May 24, 2017

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Get The Peer Principle of Persuasion into your next campaign

“What others say about you and your product, service, or business is at least 1,000 times more convincing than what you say, even if you are 2,000 times more eloquent.”
— Dan Kennedy, author of No B.S. Sales Success

Too often, communicators use first-party testimonials. That is, they quote their own VP of product development on how great the new product is.… Read the full article

Write quotes that sound human

Convey personality, passion and a point of view

Too many quotes don’t even sound human. Instead, they clatter in your ear like a computer spit them out.

Write quotes that sound human

Stand out from the crowd Write quotes that sound like a real person said them, not like a computer spit them out. Image by Brooke Cagle

Add personality to your quotes through passion, humanity and colloquialisms.

Make it personal.

When two-thirds of Californians failed every question on a fast food nutrition quiz, the California Center for Public Health Advocacy distributed a release including this sound bite.… Read the full article

Craft snappy sound bites

List, rhyme and twist

When the Federal Trade Commission needed to explain why the agency has decided not to develop a do-not-spam registry — officials feared that spammers would target people on the list — a spokesperson said:

“You’ll be spammed if we do — and spammed if we don’t.”

Craft snappy sound bites

Sound off with sound bites Craft memorable quotes with wordplay. Photo by Jason Rosewell

You’ve got to love that sound bite!… Read the full article

Quotes on conversational writing

What writers and others say

“A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. That’s why there are so few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.”
— Truman Capote, author and gadabout who wrote In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

“The voice of most news stories is neutral and authoritative. Editorials are often written in institutional voices. Columnists, critics and sports writers often develop distinctive voices that readers seek out over their breakfast cereal and interact with in an imagined form of conversation.”
— Roy Peter Clark, senior scholar, The Poynter Institute

“The language of journalism is not like speech, but it is closer to speech than most other forms of writing.”
— Roy Peter Clark, senior scholar, The Poynter Institute

“The voices in American journalism for too long have been too monotone and monochromatic.”
— Roy Peter Clark, senior scholar, The Poynter Institute

“The only authors whom I acknowledge as American are the journalists.
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Quotes on transitions

What writers and others say

“Life is a transition.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita, founder of Smart Youth Volunteers Foundation

“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.”
― Isaac Asimov

“It’s impossible … to survive a week of American news without running into the phrase ‘but the dream became a nightmare.’”
— Roy Peter Clark, Poynter Institute senior scholar, in Writing Tools

“Every chapter must end with a cliffhanger.
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Quotes on endings

What writers and others say

Quotes on endings

Keep your end up “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet, educator and linguist. Image by Marc Wathieu

“A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.”
— Anonymous

“A couple of issues about ending on a strong direct quote. First, I want to make sure that the content of the quote doesn’t bias the story in one direction or the other.
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Quotes on using more periods

What writers and others say

Quotes on using more periods

Keep your end up “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet, educator and linguist. Image by Marc Wathieu

“A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.”
— Anonymous

“A couple of issues about ending on a strong direct quote. First, I want to make sure that the content of the quote doesn’t bias the story in one direction or the other.
Read the full article

Quotes on WIIFMs

What writers and others say

Quotes on WIIFMs

Me, myself, I “Your reader is a narcissistic 2-year-old saying, ‘Me, me, me. What’s in it for me?’” — Anonymous

“Your reader is a narcissistic 2-year-old saying, ‘Me, me, me. What’s in it for me?’”
— Anonymous

“It’s not what you do with the product, it’s what you do with the mind.”
— Anonymous

  “Writing persuasively is not about persuasion. It’s about empathy.”
— Ray Edwards, direct response copywriter

“Our readers don’t want to just read stories.
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Quotes on captions

What writers and others say

Quotes on captions

Made you look “[Captions] can be to stories what trailers are to movies — intriguing, compelling previews.” — Monica L. Moses, deputy managing editor/visuals, Minneapolis Star Tribune. Image by Marc Wathieu

“No task involved in producing a newspaper has a greater disparity between its importance to the reader and its attention from most newsrooms than writing cutlines. Too often, they are the first thing the reader reads … and the last thing the newsroom slaps together.”
— Steve Buttry, director of tailored programs, American Press Institute

“It turns out that pictures can say whatever we want them to say, provided we use the right words.
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Quotes on avoiding jargon

What writers and others say

Quotes on avoiding jargon

Start making sense “Dump the technospeak. Nobody understands it.” — Joyce Bustinduy, global publisher, Levi Strauss & Company

“If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well.”
— Albert Einstein, the father of modern physics

“When people don’t understand the material, they tend to go more with the original, often too-technical and undigested information from a primary source. A writer who really understands the information can translate it accurately into lay language.”
— Neita F.
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