December 4th, 2013
What do you think is the secret to improving your writing?
Getting a better grasp of grammar?
Developing a keener eye for jargon?
Gaining a deeper understanding of your reader?
All of these skills are useful, of course. But they’ll only take you so far. Read the rest of this entry »
November 27th, 2013
A reader forwarded me this wonderfully bad piece of HR-speak, which had landed in his inbox:
Grow your talent pool at no charge: Recruit skilled XYZers with Right Management
Right Management is a global leader in talent and career management workforce solutions within the ManpowerGroup and their mission is to help you grow talent, reduce costs and accelerate performance. They deliver solutions to align talent strategy with business strategy.
XYZ and Right Management are providing you with the opportunity to have talent transitioning out of XYZ get direct access to your available job openings. Registration with Right Management’s job database, Right Job Opportunities, will get you started and there is no cost to participate.
(Text somewhat anonymised to protect the illiterate)
Or, in other words:
Please, please, please take some of XYZ’s cast-offs or our client will end up with a stack of lawsuits. If you’ve got any jobs going, do list them in Right Management’s database. We won’t even charge you!
Read the rest of this entry »
November 20th, 2013
For your amusement – some bits and bobs that entertained us while we were out and about. Read the rest of this entry »
November 12th, 2013
The most common objection my clients make to clear, concise writing is that making stuff easy to understand is dumbing down.
The question fellow writers ask me most often is “how do I persuade my clients being clear and concise isn’t dumbing down?”
Here’s what I tell them. Read the rest of this entry »
November 5th, 2013
Fellow writer Daphne Gray-Grant recently argued the case for varying the length of your sentences to increase readability.
She quoted two bits of writing to illustrate the point – you can read her analysis here.
I want to look at the two extracts from a different perspective because I think something else is going on too. Read the rest of this entry »
October 29th, 2013
Look, if you really want to “engage” your employees, don’t faff around with message maps. It’ll only waste your time, your team’s time and the CEO’s time.
What’s more, said CEO will begin to wonder why, exactly, he’s paying you to waste his time faffing around with message maps. Read the rest of this entry »
October 23rd, 2013
So, have you ever developed a message map?
Well you need to, according to a certain well-known organisation for internal communicators whose purpose is “to embed IC best practices and skills”. Read the rest of this entry »
October 16th, 2013
At the Professional Copywriter’s Network Conference, leading direct mail writer Andy Maslen revealed he’d never written a piece of direct mail in his life.
Nope, he was proud to say he wrote junk mail for a living.
Why would an expert in his field describe his work in such derogatory terms?
Doesn’t exactly sound impressive on your CV, does it? Not really something to include in your elevator pitch, perhaps. Read the rest of this entry »
October 9th, 2013
Comms managers, when did you last measure how all those bits of communication get produced? And not just how they get distributed and received?
Let me guess, never.
Well, as I suggested last week, you’re missing a trick. Because understanding your team’s writing process could save you time, money and a lot of hassle. Read the rest of this entry »
October 2nd, 2013
Any smart comms specialist will have given some thought to doing a communications audit at some point.
A comms audit can tell you a lot about how well you’re doing your job as a professional communicator. Read the rest of this entry »