‘Me-centered’ writing: A big no-no.

How long can you listen to someone talk about himself before you get bored?

Sure, you’ll be polite and continue listening, but at some point you’ll start to think “Gosh, this person is taking up a lot of air time!” (Excepting, of course, the occasion when that’s the point; an autobiography, reading from a memoir, or explaining some personal triumph.)

The same is true when a company writes about itself, except that the potential consequences are more severe. Online readers’ primary question is almost always ‘What’s in it for me?’

How well do these two sentences present their answer?

“Acme Company is a research and consulting firm that helps companies measure, manage and market their social and environmental performance. Our research can help you identify the relevant channels and relationships you need to start or grow your market.”

Aside from being ‘acme-centric’ this copy is dull and dreary.

First, let’s invigorate the message with some color.
Second, let’s re-arrange the promise to answer the reader’s basic question as quickly as possible. Once we’ve hooked ’em, we can go into why we can satisfy our promise.

“Do your clients know how socially and environmentally responsible your company is?
To tell them you’ve got to measure, manage and market your performance.
Spur growth through the right channels and relationships with research-based consultation.
Get started now with Acme Company.”

Notice we’re using plain language. The technical credentials can wait until after site visitors are interested.
Also, there’s no mention of Acme until the very end. We want to focus the reader’s attention on his top priority; his company.
Last, the final sentence provides a direct call to action; very important on website copy.

Short, sweet, and reader-centered.
What do *you* think?

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