The ‘Better Writing’ Blog

English copywriter Mike Druttman offers periodic advice about how to turn ‘pen power’ into ‘marketing power’.

The ‘Better Writing’ Blog

English copywriter Mike Druttman offers periodic advice about how to turn ‘pen power’ into ‘marketing power’.


Why MarCom is always a journey

We find many ways to communicate and often use varied channels to do so. An idea may start off as an internal memo, progress to emails and end up as a website posting or even a printed brochure. What tends to stay the same is the underlying message.

Marketing Communications (or MarCom for short) is the process of developing and distributing those messages via the various media channels available. Good marcom will carefully vary the messages while preserving the core intent. That’s why it’s a journey, with all its turns. 


‘Skimming’ – Grabbing Attention

Newspapers are a good example of a ‘hierarchy of content’. You’ve got the headlines at the top, the lead paragraph with the essential details and the full story below that.

Spend a few minutes browsing a newspaper and you’ll be skipping from one headline, lead text and photo caption to another. It’s your first impression.

A website or brochure is not much different. Even with a letter, the essential information should be at the top.  Good writing is the discipline of building such a hierarchy and grabbing attention.  


The importance of e-newsletters

Sending people news about your business activities on a regular basis means that a) You have a dynamic enterprise and b) You care enough about people to keep them updated about yourselves. An e-newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with a ‘warm’  customer base – some of whom may become ‘hot’.

However there’s a challenge: if you start a newsletter, you have to maintain a good frequency of issues (not just every 6 months). To stay interesting you should also cover a broad scope of subjects – news about your enterprise and information about your field. 


Cut the words, hold the idea

Have you ever tried this exercise? Write a 400 word profile about your business activities and then cut it down to a 200 word piece. Now edit that down to a 100 summary. Once again, cut it down to a 50 word introduction.

Now ask yourself: Do the 50 words describe the essential facts about your business?  Can you travel this journey from 400 to 50? Yes you can, with the right guidance. There’s a lot that we tend to ‘overwrite’. We avoid the simple, direct way. Otherwise we’d say “I think…” instead of  “I myself personally think ….”.