Heads Up!

Professional Pizazz

First, I want to advise Carson that it's possible for highly credentialed consultants like herself, that is someone with a certificate on the wall and a pedigree after his or her name--in her case, MSIE (Master of Science in Industrial Engineering) and CPE--to be "promotional" without compromising his or her professional integrity. Carson's current ad is a little too antiseptic and unintrusive . . . more of a miniresume than a riveting sales message.

My suggestion is to get a little more gutsy, with headline language that will cause some eyebrow-arching in the restrained and proper environment of the health and safety newspaper where her ad runs but is nevertheless within the subject area. My headline suggestion "How to Prevent `Murder' in the Workplace" is followed by copy that starts out "Cumulative trauma injuries don't kill, but they can certainly be murder on productivity . . . not to mention strangle you with medical claims. Possible OSHA fines can be a killer, too. All good reasons to proactively seek ergonomic solutions from ErgoFit. . . . " The headline is an attention-getting play on words, but there is also a clear linkage to the subject at hand.

As you can see, I also display a proposed BODYimonial with a subheadline that would be drawn from comments from actual clients. In this instance, I pulled out "You made a difference . . ." followed by the full endorsement from which it came. This gives Carson's message extra credibility and relevance for the reader. Incidentally, it always helps to pull out a juicy phrase from a BODYimonial and use it as a subhead leading into the full BODYimonial. That way, if the impatient reader is merely scanning the major areas of the ad, he or she will at least get the gist of the BODYimonial from the bold lead-in.

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This article was originally published in the October 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Heads Up!.

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