Once More With Feeling: Has Your Writing Got Soul?

Once More With Feeling: Has Your Writing Got Soul?

Reader Comments (23)

  1. Simple copy, simple ideas, simple implementation and simply doing what you say is the hidden secret to success that most people miss.

    Great post and great examples.

  2. Rather than trying to write so perfectly textbookish, the copy seems to have more soul when it is written in the same style (vernacular) as you’d speak.

  3. The way Moo.com is communicating with their costumer is just outstanding. I love it!
    When you receive the order confirmation by email you speak to “Little Moo”.
    Little Moo is saying he’s a”bit of software that will be managing your order with us. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I’ll let you know when it’s done and on its way to you.”


  4. Surely you aren’t suggesting that grey-haired chairmen are not people … that would be ageist, don’t you think?

    And can you give a description of how a faceless organization interacts with humans? This to me is a very interesting, if hard to imagine, visual.

  5. Funny, I saw a woman walking down the street earlier today with a t-shirt that said “I’ve got soul”. It made me smile. It also made me think about what the t-shirt said about her: that she loves music,that she loves life, that she’s a bit unconventional, that feeling alive is important to her.

    How do we translate that feeling into writing? Smile as you write maybe. Think about your readers – or maybe just one reader (that often works for me). Focus on your intention rather than your words – to communicate, to inspire, to comfort, to explain, whatever, let the intention drive what you write.


  6. Another fine instance of “teaching by example”… Authentic, indeed.

  7. Too informal will work against you if it is out of tune with your audience, just as too formal tends to put off the majority of readers.

    Paulette I was suggesting that mission statements created by committee would produce something faceless and detached like “Efficiently whiteboard dynamic content without cross-unit channels. Distinctively implement plug-and-play manufactured products with open-source innovation. Proactively integrate goal-oriented paradigms before best-of-breed internal or “organic” sources. Energistically network multimedia based markets rather than diverse convergence. Enthusiastically implement wireless web services without standards compliant platforms. Globally embrace enterprise-wide ROI rather than cross-unit applications.”

  8. I recognized what you were suggesting, Chris. But what you wrote suggested more, and are you sure it’s what you wanted to convey?

    I appreciate that reducing that litany of corporatese to visuals like “grey hair” and “faceless corporation” is a much more economical (and appealing) use of words.

    But it’s not particularly inspired, and helps to create a mindset that inherently insults, and thereby shuts out, a very wealthy demographic. (Not a wise thing for a copywriter to do, I wouldn’t think.)

    It might be wiser to be more thoughtful and inclusive in choosing metaphors rather than relying on shop-worn cliches. By doing so you also “lead by example” … which will only endear you to your readers more.

    Just a friendly suggestion from a gal who dyes her greying hair blonde. 😉

  9. JetBlue’s site is friendly, too. When I booked a flight with them for the first time, I was actually smiling – I enjoyed being led through the process (and forking over my bucks) because it was obvious there were human beings behind the Web pages, people who had a sense of humor. What a refreshing change from wooden corpospeak.

  10. Just a couple of questions. Will it be more “human” if blogs don’t overdo whatever schtick it uses in copywriting? Will that be better, at the expense of losing the blog’s personality?

  11. I would say that “schtick” is uniquely human, but if your “schtick” feels like a schtick, it may not be the right schtick for you.

  12. I absolutely love this post!

    Nowadays when there is so many sales pitch and marketing copy, adding some human touch is crucial.

    And I believe that companies that take into account customer’s personality, not only money, will benefit much in long term.

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