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Archive | Copy writing

Time for a good segue

As I join the Red Pony team, it seems the perfect time to write about segues. A segue is ‘an uninterrupted transition from one piece of music or film scene to another’ in musical terms or, more generally, a ‘smooth transition from one role, state, or condition to another’ (Oxford Dictionaries). The second of these […]

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Is writing a dying art?

Whenever he conducts a business writing workshop, our trainer asks participants what proportion of their workday is spent writing (e.g. emails, reports and presentations). The answer is usually somewhere between 50 and 75 per cent. He then asks how many participants have been provided with formal training in writing as part of their work. Sometimes […]

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How to identify fake news

While Donald Trump’s successful election campaign popularised (and demonised) the term ‘fake news’, in reality the concept of providing misinformation for political or economic gain has a long and often sordid history. There is little doubt there is a direct correlation between rise of social media and the explosion of misinformation. Sometimes it is done […]

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Experts vs beginners: know your audience

You cannot write well if you don’t know your audience. It’s one of the first questions we ask our clients. The same point can and should be conveyed completely differently, depending on who will be reading it. In the most recent episode of Wired’s new 5 Levels of Difficulty series, ‘musician, composer and multi-instrumentalist Jacob […]

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The unexpected history of ‘Mrs’

The use of ‘Ms’, once controversial, is now mainstream. But it’s not so long ago it was viewed as political correctness gone mad. Personally, it’s bizarre to imagine that complete strangers ever felt entitled to know whether or not I am married. Picture a news article beginning ‘The unmarried CEO of BHP Billiton today announced…’ […]

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Making every word count: improving writing with data

Bad writing can be expensive. This is the conclusion of author Josh Bernoff, whose Harvard Business Review article ‘Bad writing is destroying your company’s productivity’ looks at the hidden costs of poor communication.  Bernoff surveyed 547 businesspeople, discovering they spent an average of 25.5 hours per week reading for work, about a third of which […]

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Leading the reading: wayfinding in document design

‘Wayfinding refers to information systems that guide people through a physical environment and enhance their understanding and experience of the space.’ Wayfinding is especially important in complex built environments such as airports, hospitals and universities. While you’ve probably noticed the more obvious examples of wayfinding – maps and signs – you may have been gently […]

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