AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

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I was just thinking how a little button on the beginning of a binge show says so much about our communication world today.

Skip Video ButtonWe are all talking about shorter copy, shorter videos, shorter presentations, shorter books, shorter podcasts … It seems like we all want shorter, until we must write a speech, do a video or write a blog. Shorter is better as long as it is everything I’m reading, not my own work. Right?

So I was thinking about this while I was binge-watching “For All Mankind” on Apple TV+.  It’s a great series and renewed for a third season. Highly recommend it. 5 stars.  “Hi, Bob,” to all the fans out there.

I noticed at the beginning of the show there was a SKIP INTRO button. We all know that people have no patience for credits at the end of a movie — no matter how the movie industry has tried to keep content mixed with the credits to keep us in our seats. Yet this is allowing me to skip the intro as well. And so I skipped. All that money spent on music, design and video, and I just skipped it. What a world.

I was listening to my favorite economist in a podcast the other day and he asked a lot of opening questions that had nothing at all to do with the topic of the podcast, and I found myself wanting to “skip intro.” Instead, I just skipped the podcast altogether. I didn’t need all that intro bun, just give me the meat.

SKIP INTRO means leave all the superlatives until the end of the show. Think of the long intros you must endure while someone introduces a speaker. Some are interesting, but most should just be skipped.

The next time you write a blog, letter, article, speech or video script, think of SKIP INTRO first. Do it for all mankind.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.