“We want you to be edgy. Just don’t offend anyone.”

If I had a nickel for every time we’ve heard that from a client…

Usually the asker is unhappy with the answer, though it’s the correct answer: “because that’s what works in fundraising.”

Turns out this phobic shunning of doom and gloom is bigger than our nonprofit backwater.

If you do nothing else, read this short Gapingvoid blog post and marvel at the art.

And if you’re not in a clicky mood, here’s the money quote:

“Negative begets conflict, conflict begets drama, drama begets story, story begets people paying attention, people paying attention begets results.”

We’ve shared before Robert McKee’s brief vilification of what he calls “negaphobia” in corporate communications. It’s only a minute and it’s worth a re-watch.

Bottom line: if you’re not offending anyone, you’re probably boring. And if you’re boring no one will pay attention to you.