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Content and message must match

Whatever your message is, your content must be consistent as well.

One of my favourite writing tasks is helping Santa write letters each Christmas at Love Santa. They are fun, positive letters and I know that each one will bring smiles and extend the Christmas joy.

Of course, sometimes people feel that they get too old for Santa and question their belief in him and the magic of Christmas.

Writing letters to Santa

Like many others, Love Santa has some information available to help people (parents in particular) to encourage people to keep their belief in Santa. The information is written with care to give tips on encouraging belief but also be read by those in doubt without any additional cause to doubt (and yes, this blog post is also being carefully written!)

Others are not so careful. I just read an article with ‘easy ways to keep your child believing in Santa’ that spends the first few paragraphs destroying any beliefs before giving the five tips. Any doubting child reading it would no longer be influenced by those useful tips so the purpose would be lost – and don’t assume kids don’t read articles aimed for parents!

This makes a clear example of how the presentation of information through choice of words, headings and images can support or contradict the intent and content of the writing. Sure it is harder to write so that the entire message is consistent and acceptable for all potential readers, but it will serve the purpose much better and will be appreciated by those looking for the information.

What examples have you seen of a message not supporting itself? Or maybe you have a Santa story to share (although personal stories are best shared at Love Santa’s blog!)?

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