Shakespeare’s 5 best copywriting tips

What corporate communicators can learn from the famous playwright.

What corporate communicators can learn from the famous playwright

Almost 400 years after the death of William Shakespeare, theatres still regularly perform his plays, children study his work in school and we are still moved by the complexity of his stories and the beauty of his language.

But what’s less well known is that Shakespeare also provided superb advice for copywriters and corporate communicators. Here are five of his best tips:

1) On brevity:

“Since brevity is the soul of wit and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief.”

“You cram these words into mine ears against the stomach of my sense.”

Elizabethans didn’t have to deal with the telephone, television or the Internet. Servants did the cooking and household maintenance and there were no traffic jams when you commuted by horseback.

Now, however, our society produces hundreds of thousands of words every day and yet we have less time to read than ever before. Shakespeare had to face the Plague, but we have to deal with the Blackberry. Take pity on your readers. Be brief.

2) On how difficult it is to find just the right word or phrase:

“They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the scraps”

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