David Ogilvy was an advertising executive who founded Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, one of the world’s largest advertising firms. He is noted for reminding his colleagues that “the consumer is not a moron” and for the creativity of his ads for brands such as Schweppes and Rolls-Royce.
It’s only natural that we can learn some important writing tips from a man whose stock in trade was words.
David Olgivy On Writing
In 1982 David Olgivy sent a memo about business correspondence to his employees from which we can gather these writing tips:
- People who think well, write well.
- Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.
- Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times. (This is what he is referring to: Writing That Works)
- Write the way you talk. Naturally.
- Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
- Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of pretense.
- Never write more than two pages on any subject.
- Check your quotations.
- Never send a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning – and then edit it. (I guess this could well apply to our posts!)
- If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it. (Feedback from a writing community, perhaps?)
- Before you send your letter or memo make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do. (Have a call to action in your posts).
Which point makes the most sense to you?
#100WordsonSaturday 18 July 2015
How does this work?
- We give you a prompt.
- You write a 100 words in response or write 100 words on any subject* and post it on your blog. Remember to include a link back to this post.
- You then add the link to our linky below.
- Then visit and comment on as many linked posts as you can.
- The linky will stay open until the following Friday.
- You can grab the 100 Words on Saturday badge here.
Our prompt this week: Success first then happiness (argee or disagree).
*Please note this change.