Good Advice – For (M)ad Men & Lawyers

Persuasive writing. It’s what we do. Whether selling a product or service or an argument to the court or opposing counsel, writers need to choose their words carefully. To make a proper pitch, writers must address the rational and emotional needs of their intended audience.

Laura Connell over at Bad Language has published some words to use and words to avoid in this regard, identified by veteran ad-man David Ogilvy. According to Oglivy, the twenty most persuasive words that you can use in your writing are:

  1. suddenly
  2. now
  3. announcing
  4. introducing
  5. improvement
  6. amazing
  7. sensational
  8. remarkable
  9. revolutionary
  10. startling
  11. miracle
  12. magic
  13. offer
  14. quick
  15. easy
  16. wanted
  17. challenge
  18. compare
  19. bargain
  20. hurry

Ogilvy also identifies a few (13) “powerless” words that fail to convey the proper persuasive sentiment, and recommends that they be avoided:

  1. But
  2. Try
  3. Don’t
  4. Should
  5. Need to
  6. Have to
  7. Could
  8. Maybe
  9. Perhaps
  10. Might
  11. Possibly
  12. Potentially
  13. Think

While working “revolutionary,” “miracle,” and “magic” into your next brief might be a bit of a stretch, consider the tone embodied in these lists – people respond more positively to a positive sentiment, and less positively to an ambivalent or negative sentiment. Rather than cut down the opposite viewpoint, consider emphasizing the positive, and you too might be able to sell like Don Draper.


One Search, Five Big Social Nets With 48ers

With apologies to my college logic professor, if time is money, then real time is real money. Shorten your time investment and broaden your real time search capability with new search engine 48ers (link here). The public beta version of this search engine allows you to tap five networks at once: Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, Digg, and Delicious. What more do you need? Results show the source and you can filter to show only entries from a single source. You can’t set up a feed of search results, but you can share your findings with your own social networks, creating an ever-spiraling feedback loop of concentrated information. The main search page shows trending topics as well, with links to supporting posts.

Of course, I had to try it out, so I searched “jailbreak iphone 4”. After about 5 seconds, this is what popped up:

As you can see the results were pretty Twitter heavy for the first few pages, which isn’t so surprising giving the volume of tweets compared to the volume of posts on the other featured services.

So, why the crazy name? From the site:

What’s in a name ?

The Californian Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848 at Sutter’s Mill, in Coloma, California.

Some of the earliest fortune seekers were known as the “49ers”, but the very first pioneers were known as the “48ers”.

These gold-seekers uncovered nuggets of gold worth thousands of dollars. We named our service after them as our aim is to help you find nuggets of gold from conversations across the web.

What are you waiting for? There’s gold in them thar hills!