Guide to Better Business Writing

According to the Harvard Business Review publication called Your Guide to Better Business Writing, “A survey of 120 blue-chip American companies found that a third of employees wrote poorly, a problem businesses are spending more than $3 billion a year to correct.”

The book includes essays entitled “The Best Memo You’ll Ever Write” and “Writing Well When Time Is Tight”, which focus on a time-pressed manager’s need for a streamlined process to get ideas down on paper.

Here are the top 5 mistakes I see people make in business writing:

#1 Problem: people write what they want to say, and don’t think about what the people reading actually need to know.

Solution: Good writers focus on writing for their audience. We answer questions in ways that resonate with our readers.Read More »


6 easy ways to start Tweeting

Have you started Tweeting? Have you started and then stopped? No worries. Everyone needs a nudge sometimes.

The idea for this post came from a nudge I gave one of my clients. He set himself up with a Twitter account a few months ago. But instead of diving in, he started by following some people, businesses and organizations and watched their Twitter behaviour. He was trying to learn “the right way” to use Twitter.

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The effective email tease

There is an old marketing adage, originally written in a New York Herald Tribune column in 1956, that goes, “doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”

Advertising mediums have changed dramatically since then, but advertising precepts and concepts have not. No matter what, we still have to find our audience, and we still have to find a way to not only sit in the spotlight, but get the audience to look when we wink.Read More »

My debate with Stephen Harris: Do Twitter Protests Count?

I met Stephen Harris, Manager of the BC Gov’t Caucus Communications on Twitter this week.

We debated the efficacy of online protest actions through tweets, and direct messages. Our debate ended when he said, after being on Twitter all day, that in his opinion a message tweeted in protest by a constituent to an elected official “doesn’t count”. But maybe I should back up.Read More »

Calling all Tweeters: BC’s Stop HST Campaign hits Twitter

OK this is new. The NDP launched a Twitter campaign today to stop the HST in BC. Whatever side of the issue you come down on, this campaign was very well executed and there are definitely some good social media campaign take aways here. (Congrats to the good minds behind this campaign.)

The call for a Tweet-in went out to party supporters via email and also via Twitter this morning. Supporters who received the email were given links to send BC Liberal MLAs a Twitter message, urging them to stand up for their constituents, because their job is on the line. The emails also included a link for people to sign up to Twitter,  and a call to forward the email campaign so others can spread the word.Read More »

When social media moves people: They showed up!

The question that everyone was asking before today’s rallies was, “How many people do you think will show up?” People wanted to know if the 200,000 people on facebook would translate into feet on the street.

In Victoria, Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament Victoria chapter has just over 500 members and just over 500 people confirmed to attend the rally. Did they show up? Yes they did and they brought their friends.Read More »