Remember summer reading lists? If you were like me, you procrastinated until late August then hustled through all of the books — barely finishing before the first day of school or even later (don’t tell Mrs. Holden). But there was one summer reading book that I couldn’t put down — To Kill a Mockingbird. I assumed I’d never hear from Scout and Jem Finch again. But hold on, Maycomb. Harper Lee is publishing a “sequel” called Go Set a Watchman, which chronicles Scout’s life as as an adult.
BLOOMSBURG, PA — ab+c Creative Intelligence, a full-service marketing communications agency, has begun recruitment marketing efforts with three new clients — GoHealth Urgent Care, Synchrogenix and University of Colorado Health. GoHealth Urgent Care and Synchrogenix will take advantage of ab+c’s full gamut of recruitment marketing services, including messaging through placements. For University of Colorado Health, the agency’s tasks include an employment branding discovery, messaging development and creation of a recruitment website.Read full post...
What began as freelance project to illustrate a book cover turned into an opportunity to design the entire book.
The owner of a small start-up publishing house, who is familiar with my work and has also bought a few of my paintings, asked me to illustrate a cover for a book she was putting together. She had held a contest, inviting local writers to submit short stories about their experiences revolving around a beach house — any beach house — in the Rehoboth Beach vicinity. Read full post...
This has always been a pet peeve of mine. When someone utters this phrase, I think, “You should try harder.”
I could care less vs. I couldn’t care less
The point of the statement is that the speaker doesn’t care at all. But to say s/he could care less literally means that there is potential to care at least a little less than s/he does right now.Read full post...
We write stuff to give information or opinions or feelings or whatever to someone else. We need that someone to understand what we’re putting out. So it’s important to be clear.Read full post...
The short answer is yes. According to a recent article in Social Media Today:
- 81% of U.S. consumers trust advice and information from blogs.
- Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads.
- 61% of U.S. consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post.
So how do you write a good one?Read full post...
With all the modern ways of communicating, it still comes down to good writing. Tweets, blogs, web copy and infographics still require dynamic writing that engages your audience. The rules for good PR writing still apply in the social media era. Some say the demands of sound bites and 140 characters make good writing next to impossible. I say these “restrictions” compel us to hone our skills even more!
Public relations and marketing professionals have to communicate complex messages in less “space” to less attentive audiences. Are you up for the challenge? Here are a few quick tips to improve your writing:Read full post...
Every weight-loss TV ad worth its salt has a “results not typical” disclaimer at the end of it. You know what I mean. You see a newly svelte man or woman standing inside a pair of giant jeans that once housed their enormous frames — with the disclaimer, “Results not typical.” If these “results” aren’t typical, why in the world are they showing them? Oh yeah, it’s advertising.
While I’m not an attorney by trade, my copywriting background has made me proficient at crafting disclaimer copy. The disclaimer has been described as those few seconds of legalese at the end of an ad designed to take all the fun and fantasy out of what you’ve just witnessed. (Actually, that was my description. See? I told you I was a writer!)
Some of my favorite TV disclaimers: You’ve seen the fast-paced spot that feature 57 seconds of an exotic sports car wildly careening down a snowy mountainside or racing on two wheels around the rim of an active volcano. Let’s call it glorifying some form of death-cheating behavior. Read full post...
Much to my wife’s dismay, every time we walk into a building, whether it’s a restaurant, hospital or office, I look up.
The reason: For the past 20 years, I’ve handled public relations for the Ceilings Division of Armstrong, the country’s largest manufacturer of acoustical ceiling systems.
If you’re reading this at work, take a look up. Chances are there’s an acoustical or “drop” ceiling above you. Who would have thought someone could write about drop ceilings for 20 years?
Well, the reason I’ve been able to is that drop ceilings don’t have to be flat, white and full of holes anymore. They can have the warmth of wood or the sophistication of metal. They can be concave, convex or even serpentine. And they don’t have to be continuous, wall-to-wall ceilings to provide their acoustical benefit. There are plenty of ceiling clouds and canopies that can do that just as well.
As a result, architects and interior designers can now create signature ceilings that make people look up as they enter a space. And that’s the basis for one of the most important, and my favorite, aspect of the Armstrong Ceilings program: case studies. Read full post...
You see them all the time. Predictable, cliché, meaningless words that just fill space. They’re in nine out of ten health care ads. As a writer, they drive me insane. Here’s an irritating eight we can all do without.
State of the art: What exactly does that mean? Whose state are we talking about? And what art is this that has a state?
Utilization: Whatever happened to plain, old-fashioned “use.” Perfectly good word. Three letters. Says the same thing. Think about it.
Innovation: What exactly is the innovation? Why can’t you tell me what it is? Do I have to guess? Are you afraid to let me know because I will be so amazed I will fling my clothes into the wind in wild abandon, run down the street naked, crying tears of joy and amazement?Read full post...
Everyone blogs—kids, cats, Starbucks, even an accused criminal. But in the world of hospital communications, blogging is not nearly as prevalent. In fact, fewer than four percent of hospitals have them—185 to be exact, according to the Mayo Clinic’s Health Care Social Media List.
It’s a little surprising that more hospitals haven’t embraced the blog as a way to share their stories. A blog offers a controlled communications channel that engages and drives measurable web traffic. It showcases the organization’s personality and mission. I would challenge any PR or marketing pro to come up with a tactic that does all that—in 300 words or less!
There I’ve said it. The fact that I have 20-plus years of writing experience and never learned to type with any more than two fingers is hardly a point of pride. To me, watching someone type with ten fingers (without looking down at the keyboard) is like witnessing someone spinning a basketball on a fingertip. It’s a wondrous, magical skill. I realize that I could learn to type like a normal person, but then again I could also learn to fingertip-spin a basketball. But let’s face it. I’ll never be a Harlem Globetrotter.
My latest personal revelation is tied to the “Ultimate Typing Championship,” which took place on March 14 in Austin, Texas. Let’s call it “March Madness, nerd-style.” (Who lines up for tickets to an event like this?) The winner, Sean Wrona, broke the world record with a speed of 163 words per minute. First-place prize? $2,000. The event has a website that dares you to match your typing skills against America’s most fleet-fingered folks. (I’d suggest going into battle with all ten digits.)
First of all, a modifier is a word or phrase that describes something or someone. So you have to ensure that the modifier is modifying the thing it’s supposed to be modifying. Let’s say you’ve been going to pogo-stick conventions for a number of years. You attend a really cool convention in Wisconsin and you want to tell fellow enthusiasts about it. You start out: “As a 15-year veteran of pogo-stick conventions, the most recent shindig in Sheboygan was a stellar event.”