Blogging is Tough. Passion Makes It Bearable.

Thousands of blogs are born each day, but it’s not all sweetness and light. A summary of the downside of blogging, whether for yourself or for your organization. Even back in 2006, Technorati was estimating that 175,000 new blogs were born each day, or one every half-second. Even if only one-tenth of them made it […]

Don’t Explain. Tell Your Story.

Try to think of your ideal reader as a child. Have you ever met a child who preferred an explanation over a story? Explaining makes for lousy marketing. Dan Heath, Fast Company Writing for a Child As a marketing manager, have you ever thought of your ideal reader as a child? We learn not to […]

4 Ways to Get Your Story Out of the Content Tar Pit

Rescue your marketing communications content from the tar pit. Your readers can find it more easily and it will tell your story better. Around 1900, a few men standing near the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California, realized that there were animal bones in the tar. “What a find!” exclaimed the first. “We […]

“I Don’t Want to Listen to You, But I’ll Listen to Your Stories.”

Hire marketing communications writers who can tell a good story. Then have them tell yours. The biggest problems around creating new, interesting content are: Finding time to do it consistently. Finding talent to do it “magnetically.” Finding an angle to do it “engagingly.” These problems go away if you think in terms of stories. Prospects […]

“Never Mind Fixing Our Sentences. Fix Our Story.”

The marketable story is always there. It’s easy for us to lose sight of the best way to tell our story, though. And if we lose sight of it, our ideal reader will certainly never be able to find it. Hire a marketing communications writer who can tell you to cut out all the bull […]

3 Ways to Help Your Writer Over the Hump

The blank page is a big obstacle almost every writer faces on almost every piece. You can play an important role in helping your writer over the hump, and get better writing in the bargain. Every piece that your marketing communications writer sends you started out as a cursor blinking on a completely empty screen. […]

Forget the White Paper – Focus on the Change

Are you convinced that you need a white paper, because everybody has them? Don’t weld yourself to a single format for your story; think about other ways of telling it. Jay Baer has an excellent post this week on Info-Snacks, based on the notion of “atomizing” content, in the words of Todd Defren of Shift […]

When Graphics Get in the Way

Graphics and diagrams are at the heart of good marketing communications, but your writer can’t always make them work for a written piece. The deadline loomed, and still I had no more than an outline from the writer. “What’s taking so long?” I asked. “I think I have writer’s block,” replied the writer. “You don’t […]

Is Your White Paper a Y.A.W.N.E.R.?

Your white papers are good incentive content. If you think nobody’s reading them, maybe it’s because the ideal readers cannot find them. It’s hard not to feel good about having a white paper to give prospects, even harder when you have an entire library of them. If well done, they demonstrate the willingness to align […]

“Hey, Marketing Manager. Tell Me a Story.”

  People won’t read all the way through your 250-word press release, but they will read your 1000-word story. Can your marketing communications writer deliver a story for you?     Susan Straight, professor of creative writing at University of California at Riverside, posted an editorial in the Los Angeles Times: Over the years, some […]