How writing is like getting dressed (and other tips)

Stunning simplicity and an instantaneous eye-grabber are necessary as attention spans get shorter.

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This is as true for writing as it is for fashion.

As PR changes and content becomes more visual (infographics, videos, etc.), the words we write are taking on a whole new meaning. No one wants to read a four-page bylined article anymore. Heck, no one scans past the first screen of an article on his/her iPhone.

Be concise.

Here’s food for thought from Reuters columnist Jack Shafer:

“If you do not hit the reader in the eye w/ the 1st sentence there is no need of your writing a 2nd.” Arthur Brisbane

— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) July 1, 2013

A wise mentor once told me to write with a purpose. Why are you writing whatever it is you are writing? If it’s a press release, the five W’s (Who, What, Where, Why, When—and the bonus How) are still relevant. The five W’s are the basics of an interesting story, but the following tools will help organize your writing and narrow its focus so the five W’s are delivered most effectively.

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