Why Text on Fire doesn’t do social media.

Why Text on Fire doesn’t do social media.

Text on Fire does not "do" social media

As I mentioned in my first blog post on this new domain, I’ve been away for a while. And by “away” I mean “the digital marketing corner of the internet,” and by “a while” I mean SEVEN YEARS. Once I came out of that Space Mountain-like roller coaster of an accidental life chapter, to say that I was reluctant to return to the world of digital would be an understatement. By its very nature, technology and the way we communicate is changing so quickly now it’s overwhelming, if not impossible, to keep up. 

So, I thought I should start poking around some of my “old haunts” — blogs and communities of others in the field of whom I highly respected, to see what they’ve been up to. What the “latest” was. I admit that in my seven-year absence, I had not paid much attention at all. I knew there were a lot of new tools/platforms that I wasn’t familiar with (Snapchat, anyone?) that had come to the forefront, some other tools of which I was an “early adopter” and had abandoned a few years ago (Twitter) had become mainstream, and others had disappeared. 

As I found myself perusing these former digital “stomping grounds” and revisiting old colleagues on the web, one thing stood out — I didn’t miss a damned thing.

The same people were spouting out the same ideas they were not just seven years ago, but a decade ago. The same ideas, being rehashed/recycled over and over again, but in different packaging.

Of course they were. Why? Because while technology and tools may change, the basic underlying principles of marketing and public relations do not. 

I was recently catching up with an old “digital colleague,” Kiki L’Italien, after an Association Chat about this. She agreed with me, but pointed out:

“The underlying lessons are the same, but the channels and algorithms have changed a lot. . . [there is] too much stuff to keep up with! I used to teach . . . online courses for Facebook marketing and had to redo units twice before the last course launched because FB made significant changes overnight.”

Kiki L’Italien

I concede that much; there is too much stuff to keep up with. Especially when you have clients who turn to you to keep up with the latest platforms and how they can use them.

But overall, tools don’t matter. They’re a means to an end.

Seven years ago (earlier, if we’re being honest), when I was ears deep in this kind of thing, it was all about figuring out your “Twitter strategy” or your “Facebook strategy.” Now it’s all about your “Instagram strategy.” While it’s true that there is more than one way to skin a cat, the social media/digital marketing bubble online, after all this time, is still focused much more on each new cat. 

Let’s think about this in terms of sports.

The Detroit Lions (bless their hearts), despite being a professional team, are one of the worst teams in football (if not the worst). Say you give them all new equipment — jerseys, cleats, pads, and oh yeah, a new stadium (this all happened) — guess what? They’re still the Detroit Lions, and they’ll never win the Super Bowl, let alone get there. But then there’s the New England Patriots. The Patriots don’t need all new duds — even if they played in ratty old jerseys and 10-year-old cleats — they’d still be a winning team. You can make all the jokes about deflated footballs you want, but the Pats have now won six Super Bowls since 2002.

Football depends on skills of the players, yes, but it’s mostly about game strategy as a whole. Depending on how the game goes, plays and tactics may change, but the overall game is the same. A football team’s equipment only matters to a point. 

If a person or a company marketed themselves solely on “social media strategy,” they’re basically marketing themselves as the equivalent of the equipment manager for the Detroit Lions.

Don’t get me wrong — social media can be an important part of a healthy communication strategy. But it can not, and should not, be solely relied upon. It is important to know that “social media” is not a verb, but rather an ever-changing collection of tools. Tools are not strategy. Tools aren’t even tactics, they’re a means to deliver them. A true strategist knows the difference. If a person or a company marketed themselves solely on “social media strategy,” they’re basically marketing themselves as the equivalent of the equipment manager for the Detroit Lions.

That is why Text on Fire™ doesn’t “do social media.” Been there, done that — got plenty of redundant conference lanyards. What we do do is help small businesses, agencies, associations, and even large corporations develop and deliver the right messages to the right people, the right way. Those ways may include “social media,” but not exclusively. Everything is contingent on a company and its overall goals. Our goal is to assist those businesses by strategic consulting, and creating enticing content that engages the customer, converts to sales, and leaves a lasting impression. 


Stacy Lukasavitz Steele, Principal of Text on Fire Communications™

Stacy Lukasavitz Steele is the multi-disciplined writer behind Text on Fire Communications™. Formerly known online as “that damned redhead,” this seasoned digital strategist and analyst has been setting fire to the interwebs for over 20 years in one capacity or another. She takes the English language much more seriously than she takes herself, but must warn you that the stereotypes about redheads are true. She is passionate about helping brands find their voice and delivering the right messages to the right people. If you’re a cool company looking for some hot copy, you’re in the right place. Drop her a line via the contact form

Nothing is “very unique.”

Nothing is “very unique.”

I love language. As a writer, it’s basically a prerequisite. Therefore, it should surprise no one that it bothers me to no end when people use words incorrectly. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people abuse the word unique. 

Abuse of the word unique is rampant on television singing competitions like The Voice. You’ll often hear a judge say something to a singer like, “Your voice is very unique.” 

Here’s the thing: The very definition of the word “unique” is that something is original. Unlike anything else. Here’s what Dictionary.com says:

The word “unique” never needs, nor should ever have, a modifier or an adjective. It’s unnecessary. Something is either unique, or it’s not. There’s no in between. 

If you’re struggling for a word that’s kind of like unique, there’s always thesaurus.com, which lists other options that aren’t quite, well . . . unique. 

Different. Exclusive. Particular. Rare. Uncommon. Incomparable. Take your pick.

Please don’t abuse unique. Abuse of the word unique nulls and voids its very definition, and makes you sound like an idiot. A common idiot, not a unique one.


Stacy Lukasavitz Steele, Principal of Text on Fire Communications™

Stacy Lukasavitz Steele is the multi-disciplined writer behind Text on Fire Communications™. Formerly known online as “that damned redhead,” this seasoned digital strategist and analyst has been setting fire to the interwebs for over 20 years in one capacity or another. She takes the English language much more seriously than she takes herself, but must warn you that the stereotypes about redheads are true. She is passionate about helping brands find their voice and delivering the right messages to the right people. If you’re a cool company looking for some hot copy, you’re in the right place. Drop her a line via the contact form

Guess who’s back? That Damn Redhead is back. (Tell a friend.)

Guess who’s back? That Damn Redhead is back. (Tell a friend.)

After more than 20 years in digital marketing, consulting, a couple blogs that unwittingly exploded in popularity, then unceremoniously abandoning my last one in 2012, I all but fell off the internet as it knew me. It was time for a resurgence. Many people in the digital marketing corner of the internet know me as the blogger and digital strategist formerly known as “that damn redhead.” Well, I am still that person, because I recognize that although it was unintentional, a “personal brand” like that is impossible to shed completely. (The irony here being that I’m actually anti-“personal branding,” but that’s for another post at another time.)

I officially, formally retired thatdamnredhead.net in 2018, but always planned on returning to the world I knew I belonged — the world of writing, the world of sharing my observations and insights on digital culture, communication theory, marketing, business, and beyond. It was inevitable that I returned, and after some introspection and major life events, I knew it was time, if not overdue. 

So, “that damn redhead” is back — more focused, more comfortable in her own skin, and (I hope) better than ever. Back to blogging, back to business, back to work with a new biz on a new domain, writing under her own name (here, anyway), and serving up new insights and commentary with the same balance of educational content, professionalism, signature dash of snark and sometimes, contrarianism. (As my fellow veterans of the digital marketing space will attest, my ideas and insights have a tendency to buck the status quo.)

Why the name “Text on Fire”?

It’s ridiculously difficult to come up with a catchy name for a copywriting and consulting business that hasn’t already been taken. “Text on Fire” hit me like a lighting bolt of obvious one night while I was dealing with insomnia. I was keeping myself occupied with music videos by the country duo Sugarland on YouTube, when on came a video of Jennifer Nettles doing a magnificent cover of the song “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon.

Blame Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. (Photo: Shervin Lainez for Big Machine Records)

Admittedly, I was unaware it was a cover at the time, as Nettles’ version was the only one I had ever heard. Regardless, “Text on Fire” seemed a fitting play on words, especially with my unshakable identity tied to my hair. At 2:30 in the morning, I checked to see if it was taken, and instantly purchased the domain. Shortly after, I got the name of my new endeavor officially trademarked. 

Welcome to Text on Fire Communications™, and welcome to my official new blog, Fireside Chatter. Buckle up — it’s bound to be an interesting ride. We’ll be talking about hot topics, cool stuff, and how to make your business (and yourself) communicate better, and the occasional stray from the norm, as I am wont to do.

Let’s ignite the internet again.


Stacy Lukasavitz Steele, Principal of Text on Fire Communications™

Stacy Lukasavitz Steele is the multi-disciplined writer behind Text on Fire Communications™. Formerly known online as “that damned redhead,” this seasoned digital strategist and analyst has been setting fire to the interwebs for over 20 years in one capacity or another. She takes the English language much more seriously than she takes herself, but must warn you that the stereotypes about redheads are true. She is passionate about helping brands find their voice and delivering the right messages to the right people. If you’re a cool company looking for some hot copy, you’re in the right place. Drop her a line via the contact form