Quotes on persuasive writing

What writers and others say

Quotes on persuasive writing

“A poor idea well written is more likely to be accepted than a good idea poorly written.”
— Isaac Asimov, science fiction author

“IAMS: It’s About Me Stupid.”

“pain points: Now the BuzzMakers are stealing from the acupuncturists. Business consultants use “pain points” as a term to describe the places where a business feels the “pain” due to poor operational structure, bad software or good, old-fashioned inefficiencies.”

“sympvertising: Advertising that sympathizes with the plight of consumers in the hope of selling them something. Example: ‘Recession Special’ (2 franks and 1 drink for $1.95)”

“That guy couldn’t inspire a dog to eat a pork chop.”
— James Carville on then-vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney

“In the past, if we were trying to sell sushi, we would market it as cold, dead fish.”
— Bojana Fazarinc, former marketing director, Hewlett-Packard

“The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men — the man he is and the man he wants to be.”
— William Feather, author and aphorist

“I am the world’s worst salesman, therefore, I must make it easy for people to buy.”
— Gene Fowler, author and journalist

“If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.”
— Benjamin Franklin, founding father of the United States

“A good ad should be like a good sermon: It must not only comfort the afflicted, it also must afflict the comfortable.”
— Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, retail pioneer

“Is the juice worth the squeeze?”
— Allison Harmon Lane, External Communications, SAS Institute Inc.

“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”
— Edward R. Murrow, renowned American broadcast journalist

“Give people a taste of Old Crow, and tell them it’s Old Crow. Then give them another taste of Old Crow, but tell them it’s Jack Daniel’s. Ask them which they prefer. They’ll think the two drinks are quite different. They are tasting images.”
— David Ogilvy, “the father of advertising”

Quotes on persuasive writing

“The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.”
— David Ogilvy, “the father of advertising”

“If you can differentiate a dead chicken, you can differentiate anything.”
— Frank Perdue, the Maryland farmer who gave chicken a brand name

“I had worked for a year or so as a copywriter at the London office of the Ogilvy & Mather agency, whose founder, David Ogilvy, immortally instructed us that ‘the consumer is not a moron, she is your wife.’”
— Salman Rushdie, former ad man and Booker Prize-winning novelist

“I’d have to learn how to get along. The best way to do that, Dad said, was to figure out what somebody wanted, because everybody wanted something, and make them think you could help them get it.”
— Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

“Before you build a better mousetrap, it helps to know if there are any mice out there.”
— Mortimer B. Zuckerman, one of the richest people in the world
  • Think Like a Reader

    Move people to act

    It’s counterintuitive, but true: The product is never the topic. The program is never the topic. The plan is never the topic. The topic is never the topic. The reader is always the topic.

    Think Like a Reader in Dallas

    Indeed, the secret to reaching readers is to position your messages in your audience’s best interests. (Most communicators position their messages in their organization’s best interests. Which is fine, as long as you’re talking to yourself.)

    Move readers to act with a four-step process for giving people what they really want.

    At Catch Your Readers — our two-day hands-on persuasive-writing master class on Oct. 2-3 in Dallas — you’ll learn a four-step process for moving readers to act by giving them what they really want. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

    • Take advantage of the formula readers use to determine which messages to pay attention to (and which to toss).
    • Tap two rewards of reading you can use to boost audience interest in your message.
    • Answer the No. 1 question your reader is asking, regardless of your topic, medium or channel.
    • Make a two-minute perspective shift to focus your message on the value to readers — not on “us and our stuff.”
    • Use a three-letter word that magically makes your message more relevant to your readers.

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