What does “Carpe diem” mean to you? – SCN Encourager

How you answer reveals your marketing mindset.

Do you interpret “Carpe diem” to mean “Seize the day?”… or do you believe it means something more spontaneous, like “Seize the moment?”

And don’t fret about failing a lame high stakes standardized language test while you decide.

Even Latin aficionados have mixed opinions about this.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 6.31.37 PMBut marketing consultant Scott Stratten sure doesn’t.

Remember him? (Encourager 12/9/2013)

Holy cow, is this guy a straight shooter.

He’s all for the against-the-current swim most of us are attempting in our schools.

The Toffler mantra for 21st century education we’re using today – learn,unlearn, and relearn – is identical to the one Stratten highlights in his speaking engagements, books, and marketing seminars.

One of his recent “unlearnings” caught my ever-selective listening ear.

Stratton said that he’s made thousands of dollars in his career helping businesses craft cool sounding mission statements, guiding principles, and taglines.

He now says this is a major waste of time.

“Consumers today care more about how you treat them in the moment, little else,” he said. “They don’t care about your fancy ideals, your departmental silos, or an affirmational phrase hanging on a banner. All they care about is how you treat them. It’s your behavior – moment by moment – that becomes your brand. It’s your behavior – moment by moment – that becomes what’s said about you on social media.”

As a school communicator who loves “words” and enjoys writing and pestering you, this is a sudden punch in the gut.

Why does behavior – up and down the line throughout every organization – now have to trump clever sound bites and speaking points?


Stratten’s probably right, though.

But I hope his tough 21st century marketing message will only challenge us to relearn “Carpe diem.”

I’d hate to see school superintendents start rethinking our traditional “per diems,” too.

That’d be just my luck.


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