Some rules we should all follow when putting pen to paper (or pixels to screen).
According to one such great brain from Advertising, “Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.” David Ogivy, the man widely hailed as “The Father of Advertising” and the founder of Ogilvy & Mather, once wrote the following tips and it never fails to amaze just how relevant they still are:
- Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
- 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 a pretentious ass.
- Never write more than two pages on any subject.
- Check your quotations.
- Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.
- If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
- Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
- If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the person what you want.