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Internal Communications

Should all communications be 140 characters or less?

Here's my two character response: NO A few weeks ago, I came across a Wired article from last fall that announced the death of the blog, which really got under my skin. Here's a taste: "The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter." "Twitter - which limits each text-only post to...

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The Social Media Divide

Working with clients across a variety of industries, it's been fascinating to see how companies are responding to social media/marketing tools and trends. The differences are vast and telling: Multiple contacts at pharmaceutical companies have said how difficult it is to use the most basic online activities to promote their products. Corporate blogs are considered too risky, and one contact told...

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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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The Internet Revolution, Part II

Last month I tackled the topic of how the internet has irrevocably changed the way we get our news, and I promised to address its effect on business communications. It can be hard to spot trends when you're in the midst of them, and predictions are tough when everything seems to be changing on a daily basis. That said, I...

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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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Corporate Speak is Punishable By Death: Part 2

Drum roll, please! Here's the conclusion of the top 10 words and phrases we'd like to eliminate from all business communications materials: 6. Leverage I'm really embarrassed to admit this, but I only recently learned that leverage is a noun, not a verb. I've seen it used almost exclusively as a verb throughout my professional career. Besides the fact that it's completely...

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Corporate Speak is Punishable By Death: Part 1

If you've visited the Brilliant Ink website, you may have seen reference to 10 words and phrases we've pledged never to use when developing communications materials for our clients. "Never" is a strong word, and I don't mean to imply that we're inflexible. Instead, it reflects our belief that words have power and meaning, and relying on trite sayings and...

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Lost in Translation

I just came across a great article on the IABC site about the importance of simplifying the English language when communicating with non-native English speakers. This seems particularly relevant for global companies, whose workforce may all speak English but wouldn't necessarily know all the complexities of it. It's also another great reason to eliminate corporate speak from your written materials.http://www.iabc.com/cwb/archive/2005/1205/worldenglish.htm...

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