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Business Writing

  • “Involve Me, and I Will Understand”

    “Involve Me, and I Will Understand”

    Since I’m an avid BMW motorcyclist now, I came across this video on a forum I belong to. Don’t dismiss it just because you’ve no interest in m...

  • Don’t Be So Punny

    Don’t Be So Punny

    This Daily Show segment, while aimed at news shows, rings true for business communicators, too. ...

  • Is it a Slogan or a Key Message?

    In the continuing discussion of key messages in your business writing, here's a quick example of how a slogan can reflect underlying key messages. ...

Oriental Rugs & Business Writing

True story: I was once written up for using college level vocabulary on the job. Yes, it was in a written performance evaluation. No, I was not writing for a living at the time; was running a line of business. You might not guess that my employer was a bank, ... Read More »

The Triumph of Snail Mail?

    Although I write a lot about e-newsletters and social media communications I’m always on the lookout for merging them with old school direct mail. I was prepared to skip this WSJ article on direct mail because at first glance it pertained to retailers.  Then the article told of ... Read More »

PIMCO’s Ring of Fire

Scroll down for writing prompts, bloggers & newsletter writers. In my occasional series of publicly (and respectfully) editing business writing, this time I offer unsolicited advice to PIMCO, a leading global investment management firm, which publishes respected and widely-read newsletters. Today I read  The Ring of Fire, written Mr William ... Read More »

Where’s the News in Your Newsletter?

My inbox is clogged with so-called newsletters from people who must have made a resolution to “communicate more” or “do more marketing” in 2010. Most of them are, in a word, crap. In two words, self serving. In three words, not worth reading. Win a lifetime gift certificate for my ... Read More »

Sharing Deep, Sharing Wide

One of my clients called last week to say,  “I love your newsletter but I want your blog delivered to my email too.” No need. Every blog post for the preceding month is referenced in my monthly newsletter (along with some original content). Why do I do this?  My readers ... Read More »

Six Shortcuts to a Knee Whack

We all love shortcuts, but sometimes they backfire. I see professionals in financial services and the law taking shortcuts with their newsletters and  email marketing efforts all the time.  Nothing’s worse than a self-inflicted knee whack. Be sure to scratch these six shortcuts off your list — they’ll definitely get ... Read More »

Editing the Fed

I’ve been so bold as to edit Prince Charles and the pope, so why not the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank? Consider the Fed’s analysis of Canadian vs. American housing and lending trends. Why Canada might be “a country that got things right” The report led off well enough: Housing markets ... Read More »

Burned by Boilerplate

As we hurtle towards 2010 some financial advisors and life insurance agents keep communicating like it’s 1999. The boilerplate communications racket In the past week I got two identical Thanksgiving e-cards from different reps of the same general agency. Uh oh. It started with an email inviting me to “click ... Read More »

Devising your Editorial Calendar

Exhortations to “publish, publish, publish” forget the most important advice: publish something worthwhile. To communicate in a meaningful way build an editorial calendar and stock your content pantry. Building blocks for an editorial calendar Seasonality. The US tax season drives business to accountants, but also  drives a spike in calls ... Read More »

The Company you Keep

Mom’s advice still holds: you’re known by the company you keep. Since 15% of all reported spam  last month was finance-oriented, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are scrubbing emails with references or offers related to money, the stock market or other financial “opportunities” including investments, credit reports, real estate and loans. ... Read More »