Why you need a writer

October 27th, 2014

I have only just come across an amusing blog post written in 2011 about the death of the copywriter (business writer, marketing writer), as announced by a digital guru. It seems that social media has killed the professional marketing writer, because social media tells the truth and writers like me lie. (I do apologise for lying all these years.)

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Pretentious punctuation: the semicolon

September 29th, 2014

What do people think a semicolon is for? Why do people write sentences like this: ‘They advise customers on their financial planning covering all products but mainly; savings, pensions and investments.’

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The power of the unexpected emotional word

August 1st, 2014

I received a text message a couple of days ago. It contained the word ‘terrifying’. That’s not what I expect to read in my inbox, and certainly not in a text from an organisation. It had my attention instantly.

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The global significance of Bristol and Bath’s hi-tech and creative cluster

July 4th, 2014

Wordbrain found itself in the Bath and Bristol area not because I knew there was a cluster of creative and digital industries here but because I liked the idea of living in this part of the world. But it’s become clear over the years that there’s an extraordinary array of hi-tech and creative businesses round here.

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Call that a slogan? It’s a disaster

May 13th, 2014

This just beggars belief. ‘Hardworking Britain Better Off’. Sorry, could you say that again? Actually, please don’t.

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Faceless business-speak just won’t die

April 13th, 2014

You may think the message has got through. Businesses no longer talk to people as they were units. Numbers on a spreadsheet. Mere items. Well, the message still needs repeating. Over and over again.

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The Yes campaign’s secret weapon

February 15th, 2014

It’s occurred to me that the campaign against Scottish independence has had a problem right from the start, and that lies in the wording of the referendum question.

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How distinctive tone of voice can set a brand apart

December 10th, 2013

I’ve been helping a new luxury lifestyle brand to develop its tone of voice and positioning. The website has recently gone live and among other things it includes an article I wrote that redefines what Bath offers visitors – both now and 250 years ago. Read the piece here.

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3 things to remember if you’re marketing to 18 to 24-year-olds

October 28th, 2013

The Youth 100 is a survey of what brands young people like (and dislike) and why. It provides plenty of interesting insights, but three key points stood out for me.

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Beware nouns made from verbs

September 24th, 2013

Shakespeare was great at turning nouns into verbs. He turned the noun ‘dog’ into a beautifully expressive verb: ‘Destruction shall dog them at their heels’. Unfortunately, businesses today like doing the opposite.

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