Viewing entries tagged
writing

How to Write a Great Proposal by Avoiding Common Bad Habits

How to Write a Great Proposal by Avoiding Common Bad Habits

Imagine a couple of common scenarios - an important RFP has just landed in your in-box. Or, an important client has just asked you for a proposal that will significantly expand the amount work you do for them. Do you...
 
...tangle yourself in boilerplate language that you've recycled from a past proposal?
...jump in without a clear content strategy?
...suffocate your language with esoteric terms that the client can't relate to?
 
If any of this sounds familiar, you might want to check out my recent guest column on Agency Post. I've noticed that ad agencies get into some bad habits that, if broken, would make proposals not only easier to write but also more effective at what they’re meant to do - win you more business. 

The Perils of Ad Agency Jargon – and One Way to Avoid It

The Perils of Ad Agency Jargon – and One Way to Avoid It

Why is so much advertising agency-speak filled with unnecessary words and generalizations?
 
I’m always urging my ad agency clients to eliminate unnecessary words in their writing for new business and marketing. As Mark Twain noted, it’s an easy exercise that requires little effort and has a big impact.

But wordiness may be a symptom more than a diagnosis. The real diagnosis may be what Chip and Dan Heath call the “Curse of Knowledge” in their book, Made to Stick.

Experts like doctors, academics, attorneys… and the majority of advertising professionals often succumb to the curse. But my latest blog post offers you one technique to avoid it.

Why Ad Agencies Should Care about William Zinsser

Why Ad Agencies Should Care about William Zinsser

Last month, I lost an ally in my quest to eradicate jargon and wordiness from ad agency pitch documents (not to mention emails, client reports, briefings and marketing copy).

William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well, a beloved guide for non-fiction writers since its publication in 1976, died at age 92. 

He was a constant inspiration as we developed Persuasive Writing for New Business, a workshop that teaches ad agencies how to use simple, clear language to communicate their value to prospects, clients and others.