Effective communication Language and ideas

Words we love to hate (and a few we love)

As we close the door on 2020, we’d also like to close the door on 2020 jargon. We’re passionate anti-jargon activists, but we’re aware that jargon is a touchy subject and a moving target. Terms that come into common use create shared understanding and experience, providing a valuable communication shortcut. However, overuse dilutes their meaning,…

Brand Stories Content strategy

What 2020 can tell us about content in 2021

We’ve said before that the best way to greet 2021 is to plan, not predict, for the future. A key part of planning? Taking a good, hard look at the events of 2020 and how they affected consumer behaviors. Today, we’re looking at some particularly astute observations about brands and consumers and how these observations…

Content strategy

How a content strategy helps build your brand and your bottom line

Most entrepreneurs and marketers understand what they need to do to increase their brand’s visibility. However, the why and how often get lost in the mix. An effective content strategy can help. Some commentators suggest that volume and frequency are the most important elements of successful content marketing. They overlook a number of crucial factors,…

Effective communication Language and ideas Leadership

Lessons from 25 great year-end messages

We’ve discussed at length the challenges of holiday messaging as well as the importance of language when building a brand and a company culture. Today, we take a closer look at end-of-year employee communications. Entrepreneur Keith Miller shared a “top 25” list of year-end messages on the Future of Working website that look straightforward –…

Brand Stories content marketing

2020 holiday messaging: Don’t kid yourself

The marketing experts are out in full force with ideas for clever marketing strategies and cheery brand messaging this holiday season. It seems that many have taken their ideas from a past holiday season, slapped “2020” in the headline, and republished them as something new and enticing. Let’s be honest. We’re all eager for a…

Corporate storytelling Language and ideas Leadership

Speechwriting lessons from FDR

On this day in 1941, Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor in the first direct attack on the United States by an Axis power. The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his “date which will live in infamy” speech. Roosevelt had been delivering fireside chats via radio since 1933. His voice was well known to…

Content creation Language and ideas

7 strategies for defeating writer’s block

Writer’s block is real, and everyone has an opinion about it. Maybe that’s because even respected veteran writers battle it – to say nothing of the junior copywriter facing a deadline and a pissed-off manager. Potential solutions abound. But many of them boil down to personal accountability and initiative, and writer’s block strikes equally among…

Brand growth Content creation

Are blogs dead? 5 things to think about

Are blogs dead? The short answer is “no.” Like Paul McCartney in 1969, blogs are very much alive, and they have a long and fruitful life ahead of them. However, skeptics love to question the value of various digital platforms in turn, which has the added benefit of keeping us all on our toes. Blogs…