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Put a Bit of Va-va-voom into Your Business Writing 23 February 2007

Verbs are the fuel that drives along your business communications, giving them a bit of ooomph.

Moreover, well-chosen ‘active’ verbs and ‘voices’ energise your writing. They have the ability to resurrect otherwise dead sentences and uninspiring copy that often come with the ‘passive’ voice.

Quick English lesson: The active voice denotes that something is performing an action of some kind. The passive voice is where the subject received the action in some way.

Here are two examples:

Passive: The new energy-efficient light bulbs have been approved by the Environment Agency.

Active: The Environment Agency approves the energy-efficient light bulbs.

Hopefully, you’ll agree the ‘active’ sentence is the snappier of the two. It’s more direct, too.

By using the active voice and active verbs such as ‘transform’, ‘create’, ‘explode’, ‘excite’ and ‘set free’ you will help to deliver more compelling copy as well as engage your readers and keep them motivated.

The motto? Get active wherever possible!

Agree? No way?! Let me know! 😉

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley

 

Call for Ban on Junk Food Advertising – is it Right? 21 February 2007

Filed under: Advertising,News — worddocdooley @ 10:57am

The Committee on Advertising Practice, the self-regulatory non-broadcast ad industry body, is discussing how to extend the upcoming junk food ad ban to magazines, billboards, online media and cinema screenings aimed at the under-16s market.

This follows proposals to prevent the manufacturers of foods that are high in salt, sugar or saturated fat advertising on TV during programmes popular with kids.

This seems to be somewhat of a knee-jerk reaction to the increasing problem we as a country face with childhood obesity. Apparently, Britain has the highest climbing rate of childhood obesity in Europe. Current estimates suggest that around one third of those under 16 are now overweight, and 17% are clinically obese.

Then there’s the fact that these soaring levels of obesity have sparked a crisis of ‘adult’ diabetes in children.

Sadly, these real health problems are not confined to children, with the UK having a disproportionately high number of obese adults – I remember reading a figure of more than 51% of all Brits are clinically obese; which is more than scary – and Type 2 diabetes draining the NHS.

I personally don’t think simply banning junk food advertising is the answer, nor the complete picture. In any event, isn’t it up to the parents to help their children have a healthy attitude toward food? It’s not all down to the Gillian McKeiths of the world.

And what about our growing ‘couch potato’ lifestyle?

I agree that we should not be putting children’s future health at risk for the sake of advertising revenues, but come on, there is such a thing as the ability to say no to junk food.

The way I see it, healthier food should be made more accessible for all. At present, it is more often than not cheaper, easier and quicker to grab a spot of junk food. Not that I ever do it, of course. 😉

What do YOU think?

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley

 

Event: Using Online Marketing to Your Advantage

Please join us this Wednesday, 21st February at 4.30pm UK (11.30am US Eastern), for a 60-minute class on Using Online Marketing To Your Advantage.

One of the best things about the internet is that small businesses and one-man bands can compete alongside much larger outfits. It also provides a level playing field and a massive worldwide reach.

Whether you are just starting out, or want to learn new tricks, join us for Wednesday’s event to get the insider tricks and secrets to lucratively market online. For full details of the teleclass content, and how to register, log on to http://mediaminister.co.uk/teleclass.htm

There is a FANTASTIC BONUS for CfS subscribers, too.

There will be AT LEAST one **powerful** tip that will take just a few minutes, if that, to implement and SAVE you thousands of otherwise wasted pounds.

If you can’t attend, you can order the Online Audio and Workbook at the same time you register.

To reserve a space (and to read more details) go to:

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http://tinyurl.com/yj6vcb

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Don’t miss it!

PS There will also be a couple of surprises on the call – so be sure to check out the above link today!

PPS Don’t forget: There is a bonus just for registering.

 

How to Get Publicity on a Low Budget 19 February 2007

Filed under: Advertising,Get Clients Now,Promotion,Publicity,Small Business — worddocdooley @ 11:55am

There are a myriad of ways to generate publicity (which is a kind of ‘free’ advertising) without spending much cash. But advertising or promoting your buinsess through a combination of paid and non-paid-for means is key to surviving in the business jungle.

Also, what works for one company might not work for another. For example, a standard tailor is not of much interest to the press, so a press release probably wouldn’t benefit that type of business as much as it would for, say, a new type of gourmet store.

You might want to start with publicity – providing the media with news and other information on your business to get media coverage. The thing is, when you do not pay for the coverage (‘free’ publicity), you basically have no real control over the timing or content of your publicity. And there’s no guarantee you will get that publicity.

That said, there is one ‘free’ publicity tool that does the business – the humble press release.

A properly formatted, professionally written press release will stand a much greater chance of grabbing that media attention for you and get your business/name in the newspapers and magazines, as well as on radio and television. As a copywriter, editor and ex-journalist, I write or polish press releases on a regular basis, so I know what works and doesn’t. I’m currently writing a report on this and will let you know when it will be ready.

A low-cost, highly effective option is postcard marketing. It’s a really great way of getting and keeping your name in front of your prospect list or target audience. I covered this in the first issue of Communiqué for Success!

Another method is to form alliances with other entrepreneurs with a product or service that is similar to or complementary to yours. It doesn’t have to be a big network; a group of three can easily work. The point is for each person to agree to refer newspaper reporters to each other whenever they get approached about a topic on which you all could comment.

Finally, online networking sites such as Ecademy and LinkedIn can be great promotion platforms. And they’re a fantastic way of searching for contacts.

It all boils down to acting upon opportunities, effective communication, and building relationships and, most important of all, trust.

COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley

 

Where Do You Look For Inspiration? 16 February 2007

Filed under: Advertising,Copywriting,Marketing,Promotion,Small Business — worddocdooley @ 7:34am

Whether you’re looking for that winning headline, a catchy strapline, are stuck with your marketing or are putting off doing those jobs you don’t look as forward to as others, here’s something that might help get those creative juices flowing:

1. Check out what your competitors are up to. Sometimes just looking through others’ promotional stuff can trigger a fantastic idea or two.

2. Look at your challenge from a different perspective. I believe that forward thinking, self-development and a willingness to view life/work/society/everything from alternative perspective are fundamental to creative fulfilment and bringing fresh ideas to life.

3. Think of a nice, BIG reward that you can give yourself after you have completed the task in hand. The last time I had to develop new branding for a client with a complex product, I decided to give myself a massage (well, via a treatment room and therapist!) if I pulled it all off in the short deadline. I did, and it proved to be a great motivator!

4. Sometimes, it’s simply a question of trying to get those ’roundabout’ thoughts out of my head and onto paper. Seeing challenges in black and white somehow offers clarity and calms the mind. Well, it does for me, anyway!

5. And if that fails, there’s nothing better than pulling on my trainers, rounding up my dog and heading for a lovely long walk on the beach, in the local park, through the woods – anywhere close to nature, where I can quite literally ‘ground’ myself. That’s when I often come up with my best headlines or marketing ideas for my clients.

COPYRIGHT © T Dooley, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this in your ezine, blog or website? No problem, but you MUST keep my article intact as it is and include the following:

Tracey Dooley is a copywriter, marketing strategist, and editorial and creative consultant. She helps entrepreneurs, authors, publishers and FTSE100/250 companies boost response rates and attract new customers.

Tracey also offers FREE reports, coaching, insider tips, and other no-nonsense resources to help entrepreneurs and small business owners market themselves more consistently and effectively. Learn more now and grab your F.R.E.E. Audio CD at http://www.mediaminister.co.uk. 

 

New Issue of Communiqué for Success Is Out 14 February 2007

In this month’s issue, I resolve to help you to find the time for the powerful ‘M’ word, report with lots of industry news and reveal some great insights to blow away the competition.

You will discover things such as:

• Buoyant Marketing Growth Set for 2007
Using Online Marketing to Your Advantage
• Attract More Customers by Making Time For the ‘M’ Word
• Is Your Website Illegal Now?
• Residual Income Made Easy
• And MUCH MORE!

There’s also a special offer just for CfS subscribers…

Click here to read it online before it’s too late:

Go on…take a look!

Wishing you much success!

 

A Bit of Fun on St Valentine’s Day

Filed under: Copywriting — worddocdooley @ 2:28pm

As the girl who should buy up all the shares in chocolate for the sheer volume she has guzzled, it’s nice to know all those chocoholic moments were worth it. Apparently, I am “Romantic, warm, loving…You care about people and can be counted on in a pinch.” Oh so, true. 😉

So, what kind of ‘chocolate’ are you? (Granted, I have not heard of some of these choccie bars, but have sampled several of the others while in the US):

http://www.gagirl.com/quiz/chocquiz.html