Denny's Daily Zinger: Is Your Writing Readable?
I receive slews of online news releases.
News Release No. 1 - Dreary, Unfriendly, Unattractive, Unreadable
See Illustration No. 1 in the media player at right for a typical e-news release.
This is one of many that show up on my computer screen—typical of what public relations/publicity firms send out by the thousands every day. Rules broken:
- Impossibly long line widths—160 characters (70 to 75 is ideal).
- Mouse type. On my computer screen it looks like 7-point. ("Never use type smaller than 9-point," wrote David Ogilvy).
- A gray wall of type ("Avoid gray walls of type," Ogilvy wrote).
- No breaks between paragraphs.
By all standards, unreadable.
News Release No. 2 - Sheer Joy to Receive!
See Illustration No. 2 in the media player at right.
I have never heard of Kathy Ziprik or Ziprik Consulting, Mills River, NC. And I have no interest in this particular client.
But the presentation of her press release is world-class-easy to read. She thinks of her reader. Her message is instantly recognizable. I can make an immediate decision whether or not to follow-up.
In short, if you're hiring a flak, hire Kathy Ziprik.
She is welcome in my in-box any time.
"The definition of good writing is: it's easier to read than to skip," wrote Arthur Brisbane (1864-1936), legendary editor of Joseph Pulitzer's New York World.
Three cheers for Kathy Ziprik!
P.S. I found Kathy Ziprik in Google. See her here.
Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His next book will be "Write Everything Right!" Visit him at dennyhatch.com or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.