Public Writing (2) Fall 2019
This was the third week of the semester, but because of the Chuseok holiday, only our second session. Fortunately, we had things to work on n between our 송편 and family time.
Back in class this week, we got started in our text that tells us it will teach us how to write better. We looked at the first writing assignment from that short book, writing positive and negative letters to the same person, and shared our work. We also talked about our four writing samples of ad copy, picking the best one and writing four different headlines/subject lines for it to get a feel for the most important part of direct response writing: the headline or subject line that gets the reader's attention.
The instructor had asked students to also bring in some samples of local ad copy, either from print or photos of ads that looked interesting and kind of "direct response-y" We didn't get to those samples this week, but bring them in again next time and we may have some time to talk about them soon.
Please post the assignments that you already did to our class Canvas discussion site. Everyone should have gotten in invitation. Log in and copy and paste your letters and ad samples we went over in class as a post, with the subject line "Your Name/Chap. 1&2".
Then, you have two things to prepare for next week's class: First, read and be ready to discuss chapters 3-6, which ends with the all-important AIDA formula. Also, in your groups, be prepared to present to the rest of the class what you found out about Direct Response masters OR Direct Response Niches so we can get to work on following some great examples and writing some great copy.
In our first session of the fall semester, we started off with the question "What is public writing?"
A number of different responses came out, including blogs and journalism, editorials, public service announcements, social networking messages, and advertising. But while we focused on editorials and opinions last semester in Public Writing 1, and moved on to creating our own blogs, this semester will move toward more commercial writing, or at least selling our ideas to others by learning from and improving on what advertising copywriters do and what they say they do.
We began by learning a little about the man who's been called "The Father of Advertising," David Ogilvy. Although he is well-known for his agency's ads, his first love was direct response advertising, as he explained in a video.
But whether you are interested in advertising is not the point; using the techniques of clearly communicating a message -- "selling an idea" -- that Ogilvy and others pioneered is definitely worth learning.
We took a look at Ogilvy's rules for writing. We are going to be learning about his rules from others, starting now.
The first part of doing that is going over a book that promises to teach us how to write better. That book may seem a bit informal, even silly at times, and the author sometimes uses salty language. But Neville Medhora has used writing effectively and it's the most simple and quick way to get the principles of what we want to learn quickly. It's definitely worth a couple bucks. Please buy the book and start reading it ASAP. The chapters are very short. Read chapters 1 and 2 and over the Chuseok Holiday, do some writing.
Please write two letters like the ones in Chapter 1, but not to your mom. Write to a teacher, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a politician. we will talk about them and do some writing next week in class. After reading Chapter 2, please write 4 short samples (50 to 250 words each) of copy focusing on the benefit to the reader of whatever product or idea you want them to buy/agree with.
In addition, we are going to get look at written copy (words in print) in advertising locally. Let's start off with things you can find locally. Please bring in three photos or samples of advertising or labels for products you could buy here that use English (or Konglish) in interesting ways.
We will leave it there for now. Don't forget to come to class in two weeks with hard copies of four pieces of your writing as well as three samples of professional writing that advertises interestingly. Be ready to tell us what you found unique about these ads.
See you in two weeks!