David Olgivy On Writing

David Ogilvy was an advertising executive who founded Hewitt, Ogilvy, Benson & Mather, one of the world’s largest advertising firms. He is noted for reminding his colleagues that “the consumer is not a moron” and for the creativity of his ads for brands such as Schweppes and Rolls-Royce.

It’s only natural that we can learn some important writing tips from a man whose stock in trade was words.

David Olgivy On Writing

In 1982 David Olgivy sent a memo about business correspondence to his employees from which we can gather these  writing tips:

  1. People who think well, write well.
  2. Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well.
  3. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times. (This is what he is referring to: Writing That Works)
  4. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  5. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  6. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of pretense.
  7. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
  8. Check your quotations.
  9. Never send a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning – and then edit it. (I guess this could well apply to our posts!)
  10. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it. (Feedback from a writing community, perhaps?)
  11. Before you send your letter or memo make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do. (Have a call to action in your posts).

Which point makes the most sense to you?


#100WordsonSaturday 18 July 2015

How does this work?

  • We give you a prompt.
  • You write a 100 words in response  or write 100 words on any subject* and post it on your blog. Remember to include a link back to this post.
  • You then add the link to our linky below.
  • Then visit and comment on as many linked posts as you can.
  • The linky will stay open until the following Friday.
  • You can grab the 100 Words on Saturday badge here.

Our prompt this week:  Success first then happiness (argee or disagree).

*Please note this change.



Author: Corinne Rodrigues

Lover of words | Self-acceptance blogger | Instructional designer| Book Reviewer| Blog Coach

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