Writing Topics: considering the reader

Once upon a time

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Are you ready for a bedtime story? Well, you’re going to be disappointed. This post is about the power of a good beginning, and the dangers of beginnings that raise the wrong expectations, like the one above. Here are two examples. One organisation I worked with recently started all its reports, no matter what the […]

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Senseless signage

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We love road signs, don’t we? At Clarity, we are especially attached to one that my old friend and colleague Graham Jones spotted in Lewisham some 20 years ago. It proclaimed PHYSICAL WIDTH RESTRICTOR REINSTATED – words that might have been lost on the average lorry-driver travelling at 30mph. We have used it ever since […]

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Don’t make me…

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I am driven wild by websites that force you to do things you don’t want to or haven’t time to do. No wonder so many websites fail. You want to buy; they want to sell, but they don’t take the trouble to make it easy for you. For example, I wanted to buy some sheet […]

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Marketing segmentation: how not to do it

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] You! Yes, you! You want a celebrity body, don’t you? Look at that gorgeous girl above – isn’t that a body that screams POWER!! What’s that? You’re over 55? Oh, I’m sorry, we’ve got a different leaflet for you. Here, take this one: Yes, yes, I […]

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How not to quote someone in an article

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] News and feature articles are an established staple of the comms professional’s repertoire. But you can always spot when they’ve been put together by an inexperienced writer. The biggest give away? Look at the way they handle quotes.

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A question of empathy

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[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy] One of the secrets of writing well is empathising with your reader. A good writer avoids making assumptions about their audience’s background or level of knowledge, and never uses difficult, technical or specialist language. Even in the jargon-filled world of corporate life, you’d be

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