Now advertising agencies are good at imagination and creation, at mocking-up and perfecting collateral associated with a brand. But, and at the risk of being hung out to dry, those skills don’t cross-credit for your first, most important story – (or tagline). These two to 10 words are a real challenge to uncover no matter … Continue reading Why ad agencies are terrible at taglines

You might think there would be a degree of angst in blog ghostwriting – creating original social media content in helping business people tell their stories. After all, the egos of many writers are attached to seeing their own names in print. But, in my case anyway, it is the opposite. Blog ghostwriting, on behalf of someone … Continue reading Why blog ghostwriting is an honourable gig

Not maintaining a business website’s blog and news makes it appear as if no one is at home. Put another way, there’s nothing worse than checking out the news or blog part of a site and seeing that the last entry was July 2013. As colleague, Fraser Carson of Flightdec says, people can spend a … Continue reading Without original content, a website looks like no one is at home

Have a look at the pix of a billboard on Wellington’s Adelaide Road. Now, I walk past this most mornings, and have the comparative luxury of enough time to figure out what it is trying to say. It took me a couple of goes, and a bit of time to do so. But pity the … Continue reading Petrol saving ad, too clever by half

Where does a company’s story start? Often right from its brand name. But often that doesn’t really tell you what it does, what it promises, why a consumer should care. That means a tagline has is in fact its headline. It is the beginning of a company’s story. Indeed, it is what someone can and … Continue reading Why your company’s tagline has to do your message’s heavy lifting

The infographic, also known as data visualisation, is one of those a picture is worth a thousand words examples, literally. Their ability to convey information, and ideally knowledge, of the sort that allows you to go “ah ha” that’s interesting, is increasingly important. That’s because images themselves have much more ability to be viral – … Continue reading Why you’re mad not to use infographics…when they fit

Inspired, or rather uninspired by the use of the world ‘solution’ in a brand name or tagline, the thought came around what other words should be given the big miss. Without too much trouble, superior, excellence, committed, unique.There’s two good reasons to steer well clear of such terms. They mean nothing – and, in actual … Continue reading ‘Solution’ is not the solution – even if it sounds like it should be

If we’re being persuasive with our messages, we must make it easy for our readers. One of the keys to this is making your idea, or whatever it is that you’re selling, easy to picture. No matter how abstract your concept, unless someone can see it concretely in their mind’s eye, you’ll never get them … Continue reading A picture (in the mind) is worth much more than a thousand words

Show me someone who knows it all – and I’ll get them to run for god. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your point of view) no one knows everything. No writer, no matter how intelligent, can know the ins and outs of a particular industry or sector. No business person, in spite of a depth … Continue reading Collaborative message making means you can make 1 + 1 = 3

A recent Quartz article compares The Economist magazine’s style book for writing to Bloomberg’s. Across a lot of differences – including one major one on how much you should ‘interfere’ (my term) with or edit a writer’s words – the style books both agree on one thing. That is, that  George Orwell’s six timeless rules … Continue reading Orwell’s right…but persuasive messages take more than just good writing