Confessions of a Promobabe

May 5th, 2011

The power of less. Nothing teaches it to you like the merciless world of TV promotion, where I spent many years writing and producing the daily “tonight at 11pm” teases for local news stations.

It’s a world where you gotta get your message out fast. Where 30-second spots are a luxury. Most of the time, you’re cranking out your copy in ten seconds and even the infamous “four second ID’s.”

But you know, those tough constraints can benefit anyone who writes promo copy for any business.

At first, it’s agonizing to brutally cut your melodious marketing thoughts to the bare bones. I mean, you have so much to say – and such clever ways to say it!! You just know everyone is breathlessly awaiting every fascinating detail about your product or service.

But when you’re forced to crank it out down and dirty every day, you quickly learn to go lean and mean. And a funny thing happens. You begin to take pride in your ability to cut to the chase, to get right down to it. You realize it forces you to drill down to the most important thing about what you’re promoting – and just spit it out there. Quick. Clean. To the point.

Before you know it, you’re a better marketer for it. Because let’s face it, no one loves your copy like you do. And even if they did, they don’t have the time to read it all. The world just wants to know what’s cool about what you have to offer – and how it makes their lives better in some way. That’s it. The rest is just so much blah, blah, blah.

So the next time you’re writing some copy for your company, think to yourself – what would I really say about this product or service if I only had ten seconds to get my point across? You’ll find it’s a powerful starting point for targeted, compelling messages people really care about.

Brevity can be beautiful.

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