Fallers’ are giving you the opposite problem.  They may like your brand just as much as they always did but can’t justify maintaining their spend.  The last thing they want to feel is rejected or forgotten.  If they do, they’ll find someone else who values them.  Find an offer that reflects this difficulty and reassure them that they’ll always be welcome and that you will continue to value them:



We all know this is a challenging time and we’re listening to customers’ stories everyday.  Like many of them, you may feel that the way you buy is changing – and we’d like you to know that we want to be part of those changes.

We’d like to offer you <FALLERS_TAILORED_OFFER> to help you make the most of your purchases – and to assure you that we’re here to help in every way we can.

All you have to do is go to and, together, we can change the way we work – and take on the challenges we’re all facing.

Let’s do this together!

As any superhero aficionado will tell you, “with great power, comes great responsibility”.  Very often, the ability to manipulate a database of tens – or even hundreds – of thousands of customers feels like an awesome power.  It certainly provides a level of insight and understanding that’s difficult to gain in any other way.  It’s therefore every marketer’s responsibility to make those insights matter, by informing the very best content it can.

Don’t just listen to me on this, consider the proclamation of one of the founding fathers of direct marketing.  The 40/40/20 Rule’ is a principle established by Ed Mayer in the 1960s which states that 40% of the success of a marketing campaign is based on reaching the right audience, 40% on the offer you make to that audience, with only the remaining 20% based on various other factors such as its presentation and format.  

You may be great at the first 40% and I’m sure you’re constantly agonising about the final 20% but are you doing enough to make the middle 40% as good as it could be?

Thanks for reading,

Your friendly neighbourhood Marketing-Man…

Writing the Script for the ‘XYZ’ Employee Awards

Last year, I was thrilled to be asked to write the script for a client’s annual Employee Awards ceremony. I’ve written for public speaking engagements before but only for my own delivery – and I’d only ever written with elements of comedy in wedding speeches. I was also conscious that, in writing for two people, the laughs need to be shared.

I learned that writing like this requires you to judge the personality of each speaker and mould the words around each person’s natural character. There’s no way you can expect even the best line to be read convincingly by someone who’s not willing to be ‘in character’ at the point they’re reading it. Equally, whatever characterisations are required to be brought to the lines can’t be too far from the speakers’ ‘normal’ personae. I found that it works best when I was writing a slightly exaggerated version of each speaker.

Thankfully, in [Jane] and [Peter] – not their real names – I had two people who were willing and able to play their roles in a not-entirely-vanilla way and I was able to riff slightly on that, making [Peter] a more self-absorbed version of himself and [Jane] a more waspish version of herself. On the day, they both played their roles brilliantly – although it was the most nervous I’ve been watching someone else’s performance since I was a parent at a Year 2 Nativity Play!

I should also address the confidentiality issue. For lots of good reasons, this client would rather not be identified and that is, of course, absolutely fine. For that reason, I’ve had to ensure there are a lot of [Pseudonyms] and [Redacteds] in the copy. I hope that doesn’t interrupt the flow too much.

If you have a public speaking requirement and you need to get the tone *just right*, maybe I can help. Give me a shout and let’s see what I can do…

<[Jane Surname] and [Peter Surname] are introduced by the CEO and start the ceremony>

[Jane]:  Good afternoon, everyone and thank you, [Redacted], for that warm welcome. 

In case you don’t know me, I’m [Jane Surname] and I’m [Redacted]’s [Redacted] Director

As I’m in charge of compliance and rules, I tend to spend a lot of my time telling people they can’t do things.  

So it’s wonderful for me to stand in front of you all, in these challenging times, and be able to bring a bit of happiness, this afternoon.

[Peter]: And I’m [Peter Surname], the Chief [Redacted] Officer at [Redacted].  As I’m in charge of systems and technology, I’m often busy working out how things have gone wrong, so we can fix them. 

So it’s also great for me to take part in this celebration of the many things that have gone really well, this year – and to recognise the fantastic people who made them happen.

[Jane]:  So without any further ado, let’s bring on the awards, applaud the nominees, cheer the winners and spend a little time enjoying the warmth and positivity of their achievements. 

Are you ready to do that, [Peter]?

[Peter]: I think we should, [Jane]. In fact, I’m positive!  

Let’s get started!

Award category 1: Most Supportive Colleague

[Jane]: The first award is Most Supportive Colleague.  It’s an award that recognises the true essence of being a supporter.  

You could describe supportiveness as a long-term commitment to offering positivity, without any expectation of a reward. 

[Peter], you’re a Blackburn Rovers supporter.  Would you agree with that?

[Peter]: I certainly would, [Jane].  I haven’t had my support rewarded since 1995. 

But not all supporters are long-suffering, like me.  Some are truly appreciated by all around them, for being unfailing beacons of positivity. 

Here is [Alan Surname], our [Redacted],  to tell you about five of them:

<Music & Applause>

[Alan]: The nominees for Most Supportive Colleague are…      

[Looks at outside of envelope, reads nominees]

And the award goes to…

[Opens envelope, takes out note, reads winner]

<Music & Applause>

Award category 2: Best Demonstration of Leadership

[Peter]:  Next up is the Best Demonstration of Leadership award.  I found a great quote about leadership on the Harvard website, [Jane]. 

“A leader is best when people barely know they exist.  When the work is done, and the aim is fulfilled, people will say: ‘we did it ourselves’.”

You’re a great leader, [Jane] – so I was wondering:  Does anyone know if you exist?

[Jane] Sometimes, I wonder if I do, [Peter]. 

But even if “barely anyone” knows about my existence – or yours – this award is to ensure that we celebrate the existence – and the leadership contributions – of five very special people. 

Here is [Brenda Surname], our [Redacted],  to tell you who they are:

<Music & Applause>

[Brenda]The nominees for Best Demonstration of Leadership are:

[Looks at outside of envelope, reads nominees]

And the award goes to…

[Opens envelope, takes out note, reads winner]

<Music & Applause>

Award category 3: Best Value for Money Initiative or Idea

[Jane]    Our third award of the evening is for Best Value for Money Initiative or Idea

We’re all very aware of the rises in cost of everything this year so, more than ever before, it’s so important to recognise anyone who can think laterally, to save the business money or get the very most from everything pound we spend.

[Peter]  That’s right, [Jane].  Who doesn’t love the idea of attending an important seminar on cost-effectiveness, in the Seychelles?  But these days, you’re more likely to be invited to an economy drive in a Starbucks. 

But if you think that’s a radical idea, here are three nominees who have had an even greater impact on providing value for money, this year. 

Here is [Colin Surname], our [Redacted],  to tell you who they are:

<Music & Applause>

[Colin]  The nominees for Best Value for Money Initiative or Idea are:

[Looks at outside of envelope, reads nominees]

And the award goes to…

[Opens envelope, takes out note, reads winner]

<Music & Applause>

Award category 4: Best Safety Initiative or Idea

[Peter]:   Our fourth award is Best Safety Initiative or Idea.  We often hear how ‘ensuring everyone’s Health and Safety is paramount’ – which means it’s more important than anything else.

But this award recognises people who have actually improved the safety of colleagues.  Which makes it even more important than ‘paramount’ – but how would you describe that?  

I was watching TV the other day and suddenly, that answer just came to me:

‘Paramount Plus’.

[Jane]   That’s not really the kind of safety idea that will win you this award, [Peter].  In fact, you should have risk-assessed that joke before you told it because I think you’ve just been ‘burned’. 

While I report this incident in the Accident Book, here is [Debbie Surname], our [Redacted],  with the nominees for this award:

<Music & Applause>

[Debbie]  The nominees for Best Safety Initiative or Idea are:

[Looks at outside of envelope, reads nominees]

And the award goes to…

[Opens envelope, takes out note, reads winner]

<Music & Applause>

Award category 5: Outstanding Individual

[Jane]:   Our next award is our Outstanding Individual award. This is our Employee of the Year award, awarded to somebody who consistently exhibits each of our values: [Value_1], [Value_2], [Value_3] and [Value_4] – in everything they do. 

It’s a huge accolade to be nominated for this award.  Can you imagine being that highly regarded, [Peter]?

[Peter]:  I can [Jane], but you’ll be pleased to learn that, this year, I’ve decided to rule myself out of the running for this award – to let somebody else have a go.  And five of our colleagues now have exactly that chance.

Here is [Eric Surname], our [Redacted]  to tell you who they are:

<Music & Applause>

[Eric]   The nominees for our Outstanding Individual award are:

[Looks at outside of envelope, reads nominees]

And the award goes to…

[Opens envelope, takes out note, reads winner]

<Music & Applause>

Award category 6: Excellent Example of Inclusion – All Values

[Peter] Our sixth award is the Excellent Example of Inclusion, something that we should all be passionate about.  I could certainly talk at length about how we’re very aware – and proud – of the importance we place on inclusion.  

I could explain in great depth about the need to avoid having the same worldviews dominating our thinking, not allowing anyone else’s voice to come to the fore… 

…[Jane], I think I should probably include you at this point. 

[Jane] Yes, [Peter], I think you probably should.

It’s great that we can all agree that a commitment to Inclusion is a vital part of any healthy organisation. 

And to demonstrate that, we’ve excluded all but the following nominees, who the judges feel have demonstrated their commitment to inclusion more than anyone else.   

Here is [Fanny Surname], our [Redacted],  to tell you who’s on this exclusive list.

<Music & Applause>

[Fanny]  The nominees for the Excellent Example of Inclusion are:

[Looks at outside of envelope, reads nominees]

And the award goes to…

[Opens envelope, takes out note, reads winner]

<Music & Applause>

Award category 7: Team of the Year

[Jane]:  Our next award is Team of the Year.  The teams we work in form a vital link between ourselves as individuals and [Redacted] as a whole.

 Achieving the goals of the team not only gives more meaning to the things we do, it can be a source of greater satisfaction when we do things well.   

Good teams also ensure that the workload is shared more evenly when one of the team is struggling.  In a world of algorithms and systems, this is still a very human way of working and it’s a part of working life that you can’t simply improve with technology.

[Peter] Strictly speaking, the hardest-working team in [Redacted] is Microsoft Teams but the judges felt it was ineligible for consideration because a good team shouldn’t crash unexpectedly and keep putting you on mute for no reason. 

But this award isn’t just about the team’s level of achievement but the way that those goals are achieved.  To quote Bananarama, “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it; And that’s what gets results”.

Here is [Gordon Surname], our [Redacted],  to give you that result:

<Music & Applause>

[Gordon]:     The nominees for Team of the Year are:

[Looks at outside of envelope, reads nominees]

And the award goes to…

[Opens envelope, takes out note, reads winner]

<Music & Applause>

Award category 8: Consistent Customer Excellence by a Team

[Peter] Our final award is the Consistent Customer Excellence by a Team.  Many of our customers have experienced more difficulties this year than in any previous year, which often leads to them placing even greater demands on us. 

Against that backdrop, an ability to give great customer service is one thing but doing that – consistently – takes something special.

[Jane]  Absolutely.  It feels like there’s never been a more important time to offer excellent, empathetic customer service.  And it’s wonderful to see that so many of our people are doing exactly that.

Here is [Hermione Surname], our [Redacted],  to recognise some very special teams.

<Music & Applause>

[Hermione]  The nominees for Consistent Customer Excellence by a Team are:

[Looks at outside of envelope, reads nominees]

And the award goes to…

[Opens envelope, takes out note, reads winner]

<Music & Applause>

<CEO returns to stage>