Public Writing (2) Fall 2020
Our class this week spent some time going over group proposals for our presentations on Direct Response masters and niches for next week. Please be ready to share with the class what you have learned about your selected master copywriter/marketer and niches when you come to class next week.
Then, together we went through the textbook from chapters 2-5, talking about strategies and techniques including the all-important A.I.D.A. formula for writing direct response ad copy.
We will continue to talk about copywritnig next week and though we have two weeks off our live classes, I'll be sure to give you something interesting to do while we are not meeting as a class.
See you next week!
In class this week, we got together in small groups to talk about our work on the Envelope Exercise from Chapter 1 of Neville Medhora's book, our own starter ads we had written, and some interesting ad copy we'd found in our own daily lives. Then we shared our thoughts with the class and got moving toward next week.
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. We will likely talk about all of Neville Medhora’s book up to Chapter 6, so please be prepared to contribute to the conversation by reading and taking notes on everything we have read so far.
Also, in your groups, be prepared next week (9-18) to talk briefly about your proposal for a presentation Week 4 (9-25) in class. Week 4, you will be sharing group presentations with the class about Direct Response experts and niches. The links in the preceding sentence are a start, but do some Googling on your own to explore, too.
You do not need to have the whole Week 4 presentation finished next week, but you should be ready to share which Direct Response Masters you’ll be talking about, and which DR niches you are preparing to share with us (Each group member should research one DR expert and one DR niche). This Week 3 “preview” will help us make sure that not everyone covers the same material. If you have questions, email me.
Have fun exploring!
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 our own blog pages, 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 general or "branding" 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 to sell an idea, as 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. The links on my page are affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy through them. But feel free to get it elsewhere if you like. Get a Kindle copy or a hard (paper) copy. But however you do it, please get the book and start reading it ASAP. The chapters are very short. Read chapters 1 and 2 and then do some writing.
First, please write two letters like the ones in Chapter 1, but not to your mom. Write to a teacher, an old boyfriend/girlfriend, a politician or someone else from two different perspectives. Make it a real, specific person. Don't just write to anyone in general. We will talk about them and do more writing next week in class.
Then, after reading Chapter 2, please write two short samples (75 to 300 words each) of copy focusing on the benefit to the reader of whatever product or idea you want them to buy/agree with. You should understand this after you read Chapter 2.
Third, we are going to get look at written copy (words in print) in advertising. 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. Think about what makes them interesting and be ready to share your thoughts with the class next week.
Post your writing to the class Canvas discussion area under these subject headings:
1. "Your Name/Love-Hate Letter"
2. "Your Name/Chapter 2 Ads"
3. "Your Name/Local Ads"
We will leave it there for now. Don't forget to upload your letters, both positive and negative, the ad samples you wrote after reading Chapter 2, and three samples of professional writing that advertises interestingly. Be ready to tell us what you found unique about these ads.
See you next week!
This book will teach you how to write better: Learn how to get what you want, increase your conversion rates, and make it easier to write anything (using formulas and mind-hacks)
We will meet at our regular class time each week in this Zoom room online:
(3-4 class Meeting ID: 818 5350 4292).
(5-6 class Meeting ID: 869 7523 1648).
You will receive an email from me with the classroom password. Please do not share it with anyone outside our class.
You can access Zoom discussions with your computer, tablet, or phone, but something with a big screen and a webcam will work much better.
See you in class!