I’ve been thinking about the difference between being provocative and being genuine lately.
We all read stories or see ads that are “provocative.” They are fun to read and see from time to time. But I wonder… do you trust a provocative story or would you prefer genuine writing?
There have been a few blog posts going around this week about being provocative in your blogging, marketing or overall strategy. I read that being being provocative has value in challenging people and pushing them to think.
Sure, I can agree with that.
Another blog I read suggested, “Being provocative isn’t about being controversial. It’s about being ahead of your time, solving problems in new and interesting ways, and creating awesome brands and products.”
But what does the word “provocative” really mean, I wondered. Here’s one definition that seems to be generally accepted: “Making people angry or excited: deliberately aimed at exciting or annoying people.”
Being provocative to me means trying to get people to react emotionally, quickly, instead of giving them something to think about, and respond to in time. It can mean prodding someone’s emotions instead of challenging the way they think.
If you were talking to a person face-to-face and you could tell they were being “provocative” or controversial just to get a reaction out of you, how would you feel? Would you feel challenged intellectually, or emotionally annoyed?
Every now and again I catch myself getting incensed by something I read which *I* know is “wrong.” I start a post and am writing away but I stop myself because what I am in fact doing is reactionary. I’m not carefully considering the points put forward and formulating an intelligent response.
That could very well be because in many provocative ads or blog posts there are few ideas to think about, only phrases to react to. I’ve read that writing like this is like the loud person at a party who swears a lot and is “controversial” just because he or she has nothing intelligent to say.
Do you read “provocative” blogs and enjoy “provocative” marketing strategies because you are enriched or learn from them, or do you just enjoy the controversy?
By Kathryn Jennex