Writing and layout

Write point-first online headlines for best results

16 Jun, 2021 PR and the internet, Writing and layout

Headlines are online everywhere – in email subject lines, blog titles, social media posts, meta descriptions and page titles. They powerfully attract a reader’s initial attention and are likely to determine if the reader will continue to read the rest of the content. So what type of online headlines are the most effective? Point-first headlines produce best results. A point-first headline begins with the main point you are trying to make to the reader. The headline frames the rest of the reader experience in reading the piece.

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When small words become big words

19 May, 2021 Writing and layout

When small words become big words. Have you noticed how many words have been replaced by bigger versions of those words, which are unnecessary and even pretentious? I had some fun remembering examples of recent alternative uses, as well as spin-offs, as in the examples below. What are your thoughts about the following examples? Do you have any further suggestions? Send me an email at kimharrison@cuttingedgepr.com. Small words, big words and spin-offs Alternative vs. ...

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Improve your copywriting by getting specific

01 Jun, 2020 Marketing communication, Writing and layout

Much of the copywriting for marketing communication is based on vague claims. By using specific terms and focusing directly on your strengths, your case will be stronger as well. Read in this article the steps you can take to sharpen your marketing text for better results. The article is available to you in a special Kindle collection of 12 top articles on communication campaigns for only $11.99 including tax. Click here to buy.

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How to write for the internet

01 Jun, 2020 PR and the internet, Writing and layout

Reflecting today's more complex issues, today’s search engine results pages can have many possible complex layouts, and users don’t always process search results sequentially. Their attention on a page tends to jump around more across the page than in the past, and has been compared to the pattern in a pinball game. A traditional pinball machine arcade game (left in the image) is a glass-covered cabinet using an angled play field with various bumpers, ...

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Use better words than “excited” in your writing

01 Jun, 2020 Marketing communication, Media relations, Writing and layout

Many press releases over-excitedly announce information that has no real news value – it is in effect fake news. No wonder journalists delete most releases! Media relations pros are often under pressure to energize ordinary announcements and other information by hyping up the text. However, they usually haven’t dug further to find any real news behind their breathless announcement, or they have just gone through the motions to satisfy their bosses or the marketing department.Therefore, it’s time to use better words than “excited” in your writing.

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How to avoid causing tantrums when you change someone’s text

01 Jun, 2020 Messaging, Personal productivity, Writing and layout

One of the worst tasks in communication is to edit text contributed by a co-worker or client. The problem lies not in any difficulty in editing the words, but in dealing with people who don’t like their text changed. Whether it is a holiday article written for the staff newsletter, the draft text of a report or the body copy in a direct mail brochure, you change the words at your peril. Not so ...

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Capitalize on the psychological power of three in your communication

01 Jun, 2020 Marketing communication, Writing and layout

‘Two’s company, but three’s a crowd’. We have all heard that saying. And it’s true. A few years ago, when we took our 12 year-old daughter (an only child) to a nearby island for a vacation with two of her school friends for a couple of weeks, I discovered for myself that three was one too many. At various times the kids splintered into ‘two against one’ power struggles. It was a big lesson. ...

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Change typeface to dramatically improve effectiveness of your printed publications

01 Jun, 2020 Writing and layout

For several years when I was a young PR pro I had my own intuitive views about the effectiveness of different typefaces used for body copy in printed publications. Unfortunately, the available literature offered no guidance on this. Then I came across a wonderful, almost unknown book that provided the answers! The key aim with printed material is to maximize reader comprehension and recall. We can then build on that foundation to influence attitudes, ...

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69 alternatives to the word “disaster”

01 Jun, 2020 Writing and layout

A wildly misused word is “disaster.” (“Crisis” is another similarly misused word, but that’s the subject of other discussions.) “Disaster” is used in the public arena to describe almost any negative situation. News media and social media use it to exaggerate, especially where images are available to dramatize. Common use of the word today is in phrases like “social media disaster,” “PR disaster,” and so on. It is also used to exaggerated effect in ...

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Telling stories pays off for you

01 Jun, 2020 Messaging, Speeches and presentations, Writing and layout

"Are you telling stories again?", your parents probably said to you when you were young, suspecting you of not being totally truthful. But metaphorical stories and anecdotes as a form of communication in the adult world are powerful. Leadership is about communication, and one of the most effective ways to communicate is to use stories to illustrate key corporate themes. Why stories? Isn’t that rather simplistic and patronizing? Isn’t that talking down to educated ...

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