Friday, October 20, 2006

Boot Camp success

A full workshop summary will be posted later. But here are some highlights:

Joe Sweeney
  • Are we producing a product with integrity and purpose?
  • Do we encourage senior editorial or independence decision-making?
  • How do you maintain independence?

Ron Johnson on editing
  • Terrible verbs: host and head
  • Overused words: major, unique, reaction and impact
  • Lazy attribution: believes, thinks and feels
  • Lazy quotes: Parenthetical addition or exchange of words in a direct quote. It shows poor writing and makes the speaker look stupid.
  • A copy editor has to edit with a dirty mind to prevent unintended double meanings.
  • Resources: “Words on Words” and “Working with Words”

Don Ranly on writing
  • Ask the writer to suggest titles and to write a summary, benefit blurb.
  • Ask the editors to suggest titles and have a title discussion party.
  • Great headlines quantify the benefit or command action.
  • Ban italic and reverse type.
  • You’re allowed to be creative. You’re allowed to have fun.
  • Don’t stretch callout blurbs across the page.
  • The dominant picture gets the dominant caption.

Larry Lannon on new media
  • You must be willing to fail.
  • It is possible to take a productive brand and break it by doing too much.
  • Labor is a finite resource.
  • Online you must have dynamite heads, images and information.

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