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Judith Halliday

Curiosity Killed The Cat

Or did it?

Posted on: 22/04/2013   By: Judith Halliday

It may well have killed the cat - or so the story goes - but where would we be without curiosity? My own trip to the Old Curiosity Shop of my childhood had two results - both of them entirely positive. It began when I was a very little girl and I was unashamedly obsessed with the Saturday night TV icon that was Val Doonican (I still am, but don't tell anyone) ...

curiosity may have killed the cat but I wouldn't have had my career without it

curiosity may have killed the cat but I wouldn't have had my career without it

Looking forwards, I guess, to a quiet evening to themselves, my parents used to tell me (lie to me, in other words) that his show wasn't on television that week. Their deceit, and quiet evenings lasted until I was exactly four years old - then I learned to read. And finding out whether or not Val Doonican was on television that evening was, suddenly, entirely in my own hands.

It was positive for two reasons. Firstly, because it got me a place in front of the TV for an evening of chunky sweaters and rocking chairs, and, secondly, it taught me that when you want to know something badly enough, check the newspaper.

My life in newspapers, effectively began in those far off days, a love of something that told you what you wanted to know, that gave you background to a story, information, the people, the places, the names and the dates. In a word, newspapers satisfied my curiosity.

Newspapers have changed, our curiosity can be satisfied in so many ways now - via the internet, Twitter, Facebook and the like, but it is still important to make people curious.

Tell people just enough about your company to make them want to find out more. Give people a reason to delve a little bit deeper by making yourself or your company interesting, but without bombarding them with every bit of information.

Those that are curious, those who think you can do something to help them, or provide a product or service they need will find out the rest for themselves. Enough information at the right time is a positive and proactive way to push people to find out more - they won't feel they are being pushed, just having their curiosity aroused.

One word of warning, if your customers happen to be cats, you might want to tone it down a little!

Until next time ...


More about Judith Halliday ...

My writing career began under the bright lights of Gateshead in 1986 - who wouldn't love a job that offered the chance to listen to Gateshead Borough Council's Public Waste Committee debate the introduction of wheelie bins for three hours? It was the start of a working life that taught me what makes a good story and how to tell it and, although I don't have a news editor lurking ready to throw things at me any more, or so much of an interest in wheelie bins, my love of writing and a fascination with talking to people and telling their stories is as strong as ever.

Today I work for Business Times in Northampton and the Northants Evening Telegraph as well as providing copywriting services and press releases for a number of local companies.

When I'm not doing that, I indulge in the things I love most, which include, in no particular order: my teenage children, Sunderland football club, my husband, chocolate, QI, Chinese noodles, my closest friends, Test Match Special, red wine, reading in bed, The Sound of Music and growing vegetables.


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