How To Write, An Internal Memo From David Ogilvy

Iconic businessman and original “Mad Man” David Ogilvy wrote these ten tips on writing to all agency employees. It’s brutally honest on many levels, & true to its words as well.

The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. 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:

1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.

2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.

3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.

4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.

5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.

6. Check your quotations.

7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.

8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.

9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.

10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

David

(Brain Pickings)

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About dianeruby

Bred in the Philippines & buttered in San Francisco since I was six. This city chick/nerd lived in the Bay Area most of her life, but would rather explore the world. An alumni from San Francisco State University with a bachelor's degree in Apparel Design & Merchandising. Achieved eight years combined professional work skills as in apparel merchandising and admin support in product development and retail setting. Secretly enjoys writing & take notes on random things. Besides writing, I’m also practicing tennis, sleeping, wining & dining, doodling, reading, taking photos, looking at pretty things, & playing dress up.

Posted on 09.27.11, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on How To Write, An Internal Memo From David Ogilvy.

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