Here is the 1982 memo which is relevant in today’s world of emails, tweets, Facebook updates, Comments, and Blog posts.
The better you write, the higher you go …….. 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:
- Read the Roman-Raphaelson Writing That Works 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 guy what you want.
I hope for my Resolution #7 "to write better" I can take Ogilvy's advice to heart, today and every day. For a little more detailed advice look at 20 Secrets of Good Writing that expands on Ogilvy. Although I try to adhere to Tip #5; Never write more than two pages on any subject, luckily, Blog pages can be very flexible. I love #10. If you want action don't write...talk in person.
Credits: Brain Pickers and the ever wonderful Wikipedia
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Labels: Op-Ed, writing
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