Beanz Meanz Less

BEANZ MEANZ MORE. In my view, Heinz’s remix of its classic slogan typifies many of the problems with modern marketing. First, there’s the madness of anonymising a genuinely memorable, time-tested slogan that includes the brand name. If I could somehow get my prospects chanting ‘For top copy, get Tom copy,’ I wouldn’t see removing the ‘Tom’ as an improvement. Then … Read More

Concision ≠ clarity

‘Be concise’ is one of the most common pieces of advice given to writers. Cut out the fluff. Get to the point. Keep it simple, stupid. It’s kind of reassuring, because it turns editing into a binary, almost mechanical task. Pull out the weeds and leave the flowers. Eliminate the unnecessary, and what remains must be OK. But what is … Read More

Talk about problems, not people

When Angela Rayner called Tory MPs ‘scum’, there was uproar – and the Tories got to play the victim. But when she dialled it back to saying that the Universal Credit cut was a ‘scummy thing to do’, she expressed a sentiment that many people share – including some Tories. The lesson is that if you want to criticise, it’s … Read More

How to Write Clearly is out today!

My new book How to Write Clearly is out today! It’s for anyone who needs to communicate with the written word – in work, education or just everyday life. Whatever you need to write, it will help you make it more colourful, expressive and precise, so you reach your reader and express exactly what you want to say. Writing isn’t … Read More

Printed copies of How to Write Clearly now available

How to Write Clearly isn’t officially out until 13 September, but blog readers can get a printed copy right now! How to Write Clearly is for anyone who needs to write – for business, marketing, education or just everyday life. It looks at every aspect of the writing process, from defining your message and understanding your reader through to plain … Read More

Charge for projects, not time

If I had to give a freelancer just one tip to earn more money, it would be to switch from time-based to project pricing wherever possible.  Time is an input rather than an output. It only reflects what you put into a project – not the value that the client gets out of it. You’re far more than just a … Read More