Category Archives: Copywriting

Nonprofit thank you notes get creative and strategic

I, like many people, do my share of year-end giving to my favorite nonprofits in December. Of course, December and January are usually super-busy times of year for folks who process all of those donations!

I was pleased to receive some very grateful and thoughtful thank you notes from the organizations I supported. I wanted to share one specific letter that stood out. It comes from my local food bank, the Alameda County Community Food Bank, to be exact. You can see a copy of it below:

CCF01252016_0004It starts out expressing gratitude and welcoming me to their community, and goes on to briefly  explain what my contribution will do.

Notice that it has a large photo of a child in the upper-right corner and the letter talks a bit about her, a representative of their clients.

This one-pager is short, simple, sweet, and to the point. It also lists the tax ID number at the bottom, as well as the address and affiliations.

That’s all pretty standard best practice.

The most interesting part was the PS and the insert that came with it. Continue reading

Happy 2016! Got some new writing goals?

 

If you’re anything like me, you are contemplating your professional development goals and priorities for 2016. It’s time to take stock and think about what’s really important to you as we enter this brand new year. A few questions:

  • Do you want to become a more polished communicator, online or offline?
  • Are you ready to finally brush up on your writing skills to get the most out of every piece you write?
  • Do you want to up your game in grantseeking, content development, or both?

If you would like to discuss options for yourself or your team, I am scheduling a limited number of complimentary strategy sessions.  Continue reading

UN COP21

2015 UN Conference on Climate Change : Are They ‘Writing to Make a Difference’?

I wish I could go to the UN Climate Summit in Paris, but I have to watch from the sidelines here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A full 196 signatories (195 states and the European Union) are set to negotiate a treaty to limit global warming and deal with climate change’s effects worldwide (as of 2020). This meeting is supposed to be the big one: the one that will turn the tide toward a real global agreement. Emissions targets, climate change adaptations, financial pledges, etc. will all figure into the document.

Throngs of activists from all around the world are also chiming in.

Will it all be effective?  It had better be. But that remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, some great press coverage is coming out of The Guardian (UK) and Democracy Now!, to name a few sources. I am also part of the Paris Rapid Response team at 350.org (an easy way to plug into the action).

And since our focus is on writing and the power of language, I have to share this article from The Guardian on the competing metaphors used by heads of state in their speeches to open the conference. The phrases included: Continue reading

Web-Copy-Writing_Banner-1140x380

Last time in 2015: Web Copy “Writing to Make a Difference” working session: 11/4 in San Francisco

Have you been putting off making needed changes to your website copy? Not sure what will make the most impact? Need some detailed feedback?

Of course, you know that your website is an essential part of your company’s marketing. It needs to speak to your readers their way. But actually cranking out that copy can sometimes be a challenge.  This hands-on working session is NOT just another workshop where you take time out of your busy schedule, learn about great ideas, but never implement them. Instead, it’s an opportunity to finally get that needed web copywriting project moving!

In a small group setting, you will get:

1) Initial guidance and inspiration: planning fundamentals, insights about today’s web users, web-friendly writing tips

2) Dedicated time and space to write (with prompts if you need them) or to ask specific questions of the facilitator

3) Real-time feedback from the “focus group” in the room

By working alongside your colleagues you can share ideas and motivation to finally get those webpages written. The result? You walk away with copy you can start using right away.

Bring your laptop or tablet loaded with any content you already have, and get ready to get your hands dirty (figuratively speaking)!

(BONUS: Participants are eligible for a special discount on a professional website audit.) Continue reading