In a black sweater and black jeans, Jonathan Kranz wandered through the crowd of networking professionals unassumingly before his presentation at Big Ditch Brewing on Tuesday, May 9. Introducing himself to different groups, he immediately sparked connections – showcasing his effortless ability to adapt to the different personalities in the room, much like the multitude of clients he’s written for in his 21+ year career as a freelance copywriter.
As the sole proprietor of Kranz Communications, the writer illustrated a unique ability to adapt to his surroundings, audience, and clients at AAF Buffalo’s final 2017 Spotlight Speaker Series presentation. From engaging with the back row to conjuring the most mundane product ever marketed amongst the room, Kranz showed how to keep an audience engaged and interested in topics that aren’t exactly eye-catching.
Focusing on the foundation of marketing and advertising – being convincing about things for which we have no conviction – Kranz broke content down into three categories: the boring, the complex, and the undifferentiated. For each he presented three practical solutions, the basis of which came down to asking questions such as who (“Who cares and why?”), what (“What unexpected value can I emphasize”), where (“Where can I make a meaningful distinction?”), and how (“How do I make this relatable?”)?
Showing samples of his work, Kranz enthusiastically read the Canterbury Tales-inspired article he wrote for an apartment complex and spoke to the use of a ‘plumber’s magnet’ – the tactic of using an uncommon program design for an equally uncommon talent. When asked about his writing practices when it comes to crafting interview scripts, he advised to drill down past the high-level questions/answers to find what really makes the product unique.
Among the other practice tips Kranz advised were using case studies to make a product real and tangible, taking a contrarian position to catch the reader’s attention (e.g., “Top 10 Reasons NOT to Hire Jack”), and playing up the players to show how the company wins the game.
After a quick game of “Who Markets the Most Boring Products” and some one-on-one Q&A, Kranz left the audience intrigued and thoughtful – blocking many attendees’ writer’s block, at least for the time being.