The write way to right

Every now and then, I come across advertising copies that reassures me that there are still a need for professional writers, and that I will still be able to put over-priced milk formula on our rickety table for some years to come.

“Thanks for the millions!”

What the full-page advertisement probably meant was: “Thanks to everyone for helping us sell 40 million of our products.”

What I read and decoded was: “Thanks for giving us millions of Ringgit, suckers!”

Having spent more than RM15,000 on the ad, saving on the RM1,000 copywriter fee was evidently a bad move.

Instruction ManualHaving dealt with countless SMEs and small business owners in recent years, I can vouch that a writer or editor is the last person on their budget expenditure’s concern.

“Aiya, my secretary’s English very good one.”… or “My son’s studying in college and he writes a blog”.

But does your secretary dare to question you and your product’s weaknesses?

Does she know how to ask you the right questions in a way that reflects the public’s passion and desire for the product?

Your blogger son may write good English, but does he possess techniques designed to attract, interest and motivate a reader?

While there are many obvious benefits to having a good copywriter, the chief amongst them is that a good copywriter offers an outside perspective, While you clearly know your product better than anyone else, the copywriter will look at your product with no prior knowledge and strive to convey the message from an external perspective rather than the point of view of the seller.

Look here. the fact is simply…. we don’t care to know if your shampoo was “made from alicylate-free ammonium lauryl sulphate only found in Angola”, or really understand that your vacuum is the “first in the world to feature high efficiency particulate air-certified DIN 2418B Ti-E EU 13 filtration filtering system capable of capturing 0.3 micrometers particles to effectively remove radioactive dust from plant exhausts without redistribution”.

Instead, you would better catch our attention with: “The most gentle shampoo ever “, or “The world’s cleanest vacuum cleaner”.

You have done the hard work of getting your product on the assembly line and finally getting it out to the world. Don’t let poorly written advertising messages kill off your business.

And while the writer is over at your place, you many want the person to take a look at the English-version of your instruction manuals that comes with your made-in-China goods. I am sure he/she will have something to say about…

“Don’t eat your fingers off”.

“Open the signal lamps when turning or changing your driving way to avoid terrifying another one”.

“Guaranteed to work throughout its useful life”.

“When the motorcycle is in trouble, please contact directly with the manage parts or service station. Certainly you can remove it yourself”.

“Soak child for fear of death”.

“Before screwing in, please refer to the appropriate category you belong to in order to ensure you meet the minimum number of recommended people for installation”.

– Thanks for your millions –

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