Better writing is not a natural gift.
You have to learn to write well. You have to learn to write better.
Why? The better you write, the better you’ll connect with people. The better you write, the higher you’ll go in life.
Everything is writing. Advertising, public relations, corporate affairs, marketing, branding, design, etc. It all communications. And all communications boil down to the written word.
Better writing is not a checklist of nouns, verbs and power words. (Honestly, if we see another list of power words, someone is going to die. Let’s hope it’s not your career.)
Writing is an art, not a science. It’s not about hacking or tricking people. It’s about giving people what they’ve always wanted - love, acceptance, beauty, health, nutrition, community, social status, relief from suffering, transcendence.
It’s about divining and expressing the brand personality with words and language across every piece of communications. Bad writers chop and change and chase the latest trends. Better writers seek constant truths.
What else helps you write better? Positioning, a large promise and a BIG IDEA that will cut through all the clutter and resonate with the people you want to reach.
Media and digital agencies constantly talk about reach in dollar terms, typically the cost to reach 1,000 people at a time. Ad fraud and inflated metrics aside, you want to reach people emotionally. You need to reach people deeply if you want to affect change. The more change you want, the deeper you have to go.
Give your brand high-quality writing. Low-quality writing means a shoddy brand no one wants to buy. Going for the lowest common denominator means you’re in a race to the bottom. This is not a race you want to win.
Writing like everyone else makes your brand like every other brand. Go for a burr of singularity to stand out. Thanks to the explosion of digital media, the average person is now presented with 10,000 commercial messages a day. 9,996 don’t even register. Only four are remembered. If your messages aren’t one of those four, what’s the point?
Preaching, finger wagging and sounding snide won’t help. Simple, branded headlines aimed at people’s hearts will help. As will copy that’s been crafted and polished with love.
Don’t be boring. Don’t be too clever. Don’t over-intellectualise. Don’t go on and on and on. (And don’t think slam-bam bullet points will save you.)
Tell a story to engage people and give them the courage to move in the direction you want. That’s what a story ultimately is.
A prescription for courage.