|By Ed Uthman from Houston, TX, USA (Rhodes |
1970s D05.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.0
via Wikimedia Commons
You'd be mistaken.
When I think of the mini-skirt (which isn't often), it reminds me of some great writing advice. A former managing editor of the Olean (NY) Times-Herald taught a writing course at St. Bonaventure University. And his best writing adage used the mini-skirt as a metaphor.
"How long should a news story be?" a student asked.
Prof. Stinger's response: "It should be as long as a woman's dress. Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to be interesting."
That's great advice today, without the sexist undertone. Writing a blog post? Shorter is better. A news release? One page should be your goal. Web content? Readers don't like to scroll. A script for a CEO's presentation? Think bullet points, not Washington's farewell address.
Another PR Rule (No. 11): Audiences always have a shorter attention span than you think. You can't hear web visitors jingling their keys or scrolling on their smartphones. We've become multi-taskers and parallel processors, and lengthy content doesn't win in a TLDR* world.
So, remember the mini-skirt -- as a metaphor for concise writing, rather than a fashion choice.
*Too Long, Didn't Read