This British Tradition is Worth Passing on to the Next Generation

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

It’s been said that no nation can match Great Britain for preserving tradition and pageantry. Take the birth yesterday of a son to the Prince and Duchess of Cambridge, better known to the world as Prince William and Kate Middleton. (As of this writing, the new family was viewed with the little King-to-be.)

frame After the Queen was given the happy news, this message was placed in a handsome frame on an elegant easel positioned outside Buckingham Palace for all the world to read: “Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge was safely delivered of a son at 4:24 p.m today.  Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”  That’s a total of 119 characters – less than the maximum for a tweet. A simple, but very effective, communication.

The happy message was followed by four signatures, probably from doctors who attended to Kate.  I mean the Duchess.

As a communicator of some renown (at least in my own mind and within the confines of this blog), I find it refreshing that the Royal Family adheres to this tradition: Let the person in charge know first (the Queen), then inform everyone else with a short, no-nonsense message.  If I was asked to draft the message, I would have preferred: “The Duchess of Cambridge safely delivered a son..”  Maybe next time the Royal Family will ask for my help.

Too often these days we’re bombarded with messages, many that are pure nonsense.  So many messages, in fact, that we may lose sight of those that are truly important. This holds true, I trust, for text message exchanges between teenagers as well as some of the stuff prepared by those who work in the public relations business — or claim to, anyway.

Perhaps we should learn a lesson from the Royals: Communicate important stuff succinctly and carry on.