The Good and The Bad Of Using Humor To Communicate In Business | SnappConner

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The Good and The Bad Of Using Humor To Communicate In Business | SnappConner
The Good and The Bad Of Using Humor To Communicate In Business This article appeared originally in O.C. Tanner's A Magazine on July 20, 2015: "We need a rights group for those of us who were born innately sarcastic, so our voice will be taken seriously."


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The skilled use of humor ...

  • gets a point across, 
  • lightens a mood,
  • is better than therapy for brightening the workplace and energizing all who may come your way.

The ...


Good and bad humor

  • Good Humor is Inclusive.
  • Good Humor Promotes Bonding.

  • Bosses and managers who use self-deprecating humor are considered more approachable and human....



Humor benefits to marketing materials

Humor benefits to marketing materials
  • Humor breaks down walls, shows personality a.k.a. shows a brand's human side.
  • Humor is attention-grabbing. It is naturally colorful and original.
  • People love ...

At its worst, humor is:

  • The wrong joke at the wrong time. It can make your brand look amateurish and unprofessional.
  • If people think you’re cracking jokes for the sole purpose of getting more attention, you’ll be seen as exploitative rather than funny.
  • Humor can cheapen certain ideas or make them be taken less seriously.
  • In some cases, humor can be outright offensive.
  • Key areas to create value with humor

    • Humorous touches can almost always improve a piece that is already valuable on its own.
    • If you’re sure a joke is going to land, it can make an effective advertisement. Test variations of the joke with a small audience first; that way, you can be sure the humor doesn’t cross a line.
    • Brand differentiation. For example, Oreo has long differentiated itself by offering a quirky, tongue-in-cheek voice across its social media platforms. This is especially effective in dry, or otherwise “boring” industries.
    • Personal branding. Elon Musk, for example, has separated himself from his companies Tesla and SpaceX by cracking jokes and roasting people on his own account.

    one more idea

    Michael Kerr

    In workplaces that encourage people to be themselves--that are less hierarchical and more innovative--people tend..."

    Michael Kerr

    Why humor is a key to success at work

    • People will enjoy working with you.
    • Humor is a potent stress buster.
    • It is humanizing.
    • It puts others at ease.
    • Ha + ha = aha!  Humor is a key ingredient in creative thinking.
    • It helps build trust.
    • It boosts morale.
    • People who use humor tend to be more approachable.
    • Humor can allow your company to stand out.
    • It can increase productivity.

    Humor in social media

    Adding humor to your social media strategy can be a great way to get people’s attention.

    If you’re not “humorizing” your brand, product or business, then you might be missing out on a ...

    5 tips to help you get started

    1. Ask yourself WWJD? (What Would Jerry Do?) Take an everyday situation and ask yourself, “What’s funny about this?”
    2. Keep it clean. Steer clear of controversial topics and jokes in bad taste.
    3. Use your wittiness to compete against big budgets. 
    4. Just because your company is serious doesn’t mean all marketing has to be. Poke fun at yourself by doing a parody of your company or your industry.
    5. The best humor comes naturally. Experiment by recording video interviews with quirky customers and employees.

    Being Funny Is a Risk

    • Some people might not appreciate your company’s brand of humor. Make sure the humor fits.
    • Being funny may not work for healthcare, financial services or any highly regulated industry.
    • Try using an online survey to test your attempt at humor against an internal audience before you send it out.