Whether we refer to it as message, story or just plain good writing, we believe that ideas and words are the keys to building lasting brands and effective marketing. Today, there are virtually no barriers to getting your message in front of the public. Just log in to Facebook, Twitter or your own personal blog and write away! But is that a good thing? In some ways, yes, of course. But maybe, just maybe, now that it’s easier to make our writing public, it’s time we paid more attention to how we write and took the time to become better writers. (Or, just call Think Ceative, and we can help you craft messages in any media.) Of course, we’re not the first ones to stand on a soapbox and declare that the right words, well constructed can be a powerful force. On September 7th, 1982, David Ogilvy (long before the term social media had even been coined) sent the following internal memo to all agency employees, titled “How to Write”:
“The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well. Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches. Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints: 1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times. 2. Write the way you talk. Naturally. 3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. 4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize,demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass. 5. Never write more than two pages on any subject. 6. Check your quotations. 7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning – and then edit it. 8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it. 9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do. 10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.”
Well put Mr. Ogilvy. Well written, indeed.