16 June 2018

Here’s my first story about a blank. As you might have guessed from the picture below, it concerns fish. There are obvious blanks about fish, like we don’t know how many there are; they are more difficult to count than land animals. But that’s for another day. This blank is about a brand many on this forum will know well. They’ll probably think it’s a household name. I certainly heard of it at least ten years ago when I discovered for the first time the pleasure of eating cod, plaice and haddock.  Honestly, it tasted delicious for a simple reason – I knew it had been caught sustainably. Suddenly, the fish counted.

Now here’s the blank. That fish had been supplied through the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the sustainable fishery organisation using a leaping blue fish symbol on packs available in most supermarket chains. As it’s so successful, you’d think the brand would be well known by now. But no. Listening to that antiquated quiz show, Brain of Britain, on BBC Radio 4 a few weeks ago, I was surprised to learn that not one of the four contestants in the semi-final had ever heard of the MSC. What does that suggest? That we’re wriggling around in our own little siloes. If none of those eggheads are aware of the logo, maybe sustainable food suppliers need to swim further offshore.

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31 May 2018

About: Blank covers risk and the unknown – the concern of communicators, writers and editors. Either raising the unknown into public view. Or colouring in the fields between us: the ignorance we don’t acknowledge to others, the ignorance we don’t know they have, the ignorance we think they have, and the knowledge they think we have.  About: Blank is about exploring  misunderstandings, assumptions and discoveries. Because misunderstanding, flawed assumptions and some new discoveries create risk. And a major communication goal has to be to reduce that risk.

Look out for my first story about a blank in a few days.  The picture below provides a clue.