Archive for November, 2007

Oops! 2

Friday, November 16th, 2007

I sent my last blog entry to Communicators In Business and got the following reply from Steve Nichols, the editor of the online newsletter containing the survey.

“Ok – fair point. Unfortunately the software package puts that on everything. You’ve made me feel guilty so I have changed the font colour to white to hide the line. Can’t make it get rid of the asterisk though.”

So you’ll notice that the survey no longer contains the nonsensical instruction “all questions marked with an * must be completed”.

A prompt, highly personal response that makes me feel like my opinion is valued. Thank you, Steve – a nice example of good communication.

Oops!

Friday, November 16th, 2007

I was sent an online survey by the British Association of Communicators in Business this morning, asking me what I’d put in my Room 101.

My answer – the second time I responded – was online surveys/web forms that haven’t been tested properly. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. Remember: all questions marked with an * must be completed.

Complete survey

Strapped for ideas?

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Straplines. They tell your customer what you’re about and they capture the essence of your brand. So why do so many businesses seem to bang out the first thing that comes to mind? Here are four that have been getting me all worked up lately – and what I think they can teach us. (more…)

Ditch your communications strategy and just talk

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

In my last post, I listed five of my top tips for clear communication. My favourite, by far, is the one urging writers to avoid overusing nouns. It’s my favourite because this crime against clarity is the feature of bad corporatese that I come across most often – and it’s easy to fix if you know how. (more…)

Pitching it at the right level

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Today I attended a panel discussion, in which one of my clients interviewed their clients about their impressions of the firm. (I was reporting on the event for an internal publication).

Asked about what makes a successful business pitch, several of the panel members said that avoiding ‘information overload’ was the most important thing to remember. (more…)

Don’t follow the crowd

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

I’m worried that the word ‘after’ will soon be extinct. I don’t know if it’s that writers have suddenly developed a mistrust of the word – or if I’ve just become attuned to their increasing preference for the cumbersome ‘following’. (more…)