Five sentences that make digital folk cringe


Every now and again, folk who work in digital hear things. Sometimes lovely things that make them feel awesome, like they have a set skills that colleagues value. Other times, not so much.

Here’s a selection of sentences to strike fear and facepalm into any digital person’s heart.

I don’t get all this newfangled tech stuff

You’re sitting there in a staff meeting. Someone makes an oblique reference to a website or a tweet. They throw in the disclaimer that they “don’t get all of this new fangled stuff”. They say it with a slight sneer in your direction.

Wait, so I’ve done lunchtime sessions on digital trends, presented the results from an integrated digital campaign we run, and it’s 2016, but a website is still “new fangled” to you? If you’re not quite up to speed on digital, of course that’s ok – but can we talk before you declare it in public? A sentence like that – or more accurately, the pride with which it’s spoken – can subtly undermine your expertise. It’s one that makes it ok not to engage with the way your charity is doing things. A proper awkward moment.

My computer isn’t working – can you fix it?

Ah yes, because my work involves computers, I know everything about computers. In fact, that’s all digital is – IT support.

Again, being asked something like this undermines the importance of digital marketing. It also takes you away from your actual job of creating things like digital strategies, monitoring conversion data and reporting on social media reach.

In fact, there’s only one thing worse than being asked – and that’s when you’re end up able to fix their computer straight away (the on button is there).

The digital team just mess around on Twitter all day.

This is a classic. You’ve probably heard it more than once. Yep, that’s all we do. We comb our newsfeeds for cat gifs. We tweet our mates hilarious bantz. In fact, that’s all digital marketing is! And it totally explains why I’ve been at work way after everyone has left this week – it’s just so much fun!

Was I supposed to change INSERT SUMMARY TEXT HERE in that email before it went out?

The instruction that’s part of the email template? The bit that asks you to insert a sort of text-based summary of what’s in the email? You’ve already sent the campaign? Oh.

Why can’t I see our ad on Facebook?

This is an understandable question to be fair. You’re part of the targeted demographic, but you can’t see your own charity’s ad on Facebook. So you demand answers from the digital team – that must mean it isn’t running, right?

Luckily no – Facebook’s algorithm prioritises showing you ads it thinks you’ll be most interested in. For you, it prioritised ads from other organisations. This one is closely related to “I’m seeing our ad too many times.” Oh no problem, I’ll just pull the whole campaign.

Enjoy your holiday! You’ll still handle social though, right?

A glorious week’s holiday beckons. Boy have you earned this.

What’s that? You still need me to monitor our social media feeds and deal with any enquiries that come up? There’s no way you could that yourself?

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Matt Collins is managing director at digital marketing agency, Platypus Digital, and tweets @charitychap