Talking about sound in The Sunday Times

Modern Copy have lots of technology clients: some come to the company for branding or packaging, some for online content. We’re lucky because we get to test out some fantastic pieces of tech kit. Quite apart from our tech clients, however, we also get to test new equipment for The Sunday Times. Last week we reviewed the latest models of wireless, multi-room audio kit. Writing about sound is one of those esoteric disciplines that we rarely think about. It’s like describing flavours, in a way: a sensorial transcription. Too much information can leave readers feeling overloaded and confused, too little can look like you’re not grasping the nettle.

We thought we’d share this article as an interesting news item, as well as a useful exercise in balancing technological facts with sensory description.  Read it here: Wireless multi-room audio

Three rules of good writing

Rules of good writing should help you with anything, from reports, presentations and website creation all the way through to naming and strategy. Finding the set of rules that work for you is essential.

An item came on the news today as I drove to work. British director Christopher Nolan took just 15 minutes to sell his Batman franchise idea to Warner Bros executives. Even though he’s an established figure, and a safe pair of hands, to take a profitable movie series like Batman and twist it to your own plans – it’s a lot to ask in just a quarter of an hour.

The Radio 4 segment quizzed Christopher Hauge, author of Sell your Story in 60 Seconds, and he underlined two ideas that are worth remembering when you’re writing anything.

1. Keep it simple

2. Use a narrative

It seems like it’s so easy, but is it really? How do you strip out what you don’t need and still keep a narrative fresh and interesting? That’s the skill, and it’s easier with practise. When you’re writing presentations, brand strategies, and especially web copy, you need to tell simple stories that can come alive. I’d add one last piece of advice to the list:

3. Be straight

That means honesty, being unpatronising – and being direct. People sniff out weakness when you break this rule – and that means they don’t trust what you’re saying.