Emojis are here to stay, so figure out how to use them

Many marketers and PR pros are quick to dismiss the symbols, but there are plenty of reasons why they shouldn’t.

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Among my peers, I mostly hear a lot of disdain for these cartoony icons strung together to form a sentence or a thought, or to convey an idea or emotion. On his now-defunct “Jay Today,” Jay Baer asked if marketers should take emoji seriously. Comments to the YouTube post were mostly dismissive, characterized by this one: “I am too old to spend extra time trying to translate what emojis mean. I want words—please.” Jay himself concluded that emoji users should listen to the same advice he offers his children: “Use your words.”

As a writer, I’m sympathetic to Jay’s plea. I’m equally cognizant, though, of the general shift toward visual communication, a trend I continue to urge my clients to follow and about which I speak frequently. The instant I heard Jay say, “Use your words,” I thought, “Isn’t a picture worth a thousand of those?”

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