How to write by David Ogilvy

I came across this little golden nugget of inspiration about "How to write" by David Ogilvy on Linked In. Thanks to Paul Dervan, Brand Director at Telef√≥nica Digital, for posting it.

This internal memo from Ogilvy & Mather might be over 30 years old, but I think the advice is more relevant than ever today.

My favourite points are:

1. Write the way you talk

I think this applies to business writing, but also to brands. So much written brand communication is either bland, or tries to be like innocent smoothies. You need to a find a tone of voice that is authentic and right for your brand.

2. Use short sentences, words and paragraphs

Its amazing how many presentations or documents you see that are hard to read and way too wordy. Re-read what you've written to see if you can simplify it.

3. Never write more than two pages

This is a great discipline to get your work noticed and actually read. I was trained at P&G when the guidance was even tougher and we had to write the famous one page memo.

7. Never send a memo the day you write it

God, this is a good one in the age of email. If you write an angry email, ALWAYS save it as a draft and re-read the next morning. 

10. If you want action, don't write

And another one for the digital age. Talk more in person, rather than playing email tennis.

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