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Yonkers

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A living style guide for corporate writing – it’s about ‘feel’, not rules.

Corporate journalism style is a living and evolving beast. When I began writing, over twenty years ago (eek!), many businesses spent months putting together lengthy droning white papers; today, nobody has time to read them. Yet, before we dismiss them with a laugh, it's worth remembering that in those days there was a different subtext. These documents would stand in stone for a year as the foundation of a company's product positioning. They were rich in careful research and evidence. They weren't fundamentally useless, they just applied to a different sales and engagement process. Today, engagement has changed, and so has the writing. The style is conversational; and storytelling - painting pictures of human experience - carries more weight than a bunch of percentages. That co

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The death of long-form has been greatly exaggerated…

Lovely piece here from the gang at LikeMinds (interview with a VP at Ogilvy) on the value of long-form in advertising. The idea that we have the attention span of a goldfish is simply not true - and particularly in B2B, there is immense value in the consultative sell. Bespoking, relationship-building and value generation all take time, especially when the product or service is not a commodity. Twitter and Vine are certainly fine And quick hits are surely engaging But when you take time (as I have with this rhyme) You'll find that despite the lack of scansion and use of second rate poetic devices that the results for your brand of a richer and more explanatory process can be better buy-in, which is amazing. I thank you.

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Unpleasantness on social media

I spend a lot of time writing about healthcare. I also spend a lot of time writing about marketing (and to be honest, writing about writing). It's not often I get to do them both together; but this extraordinary story caught my eye. It is the story of an Essex GP surgery which will potentially sanction patients for taking their grievances to social media. Copyright precludes me from sharing the picture with you, but the text reads: "If you have any comments or complaints about the surgery, please write to the Practice Manager. Do not use social media sites - Facebook Twitter. Any comments we see on social media sites may be seen as a breach of our zero tolerance policy. We are happy to deal with your comments/complaints in the usual way." Let's start with the inability to commu

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Is Buzzfeed really that bad?!

Back in June, that doyen of business reporting, Robert Peston, gave the Charles Wheeler Memorial Lecture at the University of Westminster. He spent some of his time sticking a couple of well-manicured fingers up at Buzzfeed, the hugely successful content stream business which relies significantly on Listicles (lists of bitesize nuggets) and animated GIFs. He says, "In a commercial world where hits mean money, it is legitimate to fear that difficult journalism will increasingly be squeezed out by massively popular stories..." Peston may be right - but he's horribly wrong to have Buzzfeed in his sights. For starters Buzzfeed has published some exceptional, well-researched, in-depth longform journalism; most recently on the Palestine situation, for example. Second, unlike the many

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