Nobody reads anymore.
That’s a common lament from virtually everybody. Clients say that as they ask you to reduce the number of words in an ad. Teachers and parents say that about children. We say that about ourselves as an excuse for not reading that new non-fiction best seller that everyone is talking about.
But that is simply not true. Young people today read more than ever before. And they write much more than previous generations.
If that sounds like a startling statement, think of all the websites, instant messages, emails, blogs and sms messages that a typical teenager goes through in a single day. A group of Professors in the
Think of the implication for advertising. If we write interesting stuff and place the material in interesting places, then our audience is willing to read it. The problem is that we still insist on putting all our writing in old fashioned ads, leaflets and brochures – dead trees basically – when our audience is moving on to reading on the screen.
Then again, why do words have to be written? I have recently acquired an addiction to Podcasts and I can’t think of a better way to “read” an article quickly. On my iPod right now are podcasts from Business Week, Harvard Business Review, Economist, Scientific American and Comedy Central. And that’s because I have only just started. Give me some time and my library will grow.
That makes life even more interesting. Now you can get consumers to interact deeply with your words. At a pace of your choosing. But with a level of concentration that radio or TV could never even dream of.
All that remains is for us to write something that is really interesting. And find a way of putting those words in a place where our audience wants to read it. Simple!!