Business proposals: how to persuade at every level

April 26th, 2016

cartoon of street signpost indicating two different directions
A student recently asked me about writing business proposals that will be read by a variety of readers. Here’s his question:

In a multi-level sales process, who is my audience?

I’m a leader with a management consultancy firm, and approving our work often requires multiple levels of leadership to read our work. Sometimes it’s the end user who does the reading and then recommends his pick to the buyer. Other times the top buyer does all the reading. In cases in which a writer doesn’t know exactly whom to write to, how do you chose which reader you should be channeling?

Here’s my answer: Read the rest of this entry »

Vision statement? Apply this three-part test before you hit ‘send’

April 19th, 2016

cartoon of a pair of binocularsLast week, a big pharma firm was ‘proud’ to reveal its vision statement for its new Antibiotic Business Unit.

Here’s that vision statement.

Development
Big Pharma plc is working towards a reinvigorated global environment for antibiotic research, development and commercialisation.

Collaboration
We are collaborating with all stakeholders, and acting as a constructive partner to governments to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

Commercial environment
Commercially attractive policies, alongside global initiatives, must be developed if new antibiotics are to reach patients.

Did you get that? Were you inspired by it? Can you even remember much of it?  No?

Here are some reasons why that might be: Read the rest of this entry »

Content marketing: What you get when you don’t pay writers

April 11th, 2016

In February 2016, Stephen Hull, the editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post UK was asked in a radio interview why he doesn’t pay his writers.

Here’s what he said.

I love this question, because I’m proud to say that what we do is that we have 13,000 contributors in the UK, bloggers… we don’t pay them, but you know if I was paying someone to write something because I wanted it to get advertising pay, that’s not a real authentic way of presenting copy. So when somebody writes something for us, we know it’s real. We know they want to write it. It’s not been forced or paid for. I think that’s something to be proud of.

Here’s why that statement is, frankly, disingenuous bollocks. Read the rest of this entry »

What is a copywriter? (Hint: writing’s only half the job)

April 5th, 2016

cartoon of different copywriter hats
Someone recently asked me ‘so what is a copywriter?’.  One thing’s for sure, being a copywriter is about way more than just writing.

Here are eight possible answers to the question: ‘what is a copywriter?’.

1. A copywriter is a thinker

‘Thinker’ is the answer that immediately springs to mind, because it’s what I spend most of my day doing. Read the rest of this entry »

Apostrophe beginner to apostrophe expert!

March 2nd, 2016

I’ve just launched a new online course – and it’s all about the apostrophe!

Sign up to the blog today to get this course at a special introductory offer of just £8.

I want to master the apostrophe for only £8

 

apostrophe course box

Why master the apostrophe? Well, a single misplaced apostrophe in that CV or that manuscript you’ve sweated over for years? It could undo all your hard work in a single moment. Because if there’s one thing employers, editors and educated readers will judge you on, it’s how you use the apostrophe.

An effective way to master the apostrophe once and for all

Let’s face it, memorising a book on punctuation is never going to be the most exciting or effective way of mastering the apostrophe. That’s why I created a comprehensive but pacy online course with lots of exercises so you can practise what you’ve learned.

In English Grammar: Apostrophe Beginner to Apostrophe Expert, I guide you from the basics to professional mastery, step by step.

You’ll start by mastering the two main uses of this tricky little punctuation mark – and build up your knowledge from there.

By the end of the course, you’ll not only be using the apostrophe with ease and confidence. You’ll also have a more in-depth knowledge than the vast majority of professional writers, editors and proofreaders.

This comprehensive course gives you:

  • Clear explanations and illustrations of the most important uses of the apostrophe
  • Loads of quizzes and exercises throughout the course, to help you cement your knowledge
  • Step-by-step guidance on avoiding the most embarrassing apostrophe blunders
  • Simple ways to avoid common confusions – like the difference between “its” and “it’s”, “who’s” and “whose”
  • Advice on how to prevent that rogue, credibility-zapping apostrophe from slipping through the net
  • Answers to advanced questions, like: 100’s or 100s? CVs or CV’s? What to do with names and places that end in “s”?
  • A downloadable “cheat sheet” you can refer to again and again

Remember, you can get this course for just £5 until midnight on Friday, 4 March 2016 so act now!

Master the apostrophe for only £8