Write It Right

A little dose of Advertising never hurt anyone, now did it? Unfortunately, the world of advertising produces thousands of painfully tacky headlines, and perhaps a little bit of instruction is in order. If the headline is the most prominent piece of an advertisement, it’s the first chance to either start a conversation, or end one. Fortunately, there are helpful guides for writing advertising messages.

  1. Talk to one person. Be conversational! A reader will listen if you make it personal.
  2. Consider what would make you want to buy the product. For once you won’t be blamed for only thinking about yourself! What would make you buy the product?
  3. Think visually, then write. Pictures aren’t always better than words, but thinking of visuals or even looking at images can help create the words for you. If you can see it, maybe you can say it, too.
  4. Say it straight, then say it great. Just get something on paper, even if it’s terrible. Some say that the art to writing a strong headline isn’t the writing itself, but the editing.
  5. Say something true. Too many messages are transparent; sometimes an honest statement is the most appropriate way to communicate.
  6. Be dramatic. There’s too much media clutter to play it safe – don’t just make your font bold, make the message bold too.
  7. Write copy first. Just because Maria von Trapp told you to start from the very beginning, it doesn’t mean you have to. Try writing the body copy first, and maybe a headline will emerge.
  8. Write the problem as a question. Sometimes phrasing the problem as a question can lead to the answer you’ve been looking for.
  9. Be emotional and logical. Let’s call that one self-explanatory.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Keith Flanagan. Follow him on Twitter: @keithflanagan

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