Good writing - music to my ears

Good writing - music to my ears

​Please allow me to introduce myself …

Last month’s blog was all about TV catchphrases – this month I’m swapping scripts for songs to say, in the spirit of ABBA, Thank You for The Music.

I’ve been inspired by a tweet by the NME which linked to a round-up – or should that be a chart rundown? - of 55 Killer Opening Lines That Kick Off Amazing Songs.

From Suede to Simon and Garfunkel, Nick Cave to Nirvana, and The Darkness to The Doors, the artists are all celebrated for their ability to hook the listener immediately with their initial lyric in certain songs.

But it was the opening line to the NME article itself which for me really underlined the importance of a good introduction in song writing - and similarly a news hook in copywriting.

“The first line of a track is crucial. In a few words a songwriter needs to set up a story and a mood that will keep the listener engaged, especially in today’s attention-deficit world.”

The same could very well be said of the introductory paragraphs copywriters need to come up with – be it for a news story, press release, column, blog, web copy…

In fact, you could apply that intro from the NME to the art of the intro in copywriting with just a few small tweaks…

“The first line of a (track) story is crucial. In a few words a (song)writer needs to set up a story and a mood that will keep the (listener)reader engaged, especially in today’s attention-deficit world.”

The rise of click-bait stories is perhaps a case of the ‘hook’ taken to the extreme in our ‘attention-deficit world’.

But when it comes to instant and enticing intros, the (Sympathy For The) devil is clearly not in the detail. Keeping it short and simple works just as well for opening lines in songs as it does in news content –  including online copy, as the web developers behind this Three Scrolls and You’re Out post explain.

Of course, to stay on song with your audience, PR copy must also deliver beyond an outstanding opening line to avoid your text going out of tune.

No copywriter wants to be a one-hit wonder, after all.