Engagement and The John Lennon Wall
I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Prague, Czech Republic. One of the spots my daughters wanted to visit was the John Lennon wall.
When John Lennon was shot in 1980, this innocuous wall became a destination for mourners. Some of them began to create tribute messages on that wall. The tradition has continued until today.
We approached the wall on a cool but sunny Sunday afternoon. There were about 100 people there. There were also vendors renting Sharpies and spray paint cans for those wanting to add to the wall. My younger daughter, Grace, decided to add her contribution.
Grace got a spray paint can with hot pink paint in it and surveyed the wall to find a spot that would let the contrast of the pink shine through the darker backgrounds. She thought about what she would add to the wall and decided on “Let It Be,” one of our favorite Beatles’ tunes.
She took a final step back to survey the competition and then put big, tall letters on the wall – just those three words. After adding more paint to the spots that were a bit thin, she asked her older sister to take a few photos of her by her creation.
Grace came back to where we took her picture from to look at the pics. When we looked up from the phone, we saw that a guy was getting his photo taken next to Grace’s “Let It Be.” As soon as he left, more people flanked the “Let It Be” for their photo opportunity. This went on for about fifteen minutes.
We left the wall smiling about how this simple phrase pulled people in. Grace took it one step further. She decided to go on Instagram to see if her “Let It Be” was out on social media. Sure enough, it was.
Although I didn’t have my Informz shirt on, I started to think about what this illustrated in terms of engagement. What did Grace do to create great engagement?
- Simplified the message – just three words
- Used a bold, yet uncomplicated, presentation – one color, big letters
- Stood out from the background noise – hot pink vs. black
- The right audience – everyone at that wall at least had an affinity for the Beatles, the music’s message, or mission
- Could report on it – a quick Instagram search and scroll validated her impact
Lessons learned! I think this applies as well to emails and social media posts as it does to a wall in Prague. Food (er, paint?) for thought.
p.s. Seeing how excited people were to wield a spray paint can in a sanctioned graffiti activity, maybe you can do this as an activity at your next large meeting. A piece of plywood painted white with a drop cloth or two, and your attendees will have a very memorable experience.