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Best Practices

To Americanize or not to Americanize – the global communications dilemma

As a Brit, I grew up writing with proper British English and idiom. In the early part of my communications career, I learned that “correct” English could be baffling to colleagues from other countries. Writing for American companies, I learned that “u” is often superfluous and that “fanny” is, in fact, a perfectly fine word to use in company. Now...

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Think before you leap

It's become apparent that companies can't ignore social media. In fact, it seems companies large and small are finally realizing the power of social media to help them strengthen relationship with customers, employees and the general public. But before jumping in, it's critical that companies think long and hard about which social media tools are most appropriate for their company,...

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RIP press release?

I recently came across an astounding statistic - in 2007, press releases represented a $2.2 billion market. And that figure only covers the cost of distributing press releases through services such as PR Newswire. It doesn't include the cost of writing and pitching services, which, with standard agency fees, could easily surpass that amount. ...

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Musings on Corporate Memos

Brilliant Ink got a nice shout-out last week from friend and colleague Dave Galanis on the Pebble Creek Partners blog. Thanks, Dave!The blog post referenced a topic I tweeted about a few weeks ago - how to write an effective corporate memo. It's surprising that companies still use this seemingly old-school tactic, but the fact is, many still do. If...

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Drowning in gobbledygook

We recently came across a brilliant analysis conducted by blogger David Meerman Scott. He analyzed every press release distributed in the U.S. in 2008 and identified the top 25 most-used corporate cliches, which he calls "gobbledygook." Here are the top 10 words from Scott's analysis: Innovate Pleased to Unique Focused on Leading Provider Commitment Partnership New and Improved Leverage 120 percent I'm...

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A new age of transparency

The Brilliant Blog is not a place for political commentary. We've got lots of opinions about politics, but we try to maintain a rigorous separation between business and state here. That said, I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't write about President-elect Obama's website, www.change.gov, which represents a revolutionary step toward transparency like we've never seen from our government. If you haven't yet perused...

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Fellow haters of bad press releases – unite!

PR is all about generating attention for your product or brand, so you have to hand it to the folks at www.YourPitchSucks.com. They definitely picked a company name that reporters want to write about, as evidenced by the recent coverage they've received in the Wall Street Journal, Brandweek and Inc. At the website, you can submit your pitch for free and a "community...

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How to be a successful blogger

Here's an interesting article about common traits of successful bloggers. Some of these may be difficult for businesses to embrace, but I think the key takeaway is authenticity. A business blog should be true to the author while also reflecting the goals and focus areas of the business. Nine Little Known Traits of Successful Bloggers...

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Comma mistakes

First things first: I have a writing business, but I have no intention of being the grammar/punctuation police. My interest is in helping companies tell compelling stories about their business, not strictly regulating the placement of every period, comma and quotation mark. That said, being a good writer means understanding the basics of both grammar and punctuation, and reviewing the...

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