Thursday, July 08, 2010

What If the Declaration of Independence Were Written Today?

The Declaration of Independence was a brilliant, compelling and very, very important piece of marketing communications, a point that is critical to make even AFTER the July 4th-5th holiday (when I did not post). The Declaration was designed to connect with, inspire and mobilize all of the fledgling nation’s constituencies (including opinion leaders; public officials; the American citizenry; the British monarchy; France, Spain and other foreign states.) It built credibility for an upstart new country, and it remains the defining document for political discourse to this very day.

In total it is about 1,300 words and 8,000 characters. But communications have changed radically since it was adopted in 1776. What if it were written today? In search of an answer, the folks at Slate — a daily magazine on the Web — ran a Twitter contest that challenged its readers to condense the whole of the Declaration of Independence to just one tweet (#TinyDeclaration). Here are some examples:

• We protested taxation without representation; we have been patient; we appealed for justice; now we declare ourselves free.
• All peeps are equal. Sick and tired of your tyrannical BS. Seeking independence. Your permission requested, not required.
• Dear George, it's not you. It's U.S.
• And, the winner: Bye George, we've got it.

As clever as these Tweets may be, I think you’ll agree that none surpasses the original!

Technorati Tags: The Declaration of Independence, Slate, Twitter, leadership, communications, public relations, Makovsky


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