If you’ve ever used digital communication channels you know that they can be susceptible to technology glitches. Battling slowed speeds, batched emails, and various error messages can diminish your efforts…and energy. Print, however, is impervious to spam filters and instant deleting. It requires human interaction that is memorable and effective. Take this Reuter’s article from a few years ago as an entertaining reminder of digital’s imperfections.
11-month old pigeon, Winston, was given the task of carrying a 4GB memory card 50 miles to the offices of South African IT company, Unlimited IT. This wasn’t an attempt to bring back a lost form of communication, but rather a good reminder that technology can and will fail. Winston was being pitted against Telkom, the country’s leading internet service provider. Unlimited IT was proving a point after frustrations with bandwidth and internet speeds in the area. They hypothesized that it would be faster to send a carrier pigeon than rely on the download speeds of Telkom.
Props to Winston. Including flight time and downloading, Winston’s mission took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds. The same amount of time it took for only four percent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.
I use this to prove a point, rather than persuade your HR departments to implement a pigeon recruitment strategy. Winston’s solo mission not only proves a necessity for alternatives to digital, but it also speaks to what’s memorable.