X-Message-Number: 28948
References: <>
From: Kennita Watson <>
Subject: Re: Marketing Cryonics
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 2007 23:01:22 -0800

"Fred C. Moulton" <> wrote:
> Others have been making interesting criticisms of specific  
> activities or
> media presentations so I want to focus primarily my thoughts primarily
> on the broader topic of marketing a new concept such as Cryonics:
> 1. Image and Message are critically important.  When the someone hears
> or reads the word "cryonics" what idea will come immediately to their
> mind?

After some thought, I think the message I want to get
across is "Cryonics is a lifeboat to the future, and
I can afford a ticket."

> 2. Understand the target audience or audiences.  Are different  
> messages
> and images needed for different audiences.  What are those messages?

My target audience is T.C. Mits -- The Celebrated
Man-in-the-street.  There are much more erudite persons
than myself targeting scientists, politicians, and

> Have you done serious research or are you just guessing?

I think I'm somewhere in the middle.  I'm doing what research
I can.  I don't have the time or money for "serious research",
but I'm also not sitting in an ivory tower making things up.

> 3. Image and message need to be consistent as perceived by the  
> audience.
> Do not confuse different audiences by presenting conflicting,  
> confusing
> or inappropriate messages.

I don't see this as a problem in my own case.  As I see it,
I consistently present cryonics as a credible and
affordable possible alternative to premature death.

> 4. Understand which audiences tend to set opinion and which tend to
> follow.

AFAIK, people with money and power set opinion if they want
to, but often they let the people do what they want.  Thus
pet rocks, World of Warcraft, YouTube, extreme sports, the
Atkins and Zone diets, etc.  Sometimes it takes a few
testimonials and a charismatic spokesperson.

> 5. Most people do not have long attention spans and usually can not
> internalize large portions of information on a new topic.  Identify  
> the
> message.  For introducing new concepts such as Cryonics it needs to be
> simple.  Two days after an individual sees a print or media piece or
> hears a speaker what do you want the individual to experience  
> encounters
> the term "cryonics"?  You want something their response to positive  
> such
> as "solid/sincere/honest" not a bunch of mixed imagery of death, half
> remembered scientific terms and  .  You first set a firm foundation.

I wonder what was supposed to be after "scientific terms and ".
Actually, there were a few bits missing from that paragraph.
I'll just say that the simplicity point is well taken, and note
that I have been and will be dealing with many people coming
from many different places, with different attitudes, conceptions
and misconceptions, levels of intelligence, sizes of vocabulary,
and degrees of scientific fluency, etc., so I won't be able to
hold forth with a canned presentation.  I am not a "speaker",
though I will be speaking.  But if nothing else, choosing a
subset of the many things that could be said about cryonics to
focus on will make my posters simpler.

> 6. Do not get too wound up and try to put everything in one big
> presentation unless there is a really good reason.  Remember the short
> attention span.  Small bites which build on each other over time  
> can be
> very useful.

I think the one-hour presentation that I do at Frozen Dead Guy Days
will be a slightly-edited version of the National Geographic
documentary, followed by a question-and-answer session.  Something
to hand them as they leave might be good.

> 7. Do not make a mistake or have an unusual or ambiguous use of a
> technical term or scientific idea.  If you have a mistake then it is
> likely that some one will spot it.  If you are putting chemical  
> formulas
> or medical/scientific terminology in a scene or an article make sure
> they are absolutely correct and unambiguous.  If you are called on a
> mistake and you need start explaining then you have a big problem.

One thing about talking to people "on the street" is
that casual conversation is expected to be less punctilious
than written exposition.  One generally doesn't speak in
chemical formulae.  Being called on a mistake hasn't caused
any trouble that I've seen, and since what I'm generally
doing is explaining, I think it helps create rapport because
the person I'm talking to is reassured that they aren't a
dummy because they were following what I said well enough to
pick up on a place where I tripped up.  Certainly if I see a
mistake in print I will point it out and correct it if

> 8. Avoid insulting or alienating some or all of your audience.  For
> example a cross is a typical Christian symbol but what about the  
> impact
> of it on non-Christians?  There is not reason to have it in general
> audience productions.  This goes for national flag and other similar
> things.  You do not want to have things which are offensive or
> distracting.

Not an issue for me as far as I know.  Please point out
if I'm so enmeshed in my cultural milieu that I've missed
something in fish-not-seeing-water fashion.

> 9. Be very careful with reporters and documentary film makers.  Their
> goal is usually not the same as your goal.  Just because they stroke
> your ego and say they are interested in the Cryonics story does not  
> mean
> that this is really the case.  Remember that after the interview is  
> over
> and the film has been shot that they will be writing the story and
> editing the film not you.  If you do not know what is going on ell
> meaning amateurs can be a disaster. then it might be best to  
> courteously
> direct the media person to someone who can handle the situation.

Since any reporters who show up at the Frozen Dead Guy Days
will be doing a story mainly on the Frozen Dead Guy Days,
and since the mainstream cryonics organizations want no
part of anything I say, there's no one to direct them to.
Reporters and documentary film makers who want to write
about Alcor or CI or ACS or 12CM or whoever can easily find
them on the Web, and while I might have literature for any
or all of them at my booth, I will be quick to state that I
am not there under the umbrella of any established cryonics
provider, and speak only for Go Cryo!.

> 10. Regardless of what you are proposing to do (video, posters, public
> speaking, articles, etc) know your target audience and what level of
> professionalism is required.  A good rule of thumb is that it is  
> usually
> at least one level higher than you think.  Something which looks
> amateurish in its production values reflects that Cryonics itself is
> amateurish.  Remember that most people see style before they have had
> time to comprehend substance.

To me that says that I should have more shirts with collars
printed up, or wear a shirt with a collar under my T-shirt.
The people at this event will be very casual, and many of
them still in their snow parkas.

I do what I can afford to do.  I plan to print a fancier
banner this year, but may not be able to do more than that.

> 11. Remember what you find interesting and compelling may not be
> interesting and compelling for everyone else.

Quite so.  I'd say not only "everyone" else, but "anyone"
else.  I gauge this person by person in the first ten to
twenty seconds of a conversation.

> 12. Unless you really understand all of the above concerning whatever
> activity you want to do then stop and do not do it. This is very
> important particularly early in the marketing of a new idea like
> Cryonics.  Appearing in the wrong venue or appearing unprofessional or
> doing amateurish work or creating shady looking websites can all hurt
> the Cryonics movement.  Good intentions are not enough.  If you really
> think you have a good idea then run it by someone who has a background
> in marketing and communications.

I don't like the sound or the attitude of "stop and do not
do it".  Great things have been done by people who didn't
know what they were doing.  My home page has long included
"It Couldn't Be Done" by Edgar A. Guest:  http://www.kennita.com/ 
do_it.html .
I also keep the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling attached to my desk:

http://gocryo.org is up and running.  I know it needs a lot of
updating and improvement.  That's one of the items high on my
to-do list for Frozen Dead Guy Days.  Anyone who has specific
suggestions on ways to make it look more professional or less
amateurish is welcome to offer them.  Brickbats are not enough.
If you even have the name of a good person in marketing and
communications who would be willing to offer me some free
advice on how to improve it, I'll listen to that too.

> Thanks for your attention and consideration of these points

Thanks for offering the points.  I pay attention, I consider,
and I decide.  Then I act.

Live long and prosper,
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
none but ourselves can free our minds.
           -- Bob Marley, "Redemption Song"

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=28948