In glancing through my local small-town newspaper, I found three faux pas in the Visual Arts Calendar listings. Keep in mind that these are only 3-4 sentences each, so it’s important that they have impact. Here’s what I found:
1. In a listing for a new gallery, it says "Visitors are invited to view art, smell and taste international foods and listen to classical music, but touching the art works is discouraged." Oh brother! They were doing so well. I thought smell, taste, and view–all those senses in one place–great! Then they ruin it by telling me what I can’t do. Duh. How condescending.
2. An artist’s exhibit is listed as "a diverse mixture of art." I ask WIIFM (what’s in it for me)? "Diverse mixture" tells me nothing.
3. Another artist’s exhibit says "the artworks vary from oils to mixed media and from landscapes to abstracts." This artist seems all over the map and not at all focused.
Remember that in such a short space, you have to write copy that is memorable. And trying to be everything to everyone ends up saying nothing.