Healthy Writing Habits: Copy Is Not Dead

Long copy.

Short copy.

Copy is dead. Long live Social Media!

Uh huh.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves that we can remarkably market great ideas, products, services, brands, religions just by being social.

Hey, don’t get me wrong: I get it. I’m Mr. Social and all that. (How ya doing btw? You look amazing – I wish I could retweet your beauty. See what I mean?)

I know attention spans are thinning. So you may have concluded that you need to forgo macro content for micro.

But let’s take this all the way to its logical conclusion, shall we?

  1. The volume of content approaches infinity.
  2. The span of attentions approaches zero.
  3. Ergo: Nobody will consume any content.

Do you follow this syllogism?

There’s something wrong with this conclusion if you step back, right?

Think: if the trend of diminishing attention spans reaches this point, then marketing is dead. Totally dead.

So what’s going on here?

People do – and will – pay attention. Their spans won’t actually reach zero.

The volume of content will approach infinity, but that doesn’t mean people won’t seek out content relevant to them.

Back up….”relevant”.

Thats’s the word: relevant.

“Relevant” is what breaks the syllogism down. If nobody cared for relevant content, then the syllogism would probably ring true in a few years.

So be careful not to fall into this fallacy of going only with micro-content.


Nobody uses the word “copy” anymore.

I wish they did.

Why? Because copy suggests skill. Writing copy isn’t just about writing.

It’s about thinking. It’s about research. It’s about experimenting. It’s a willingness to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Copy builds character.

Copy doesn’t have to be text. Today’s copy is audio, video. It’s creative use of geo-location, RFID tagging and other innovative uses of presence technologies.

What you call “Social Media”? Actually that’s copy too!

When I respond to your tweet or comment on your post or your Facebook update, I’m writing copy.

If it makes you feel better – because you’ve been sold that it’s all social now – then add the word “social” to copy.

Social Copy.

Happy now? Try getting into the habit of befriending copy. Forget how the 20th Century defined copy.

Even though the Web is disturbing things and it seems like chaos, you don’t have to cave in to the peer pressure culture of Twitter’s frenzy.

Copy isn’t dead. Boring copy is dead.

Copy lives. Copy spreads. Copy works.




Keep a journal. Sart or re-start your blog, even if it’s private.

The more you write, the more ideas you have.

Writing is the oil of creativity.

Write when it feels right.

Write when it hurts.

In love? Write it!

Broken-hearted? Write it!

Marketing in today’s world getting frustrating? Write about it!

Think about your information-customers. Where will they be?

What kinds of messages do they need to hear at the right time?

How you can arrange different media within media? Where can a placement of a short video on Cardiovascular Disease fit within long educational copy?

Mix things up: short copy for when attention is short; long copy for when attention is piqued and focused.

Ask: “what sense organ is most receptive to the message?” Would video of someone having a heart attack work better than text?

What’s the experience of your consumer going to be? How would it look and feel from their perspective?

Map out all of your properties: print, TV, Twitter, Facebook, Website/Blog, proprietary networks, email, mobile apps, etc.

Connect it all together. Draw out the possible flows of all the different copy.

Use colors for lines. Blue for long. Red for short. Green for social.

Think it. Map it. Plan it. Write it. Work it.


Size matters. Knowing which size to use where when and how…Ah, now there’s a skill. 😉

Don’t ask: “Should our marketing efforts focus on micro-content or long form?”

Ask: “What do people need – when, where, why, how.”

Someone may see a tweet, click a link and see that you have something of interest.

Say it’s about your cardiology practice.

I may love Twitter, but if I’m an savvy patient with questions about my heart health (at some level), then I’ll probably want to know more about what you have to say.

If you have nothing more than your tweet and a link to a poorly designed website (or droll release copy) that doesn’t tell me more (hint: longer-form), then I’m gone.

Make it easy for me! I don’t want any more heart trouble!

You make it easy for me by doing the hard work.

You make the hard work easier on yourself by establishing healthy writing habits.

Look: Communications is the cardiovascular system of Marketing.

Keep that cardio-vasculature fit.


Write everyday.

Write everyday.

Write everyday.

@PhilBaumann@HealthIsSocialMy Steamy Love Letters


Leave a Reply