Category: General

Walk A Mile In Their Shoes

The simplest model of communication has a few very basic elements – a sender, a receiver, a message and a medium. And the goal is just as simple – that the message that lands, is identical to the message sent. Like many things, it’s simple, but not easy. And where much written communication fails, is […]

Talk To Me, Dammit!

I need some advice from my accountant. She’s great when it comes to numbers and I want to ask her about some work-related changes I’m thinking of making and how they will affect the structure of my finances and my tax. So I emailed her my questions. And then I emailed her again. And then […]

Editing Checklist: The Basics

Editing isn’t just about checking spelling, grammar and punctuation – even though they’re super important. There are a clutch of other things you need to check too. When you edit, you want to make sure your writing is accurate, brief and clear, and that it achieves the purpose for which you are writing. So here’s […]

5 Ways to Make Emails Easier

Love it or hate it, email is a fundamental part of the way we communicate at work. Here are five ways to streamline your email writing. 1. Be purposeful. Knowing why you’re writing is almost more important than what you’re writing. Do you want to inform the recipient, persuade them of something, ask for something, […]

We Need to Talk about Thought Leadership

It’s time. Gather around, public relations practitioners and other marketing types. Bring your friends in content, and while you’re about it, bring the journalists and editors too. We need to have a serious talk about thought leadership. Why? Because for a term that is bandied about with reckless abandon, there is very little consensus about […]

Hey, Boss? After you…

Many of the requests I get for writing training start with, “My boss says I need to learn some writing skills.” Once these people are on my course, however, I start to feel the pushback: “If I write like that, my boss will kill me!” Many of our ideas about business writing are rooted in […]

Why I’m not ‘a natural’ when it comes to writing

From time to time I produce content for a client that gets feedback along the lines of, “You’re a natural!” Or, “Wow! You’re so talented!” There’s always a faint air of suprise at my ability to express what they want to say in exactly the right words, or admiration at my “gift”. This is like […]

Bad Business Writing And Your Bottom Line

What’s the first thing that tells you you’ve just received email from a spammer? Well, maybe you haven’t entered the British lottery, or you bank with a different institution. But there are also all kinds of clues in the writing. Often tehre are errors and poor language use. Web credibility research out of Stanford University […]

Why lack of transformation is negatively affecting your company’s publicity

Companies who are hoping to position themselves as market leaders would do well to look at the diversity of their companies, and ensure their spokespeople are representative of South Africa’s people. Twenty-four years after apartheid fell, as a journalist I still struggle to find sources – particularly in big corporations – who are people of colour. […]

How Feedback Helps Your Remote Worker

The gig economy is the future, we’re told. I’ve been an active part of this economy for just over two decades, and there are two major skills required to make this work. The first is being able to give a clear brief, and the second is the ability to give feedback. Part of the reason many […]