Your Copy Sucks When…

Jonathan Kranz of Kranz Communications says your copy sucks when you use…

  • Ridiculous, pretentious language that has absolutely no meaning for your customers.
  • Lots of superlatives such as “excellence,” “cutting-edge” and “innovative.”

Also you know your copy sucks when you have a…

  • Shortage of tangible, meaty specifics.
  • Presence of self-congratulatory chest beating, i.e., “We’re the world leader in . . . “
  • Reliance on jargon and business babble.
  • “Me too” positioning that’s similar to your competitors’ messaging.

All of this can be avoided by focusing your writing toward your customers. Highlight how you can help your customers and write from a customer-centric perspective. And remember, do not use meaningless industry buzz words.

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3 Responses to “Your Copy Sucks When…”


  1. 1 Adam April 27, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    In my short experience in dealing with Press Releases I tend to get wound up by what I see as pushy copy; the constant use of superlatives being an example… basically when I feel that the writer is trying to oversell something I get suspicious that it needs to be bigged up as it would not stand on its own merits otherwise.

    This might annoy the hell out of some in PR but when a release is full of buzz words that try to make the product sound cool and I’m writing something on it (as I have done for the radio station I did work experience in), I do my best to make it as flat as possible to let the reader/listener decide if they want to buy it etc.

  2. 2 Blake April 28, 2006 at 3:26 am

    My agency hired a professional writer to come in recently and work with us on an individual basis. It might be something that we should all look into. I found flaws in my writing that I wouldnt have been able to find otherwise. It made me take a step back and grasp a high level view of my style of writing. Helped a lot.

  3. 3 Michael Morton April 28, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    Adam,
    I believe that a news release should contain as few adjectives as possible. Journalists can see right through the hype.

    Blake,
    What a great learning experience. I would really like to have my work reviewed by a professional writer. I know that I can always improve.


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Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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