With words, less is often more

September 21, 2015

 

At a recent presentation on branding at Atlanta Tech Village, a high-tech incubator, Adam Walker of the creative agency Sideways 8 emphasized tight writing. Specifically, he said that your website home page should be very simple and urged his listeners to limit their key value proposition to five words. (His site fudged and used six, but you get the point. Write tightly.)

How’s this for tight writing: “It’s Atlanta!”

That was my headline in the morning street edition of The Atlanta Journal on Sept. 18, 1990 when the International Olympic Committee awarded Atlanta the 1996 Olympics. In two words, it told a metro region of several million people everything they wanted to know about the much-anticipated announcement from Tokyo about who would host the Centennial Summer Games.

The newspaper put the headline on T-shirts, coffee mugs and who-knows-what else. It made a nice little profit off those two words. I received many complements for coming up with the headline. None were better, though, than this from Ron Martin, editor of the paper at the time … “That was a helluva marketable headline.”

This weekend the AJC (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the now-combined paper of the formerly separate afternoon Journal and morning Constitution) ran a four-page wrap around the Sunday Metro section commemorating the 25th anniversary of that memorable day and the historic newspaper headline. The wrap even included a copy of the famous front page (which I also designed).

It is this type of creative thinking and journalistic insight I now bring to Worldwide Editing. While copy editing and writing/rewriting are our core strengths, we also have experience in branding, telling your story in a very few words and knowing how to navigate newsrooms (print and TV) to get you past the initial line of editors and to the decision makers.

As an example of our post-AJC media experience, we’ve written a media protocol for a global marketing project for a European nonprofit with offices in 100-plus countries. We also worked with MARTA, the signature metro Atlanta transit agency, to promote their 35th anniversary of their combined bus and rail service. As part of that project, we wrote the outline for the project and video scrips for interviews with key Atlanta business and political leaders. The interviews included former President Jimmy Carter and Civil Rights leader and Congressman John Lewis. We’ve also written a public policy piece for a hero of those Atlanta Olympics that appeared on the editorial pages of the AJC.

Need your own hero to champion your cause? Give me a call. 404 256-5144.

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