Archive for the ‘freelance’ Category

A great article from PR Daily… tips for avoiding low-hanging jargon!

The phenomenon of “pop-up restaurants” redefines what a restaurant is~Great Ruth Reichl piece

The legendary Ruth Reichl recently wrote a great post entitled “The Meaning of Ludo’s” in which she talks about her experience with the sought-after LudoBites, which transcends the typical excitement associated with a new dining opportunity as it has no fixed location. As the theater and romance of restaurants has always intrigued me and working with clients in the foodservice industry has long been a love of mine, this entirely different perspective on what makes a restaurant a “go-to” has a new level of intrigue.

The success of LudoBites shows that it is often not just about the decor, the setting, the food, table linens, service–as this restaurant picks new locations and on the night Reichl visited it was inhabiting what she described as “a little sandwich shop in a grungy part of town – it is the ultimate statement about the supremacy of food over ambiance.” Read more here:

Good Grammar IS Hot… It’s National Grammar Day Today, March 4!

While it may sound a bit comical to some, National Grammar Day and other events and sites promoting the importance of good grammar actually do mean something worth noting.

Check out Facebook and you might be surprised to see how many groups exist that are dedicated just to the promotion of using the language properly and making it clear that more people notice typos, poor style, and bad punctuation than you may think. Here are a few of these Facebook groups… and there are legions of others elsewhere on the Web:

The host of this year’s National Grammar Day, the bright and clever Mignon Fogarty—Grammar Girl herself–has posted the following on her site:

<snip>As National Grammar Day’s Language is something to be celebrated, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It’s not only a date, it’s an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same! <end snip>

It’s a good day to reflect on the caliber of your written communications, including e-mails, blog posts, Tweets, brochures, trade-show collateral, and all of the rest, including your business cards, which don’t have a lot of real estate but are critical to messaging who you are. Hiring a professional to do your graphic and Web design is key, as well—but the messaging that goes with it can make or break how you are perceived. I have built strategic partnerships/alliances with some amazing, professional, and truly creative designers specifically to ensure that the messaging and look and functionality of any communication are all working in concert with each other without any of those elements disabling the impression you make.

The National Grammar Day site,, even has games and other celebratory events…My suggestion? Have fun with it while not disregarding its importance.

THE BANNED WORDS (AND PHRASES) OF 2010~This may be key to avoiding growls and eye-rolling!

Check out the words deemed worthy of being banned for 2010 by the wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University, who released their 35th annual (deep breath) List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. (By way of a punctuation disclaimer, the punctuation of those words is theirs and not the way I would recommend it, which would be Misuse and Overuse.)

BTW, I just heard an otherwise erudite and gracious-sounding guest on an NPR program today use “Teachable Moment” more than three times in five minutes, and one of the very first callers after she spoke almost growled at the use. So, perhaps this list will help minimize growls for all of us!

The complete 2010 list:

1. Shovel-ready
2. Transparent/Transparency
3. Czar
4. Tweet
5. App
6. Sexting
7. Friend as a verb
8. Teachable Moment
9. In These Economic Times …
10. Stimulus
11. Toxic Assets
12. Too Big to Fail
13. Bromance
14. Chillaxin’
15. Obama as a prefix

The New Year… Time to Revisit and Refresh Your Message?

This is a bit of an extended musing on why the end of the year is so full of potential for businesses to revisit and refresh…

The holidays are abuzz with activity, much of it focused around commercial enterprise while it still is regarded by many as the one time each year they relax their boundaries a bit and reach out to others a bit more… Or, perhaps they contact someone who they feel a connection with from a business or personal contact yet it’s started to fade away a bit. Some might call a little contact under such circumstances as sort of a “ping” or follow-up—a gentle prompt. Regardless, it’s a grand time to reconnect by refreshing and renewing as networking with others is where many of us find satisfaction, knowledge, and sometimes even new business. With that in mind, perhaps the close of the year is a perfect time to take a look at how our businesses communicate… not just the means or media, but the quality of the message. Are the messages getting stale? If you truly do a “challenge review” of your brochures, Web content, prospecting letters, collateral materials, and advertising can you truly say that it would intrigue you if you were your own prospect? We usually remember to put up the lights, take down the lights, send out a greeting card. We sometimes forget to look closely at how our businesses are communicating to our prospects and existing clients and whether it really is in harmony with our business plans (which we should also be revisiting and updating often!).

The Geography Issue—Is it Clear Where You Are?

If your business has a product or service that would appeal to a more-extended area either because you can ship it or deliver it via the Web, are you sure that your materials are written in such a way that they would make sense to someone from outside the area and that you’ve provided enough information for them to contact you if they happen to see it while just visiting the area? This might be as simple as putting the city name in your ads. Even in the burgeoning Boise Metro area, where advertising may cover not only Boise but go to Meridian, Eagle, Kuna, Star, Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton, and beyond—it’s important to not assume that everyone knows where your street is especially if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront they’ll need to visit. Even in an ad just limited to Boise, merely having your street name and address often isn’t enough. Just giving the name of the office or retail complex isn’t enough, such as Black Eagle Center. Most of us are creatures of habit and prowl our own neighborhoods and the pathways we’ve established to go to the places that we already know–yet, as new business develop, often on the outskirts or farther out than the original five-mile or so radius from which many businesses draw, you may need to help your prospective client find you. Have a map on your Website, add information such as “on the northeast corner of XX and XXX.” If you’re going to refer to your location as next to another business, make sure 1) it’s a business that will reflect well on yours and 2) that you get their name right! Sounds simple, but it’s amazing how often it seems one business butchers the name of their neighbor’s business. At the end of the day, it doesn’t end up reflecting well on either of you!

Seek Some Objective Input

If you have a professional associate who does not work with you, consider asking him or her to give you some 100% honest and objective input after looking at your Website or brochures or other materials. It might be a great time to freshen up the message or clarify or even fix typos or inconsistencies and other mechanical issues with the content.


New Year, New Message?

The closing of one year and embarking on another is perhaps a perfect time to reevaluate and revisit with a positive intent for feeling more in alignment with our own messages. Think about the advertising that appeals to you and words that resonate or capture your attention. Consider adding aspects of that to your own materials as appropriate. Hire a professional to help you either write it or at least edit and proof for you letting them know clearly what your intended result is… and perhaps 2008 will bring mo’ betta business and exciting new potential. Happy New Year!

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