Blog Archives

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Before you decide to do a newsletter…

So, you’ve decided your company needs a newsletter. You’d like to connect with your clients and customers, keep them updated about innovations or changes at your firm, and you think a newsletter would tick several of those boxes. I’ve worked with several companies on their newsletters, and we always run up against the same obstacles. […]

Why it’s not ‘just’ proofreading

  “That seems a bit pricey for just a proofread.” That’s the comment I received after sending out a quote this week. What the client really wanted was not a proofread, but an edit – not many people know the difference; many underestimate the role that each has to play, and the painstaking work involved […]

Tips For the DIY Business Blogger

So you’ve decided you need a business blog. But you don’t have the budget for a PR or content agency, which means it’s something of a DIY – and you don’t know where to start. Here are some helpful pointers. First, spend some time planning. As a professional writer, I often get requests from people […]

Lose that lexicon of opacity and loquacity

I received an email today from an organisation I’m involved in. It was about an important new project and the aim of the email was to introduce the organisation’s clients to the project . Here’s the first paragraph (with some biographical details changed to protect the guilty): As our strategies begin to take shape, we […]