Archive for February, 2011

How to write a headline that guarantees nobody will read your story

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Hey, you. Yes, you – the internal comms writer with that sullen look on your face because the guys in the business don’t respect your expertise. Were these headlines yours? (more…)

Twelve things my flute teacher taught me about writing

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

As many a writer will tell you, words and music are very similar. Here’s what learning the flute has taught me about being a writer. (more…)

Why you need to write for the guy who stole the chickens

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

JUDGE: The charge here is theft of frozen chickens. Are you the defendant?

DEFENDANT: No, sir, I’m the guy who stole the chickens.

Want to know the one big reason so many corporate types are resistant to the idea of writing like a human being?

They’re terrified of getting into trouble with the Legal department. (more…)

Speak English, why don’t you?

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

So you think English is the international language of business, do you?

Well, I beg to differ: the language I hear most often in the workplace is mediaeval Latin. (more…)

We’re driving and delivering efficiencies – except when it comes to writing

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

A reader recently sent me a wonderful piece of corporate babble. Here are some highlights, anonymised to protect the illiterate and rubricated for your reading pleasure. (more…)

Ditch this terrible corpspeak!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Mangled syntax and contempt for the niceties of grammar are endemic in modern business writing. Here are the affronts to the English language that most get my goat. What are yours? (more…)

Brand engagement? Bring on the gobbledygook!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

What do you think this might be?

an unparalleled experiential platform used to engage key audiences through a unique and unforgettable brand experience…

[it] connects consumers with brands through a personalised, relevant and memorable experience…

The experience appeals to guests at a sensory and emotional level, creating a bond between brand and consumer.

Leave a comment telling me what you think is being described – then find out here.

Was it what you expected? Did the “brand engagement” jargon do it justice?

Five business writing tips from a best-selling author

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

If you read one book about the financial crisis this year (actually, if you read one book about anything this year), make it The Big Short by Michael Lewis.

It reads like a thriller – an unputdownable romp about collateralised debt obligations (CDO) and credit default swaps. Oxymoron? Not in the hands of Lewis, who has a real gift for making the complex compelling.

Last week, I heard Lewis speak about the book at his alma mater, the London School of Economics (LSE). When he touched on the writing process, I gleaned five tips for every business writer. (more…)