Three C’s to Avoid in Copywriting

“Don’t criticize, don’t complain, don’t condemn.” I’ve heard this piece of advice attributed to a number of people, including Andrew Carnegie.

I’m not much of a complainer. Criticizing? I’m getting better. Condemning? Most of us do that one almost second nature. E.g., “If he keeps on smoking he’s going to have a stroke.”

Now, I try to avoid the three Cs with the copy I write.

Despite the fact many copywriting gurus say that if you have not offended a reader by 12 pm, you’re doing something wrong.

Upon reflection, I believe the complaints posted after Thursday’s e-column — about Obama’s infomercial — were not caused by my free market opinion. Instead, the critical tone I opened up with should be blamed…

“If you actually turn off your frontal lobe (TV’s specialty) his 27-minute pitch may actually feel hopeful.”

For that I do apologize. I did not want to imply that Obama supporters don’t use their frontal lobe.

Truly, the message was about not relying on ANY government to keep you economically safe. Some confused it as an attack on Obama or a promotion for McCain. It was neither.

Adding a few more “I thinks” and “in my opinions” would have also helped softened the e-column.

Politics behind us… Leave a comment with your thoughts about eliminating complaints, criticism and condemnation from copy. Yes, no? Want me to elaborate? Leave your comments below in the comment box…

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