Peter Whent

October 24, 2022

I'm not woke. You're woke.

Calling “The Guardian reading Tofu Eating Wokerati”

Unless you’ve taken up residence in a cave, or you rely on a crowded football stadium for your Wi-Fi connection, you might have concluded that this week in British politics isn’t one that will be filed under “Plain Sailing”.

Cast your mind back to one prime minister and a home secretary ago (or as it’s otherwise known, Wednesday), and amongst the wreckage of the week in Westminster, you’ll find the then Home Secretary berating what she describes as:

“The Guardian reading Tofu Eating Wokerati”

The quote of course is Suella Braverman’s, a lady who makes a living by appealing to a group of people who think that political correctness is bollocks.

Her ideal customer avatar is a 37-year old bloke from Southend called Lee who wants to bring back hanging and thinks they/them must be twins.

Lee doesn’t take any shit from the Guardian reading, tofu eating Wokerati.

But rather than berate right back, The Guardian totally embraced that description and gave us all a schooling in great messaging.

I present Exhibit A

Let's try not to piss everyone off, eh?.

OK this is how you use a topical hot quote to nail your messaging.

The Guardian’s clap back is a masterclass in how not to give a monkey’s what people think, as long as you’re delighting your fans.

Contrary to how it might look, this is not The Guardian goading Lee and Suella, which would be the normal response.

Instead, they take careful aim and fire something straight at…….their own customers. The sub-text is, “Look at how we’ve been attacked” and there’s nothing that bonds a tribe like a common enemy. They're not trying to persuade Lee he's wrong, they're using the conflict to coral their own base.

"It’s OK to offend people in your messaging. It doesn’t matter how many people you offend, as long as you delight enough. The trick is not to piss everyone off."

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Add a side of humour and it’s genius. And they are totally relaxed because they know this:

Lee from Southend and others like him will suffer eyeball strain from all the rolling they’ll do when they see this, but The Guardian doesn’t care because it will delight their audience and that’s all that matters

The lesson here: It’s OK to offend people in your messaging - see
Rule 7

And it doesn’t matter how many people you offend, as long as you delight enough.

The trick is not to piss everyone off.

If I’ve offended you, I hope you’ve recovered by next week.

Now get out of my office.

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