Oct 12, 2017

I’ve Got a Spell on You

Tips on self-editing

By Stu Slayen      I once read an article in a newspaper that described a memorial service. One prominent guest was so overcome by emotion, the paper reported, that he broke down in “teats.” I’m glad I wasn’t there. Spelling errors typically aren’t that embarrassing, of course, and we’re all human so mistakes happen….

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Oct 12, 2017

Some Day Your Prints Will Come

Think about how you share your ink

By Stu Slayen      Over many years of working in communications, I have sent countless projects to the printer. There’s nothing that beats the smell of a box of freshly printed newsletters, books, brochures, or reports. OK – that’s not entirely true. The aromas of a good scotch or a fragrant rose are not…

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Oct 12, 2017

A Graphic Designer is Cheaper than You Think

Hiring a design pro saves time and money

By Stu Slayen      “The designer wants $750 to do this poster for us so I’ll just do it myself to save money.” I’ve heard this before and – full disclosure – I’ve said it before. Yes, back in the day I would hammer together rudimentary flyers in MS Word (or Wordstar back when…

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Oct 12, 2017

Breathing Life into Your Non-Profit’s Annual Report

Build relationships, build community

By Stu Slayen      A former colleague, noticing that I had started to work on my first annual report for the organization, made a passing comment to the effect of: “Sorry you have to work so hard on the annual report. No one’s going to read it.” The comment didn’t exactly motivate me, but…

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Oct 12, 2017

The Brain Will Gain if Mainly in the Plain

Keep your lyrics simple

By Stu Slayen      I apologize to fans of the famous musical, My Fair Lady, for messing with the popular “Rain in Spain” lyrics, but I couldn’t resist. And there’s method to my madness. The best business writing is lyrical, memorable, colourful, and plain.

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Oct 12, 2017

Clarity Begins at Home

Consider developing a style manual

By Stu Slayen      Let’s say you work at the Canadian Society of Picklers and Pastry Chefs. Do you tell people that you work at “CSPPC” or at “the CSPPC”? How do you use the organizational acronym in your newsletters, correspondence, and on your signage? If you work for an international organization, do you…

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Oct 08, 2017

He Said, She Said

Generating testimonials that have impact for your non-profit

By Stu Slayen      One of the most moving assignments I have ever had was to help Linda*, the elderly wife of a man with Alzheimer’s disease, write about her experience for the annual report of the nursing home where her ailing husband, Michael, lived. Linda was 85 at the time. She drafted some…

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Oct 07, 2017

Dating Advice

It’s all about context

By Stu Slayen      If you want to know how to plan that perfect evening to impress someone special, there are probably better resources than this blog. In fact, I know there are. But I have some other dating advice for you. I often see words like “new” or “recent” or “last year” or…

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Oct 06, 2017

Are You a Type-O Personality?

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By Stu Slayen      Some people think typos are funny. Some people think typos are aggravating. Some people think Typos is one of the beautiful Greek islands. The fact is, more than anything else, typos are distracting – but we all love to find them! (I placed a typo in this short article on…

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