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Copywriting Tip #4: Speak Truth to Profits (Dan’s Story)

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ancient copywriters rocked

I’m fond of a particular collection of ancient texts. One tells the story of a copywriter named Dan. Dan’s client was all-powerful and routinely dismantled (sometimes literally) those who did not do exactly as he asked. This client never hesitated making impossible requests and had no problem forcing his teams to guess his mind.

Dan was an employee who had been groomed and mentored and specially-trained for leadership. And yet Dan retained a commitment to the recognition that even his abusive, ill-tempered, seemingly all-powerful employer had to answer for his actions and did not have as much control as he liked to believe. This perspective had been shaped early in Dan’s life by his large, extended family.

Dan’s understanding of life held sway over his work. And while he was dedicated employee, he had committed himself to write truth, no matter the cost. This put him in a bind when it came to this client, because this client’s wealth and power routinely corrupted those around him, so most everybody told the despot exactly what he wanted to hear.

The story goes that one gruesome assignment forced the entire team to guess what the employer dreamed and interpret that dream. Or be dismantled. Of course no one could do it, and so they said. The employer force the point and the team prepared to be dismantled. Dan heard of the impending mass dismantling and he and his buddies thought they better act on their understanding that even the king answered to God. So they prayed. That’s right, this is a story of a copywriter who conversed with God so he could do his work better. Dan would often point to these conversations with God when people praised his insights.

And he did get insight. From God. It was not an insight that put the employer in a good light, but Dan told it anyway. And everyone lived another day.

The Moral

Truth matters more than appeasing the abusive despot before you.

And This

The copywriter’s work has always been about providing insight into the soul of a client and the heart of a client’s audience. Get help with that.


Image credit: Douglas Smith via 2headedsnake:

2 Responses

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  1. Very nice!


    May 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    • Thanks for stopping by.


      May 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm

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