Mandy Collins & Associates

I'll help you find the right words

Why your announcement isn’t news

A lot of press releases come to me for review with this opening sentence: “Large Corporation X today announced that …” And here’s the thing: an announcement is not news. Companies announce things all the time. The thing you’re announcing? That’s the news. Take the announcement out of it. You save on words, and gain
Read more >

3 surefire ways to shorten sentences

Do you want to hear my three top tips for shortening sentences? Oh, well, here they are anyway. 😉 1. Cut out irrelevant words and information. Be brutal. You don’t need those filler phrases, and you should only be communicating the most important information. 2. Break up long sentences into smaller parts. Learn to love
Read more >

How to take people for a ride

I was recently asked to review a complex business proposal that contained – supposedly – an elevator pitch. It came with a plea for help – the writer was struggling to cut it down from a page and a half, to a page, and I had to explain, as kindly as possible, that there was
Read more >

Flip the script to get the most out of quotes

I see a common mistake in press releases, which is to start off quotes with the name and fancy title of the company spokesperson, and only after those many and boring words, to get to the quote itself. Try flipping the script – usually what is being said (if you’ve done your job properly) is
Read more >

How to make your content stretch

If you’re writing your own content, it can be tough to come up with ideas over a long period of time. You may start to feel as if you have no new ideas left. The trouble is, everyone wants to write long, substantial pieces. But given the goldfish-like attention span most people have when it
Read more >

Why it’s my job to ask “stupid” questions

When I’m writing content for people, they’re often surprised by the questions I ask. Some are so simple as to be verging on being “stupid” questions – to them, what I’m asking seems obvious. But that’s just the point. Just because something is obvious to you, doesn’t mean it’s obvious to everyone. And here –
Read more >

Why that slew of emails doesn’t equal communication

I’ve been dealing with a company in order to have some promotional material printed, and while I get emails from them about all kinds of things, I’m so frustrated with their communication that I’m cancelling my order. Too many companies confuse answering emails with communication – as paradoxical as that might sound. What do I
Read more >