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Don’t get eaten alive by the approval process
Dun dun … dun dun: Of all the business processes in your organization, the approval process is most likely to be broken. Here are three ways to fix it.
March 19, 2019
Use the active voice in writing
I like to move it, move it: It’s one of the best writing tips I know. In any kind of business writing, write about people doing things.
March 12, 2019
Avoid losing readers in these hot spots
They can’t heeear you: Arousing fear can backfire if you don’t offer a simple solution for controlling risk. This four-part persuasive message model motivates behavior by overcoming that obstacle.
March 05, 2019
Credit union communicator nails the feature structure
Blog writing structure simplified: Take these steps to organize a more attention-getting blog post.
February 26, 2019
How to use Flesch-Kincaid, Gunning Fog indexes
Measure up: Use readability formulas like the Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and Gunning Fog Index to reach more readers.
February 19, 2019
Why accentuate the negative?
Better sorry than safe? Arousing fear can be more effective than promising rewards at moving people to act.
February 12, 2019
Motivation a key element of storytelling
Make a wish: If your story were a musical, what would your protagonist’s ‘I wish’ song be? That wish is what launches the action of every great story.
February 05, 2019
Sentence length, word length make messages more readable
It takes 2: Want to dramatically improve readability? Focus on the top 2 drivers of reading ease: sentence length and word length.
January 29, 2019
3 steps to a great narrative arc
Tick-tock: How do you organize a good story? With time.
January 22, 2019
Don’t just slap the topic on top of the story
Warning: label: Label headlines communicate the topic — but nothing else — about the story.
January 15, 2019
3 ways to identify the narrative line
Find the moment of truth: For compelling corporate storytelling, find the desk-pounding, or aha! moment.
January 08, 2019
6 writing resolutions to improve your copy in 2019
Here’s to your 2019 writing career: Kick off 2019 right when you ring in the New Year with these writing tips.
January 01, 2019
City communicator increases Flesch Reading Ease by 38.8%
Raise your own readability score: Craft readable text easily with our 5 tips.
December 18, 2018
Leave a lasting impression with these 2 key elements
Tell ’em what you told ’em: End with a bang by writing a good conclusion that includes a wrapup and kicker.
December 11, 2018
‘How we make it’ and four other ways to spot a good story
Why did my husband switch cognacs? Brand storytelling made him do it.
December 06, 2018
Measure, monitor, manage and report readability
Hit the target: Test your clarity with these cool digital tools.
November 27, 2018
‘Make ’em sick, make ’em well’ & 3 other ways to move people to act
Lead the pack: Stand out from the crowd and align readers with your point of view with these persuasive-writing techniques.
November 20, 2018
‘Whoever tells the best story wins’
Why storytelling? Storytelling makes your messages more engaging, easier to understand, easier to believe and more.
November 13, 2018
Irrelevant content No. 1 reason readers unsubscribe
You’ve got mail: In the battle for attention in the inbox, only the most relevant, valuable e-zines and email blasts will survive.
October 23, 2018
Give subscribers the scoop, early insights
Right on time: Timeliness is one of the things subscribers like best about e-zines. So get the word out to your readers — stat!
October 16, 2018
3 ways to get the word out to nonreaders
Pass the squint test: Squint at your newsletter. Can you see the parts?
October 10, 2018
Expand on, but don’t exceed, the subject line
3 keys to e-zine success: 1) Focus. 2) Focus. 3) Focus. Hew to your subject line: Subscribers don’t want you veering off on different topics.
October 02, 2018
Because only 19% of e-zines get read thoroughly
They skim the surface: Mobile readers skim email newsletters 74% of the time; they fully read just 24% of the time.
September 25, 2018
People average 51 seconds on e-zines
What’s the right length? Email newsletters of about 200 words get the greatest click-throughs. So why not write 200-word e-zines?
September 18, 2018
Americans average 16.5 minutes a day
All time low: Americans spend less than 20 minutes a day reading for fun. How much of that time do you think they’re spending on your piece?
September 11, 2018
Check, find & cut long sentences with these Word tools
Check it out: Microsoft Word tools let you check sentence length, find long sentences and cut them into short sentences.
September 04, 2018
Segment lists to nanotarget newsletters, e-blasts
Bespoke content: Segment lists, then use meaningful pieces of data — your recipient’s dog’s name, maybe — to nanotarget readers.
August 28, 2018
Optimize for Alexa, Siri and other digital assistants
Optimize for voice search: Half of all searches will be via voice by 2020, according to comScore. Are your webpages, posts and other pieces optimized for voice?
August 21, 2018
Make Churchill your muse
Word from the wise: Some say Winston Churchill saved the Western world with his words. So why not model your executive quotes after his?
August 14, 2018
Fraction of Selection model shows how readers choose what to read
Is it juicy? Good for me? Easy? Increase your chances that readers will read your message with Wilbur Schramm’s Fraction of Selection model.
August 07, 2018
Try compression of details for PR leads
Main squeeze: Make it juicy with compression of details.
July 31, 2018
It may be the most effective approach
Tick tock: A sense of urgency in subject lines increases opens, click-throughs and readership.
July 24, 2018
Keep news release leads to 25 words or less
They snooze, you lose: “If the copy doesn’t excite me within 20 words, I won’t read the rest of it,” says one editor.
July 17, 2018
Strathcona County masters ‘stack of boxes’ structure
Feature-style story structure is simple: Just stack three boxes.
July 10, 2018
‘They chew gum, don’t they?’
Don’t let irrelevant releases blow up in your face: Journalists’ biggest pet peeve is releases that aren’t relevant to their audiences.
July 03, 2018
Create new terms by merging old ones
A whole new word: Freshly minted words like portmanteaus get more attention than tired coinages.
June 26, 2018
5 ways to activate news release headlines
Away we go: A story is a verb, not a noun. Something should be happening here. Use dynamic verbs in press release headlines.
June 19, 2018
Gain color and insight you can’t get any other way
Just looking: Firsthand observation brings your message to life.
June 12, 2018
Write better, easier & faster with this 5-step system
Brilliant ideas The 5-step creative process helps you work with — not against — your brain to produce dazzling ideas, brighter pieces.
June 05, 2018