Thinking from home

Bees in a hive

An underrated feature of working from home is that it gives you a chance to just think.

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