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Roland Head


Many thanks for this video and the previous WSJ video earlier this month.

Like many writers, I've come across the WSJ letter before but had not fully appreciated its 'internal workings' - especially the socio-economic targeting of both narrative and biz-op copy.

Thanks for taking the time to put these together - I won't see the WSJ letter in the same light anymore and I have learnt a few more things to look out for and understand.



(No problems for me, technically, the scrolling worked fine.)

Copywriter :: Peter Stone


Kindness in the morning - gotta love that!

Thank you for your comments, Roland. I'm glad you find the videos valuable.

And say...I took a look at your website. Your writing is so clear!--And it moves. That was the second bright spot of my morning, so thanks for that, too.


Swans Paul

Dear Peter:

Thanks very much for this compare-and-contrast video.

You enabled me to better understand these two pieces of copy.

After listening to you, I agree that Martin Conroy did a better job bringing the characters to life whereas Bruce Barton didn't put much meat on his characters.

And perhaps, if Martin Conroy did really swiped it, then he did a masterful job swiping and going beyond the "inspiration" piece.

Logistics? If your software could split the screen in two, then it would have been easier to compare and contrast.

But, without this feature, I still greatly enjoyed the video.

Sorry for not sending the original ad. I saw that Andrew Cavanaugh beat me to it.

Merci beaucoup.

Et joyeux anniversaire (en retard)

Swans G Paul

Copywriter :: Peter Stone


Many thanks for your good wishes and for your well-considered comments.

I'll try the split screen idea, as a side by side, and we'll see if the copy is large enough for readers to read, easily.


Kevin Francis


Thanks for this video. Really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. I didn't find the "logistics" a problem.

The WSJ letter was the second letter I ever wrote out by hand and it's remained in my consciousness and a potential part of my "repetoire". Your commentary leads me to look at it with new eyes and really appreciate Martin Conroy's genius.

If the "Civil War" letter was the inspiration then it's interesting how Conroy could see the potential in what looks to be a pretty ordinary letter. Would be interesting to know a little more about how successful the "Civil War" was. Prersumably it was quite successful otherwise Conroy would never have heard of it.

Another point of interest in the importance and impact of language that is contemporary to the reader. Barton's use of "losing his grip" (or whatever) was presumably quite deliberate because it would have meant something to the reader. Those sort of phrases have fallen out of contemporary usage so they now strike a jarring note.

Love your comments on the narrative structure and once again I am breathless with admiration (hey, this post is getting a little "flowery"!) for the supreme skill of Martin Conroy's writing.

The other thing in the WSJ is the "open loop" (in NLP-speak) - you've got to read to the end of the letter to find out what happens (and you want to find out what happens because of the skill of the writing).

One of my favourite pieces of the WSJ letter is the "PS" ("this may be tax deductible"). A little touch but sheer genius IMHO.

Peter, I personally love your critiques of "classics" and get a lot out of them.

Off to write the WSJ letter out by hand again!

Kevin Francis

Copywriter :: Peter Stone


"Flowery" is ok, I think, when you're talking about something you love.

I find Conroy's writing and his skill stunning. And yes, breathtaking. Hell, Kevin, that WSJ letter is a gorgeous thing.

I suppose that's part of why...out of respect...I hung another video addressing a few more points.

Thanks for your inspiring comments.


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