Should You Go Wide or Go Deep?

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Remember a couple months back when I said I discovered a way to add more hours to my day? (If you don’t, here it is: “That Time I Discovered ‘Idle Time’ Doesn’t Really Exist,” Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, March 14, 2019). With all that rediscovered time I was able to explore a dusty section of unread books in my expansive library. (And by expansive, I mean… Wait. Forget it. It only gets Betsy mad.)

I began this new venture by perusing an entire series of books from the pens of the greatest copywriters. These books defined the advertising industry as it emerged from the 19th century into the 20th. They represent the primordial tracks from which Madison Avenue men evolved. They spawned a persuasive style that combined art and science into an effective (sometimes too effective) tool.

By “art” I refer to the words that effectively captivate and motivate the reader. But how do the words work as intended?

That’s where the “science” comes in. Today we call it “market research.” Claude C. Hopkins, acknowledged as perhaps the greatest copywriter, called it “scientific advertising.” His book by the same name (published in 1923) shows how an ad means nothing unless it stimulates its audience to act. He not only wrote the ads, he studied how Continue Reading “Should You Go Wide or Go Deep?”

What Do You Think?

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[This Commentary was originally intended to appear in the August 3, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel started off as a kernel of an idea in our heads just a little over six months ago. We are now entering our fifth month of publication. After an initial period of fanfare and excitement, we rolled up our sleeves and dug in. A lot of people said we were crazy. A lot of people said it couldn’t be done. But, a lot of people bought the paper and even more have been reading it.

Now, we might be crazy, and it’s a little too early to say anything has yet been Continue Reading “What Do You Think?”