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Posts Tagged ‘corporate communication’

It’s a fairly common tactic in advertising: inventing a fake disease or syndrome that only your product or service can relieve.  Goodwill did it recently with TMSS, or Too Much Stuff Syndrome.

And now, Philips joins the fake disease game with DBA, or Dead Battery Anxiety.  I believe the local creative director came up with this idea. I like it because it could almost be a real thing. People living in fear that the batteries on their cell phone or MP3 will die at the most inopportune time – haven’t we all been there?

So we conjured up this fake foundation to promote awareness, and started writing various case studies and video vignettes to illustrate the heartbreak of DBA. I did several of the pieces here, an agency did several more, and there are several yet to be produced. In addition to the copywriting and script blocking, I also got to help direct the casting session, and I even did some voiceover work. This took me ALL the way back to the corporate video days!

Anyway, check it out. And if you’re wondering which pieces are mine, the answer is simple: whichever ones you like!

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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Between the usual freelance load and my half-time gig at the Global Giant Consumer Electronics firm, the blogging has been next to nil. Well, the Global Giant thing is winding down, as the office is pulling up its Charleston roots and moving Up North. But it’s all good.

It’s been an OK ride. Good people, downtown location, good schedule, GREAT money, etc. But as for the work itself…meh. Unfortunately, conditions on the ground did not quite match the job description at the outset. It wasn’t a matter of misrepresentation, but some big changes in business conditions that shook up the job mix.

Basically, what promised to be a healthy mix of web, video, brochure, point-of-sale, trade show, special projects and technical writing became overwhelmingly technical writing. Nothing against tech writing, but it’s not my strong suit, and not what I enjoy.  You can read my thoughts on that here.

So, after enduring it for a while and pushing through some huge projects, I turned in my notice. The timing seemed right; freelance, which had been kind of sleepy throughout the summer of 2010, was making a comeback. I gave a healthy 4-week notice and suggested to my boss that he try to find a true tech writer to do the, you know, tech writing, and perhaps save me for the creative stuff. He agreed, and… and… and then they announced they were closing the Charleston office.

Funny, you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you wail and gnash your teeth and cry out in anguish, “How much LONGER can I do this job?” Then you get the answer: four weeks. And you’re like, “Cool.”  So, I will be in the office until the first week in December or so, and then go home and wait for those creative projects the boss promised. Will they come? The office is supposed to be closed by spring, so we will see.

At every big serious gig I take, I am always trying to figure out “why I am here.” What is the lesson I am supposed to be learning? How will this benefit me in the future?  In some ways I think the “purpose” was that I needed to support myself throughout a sleepy freelance period.  Another thought was that I always said I could never, would never, do technical writing. But I did. I didn’t love it, and I never felt very proficient at it, but I did it. And I suppose I could do it again if absolutely necessary.

So, soon, it’s back to the full time pursuit of freelance work. And blogging more regularly, because I need to rebuild my Google strength.  So stand by for more pearly pearls of freelance copywriting wisdom, fans of freelance copywriting wisdom!

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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Well, dang. The thing I was having the most fun writing has gone dormant. The Charleston dining/entertainment/ real estate/ what have you site has gone on hiatus while the owner concentrates on his paying business (the NERVE!) Frankly, in a town as  dining/entertainment/ real estate/ what have you as Charleston, the field of dining/entertainment/ real estate/ what have you websites is crowded, to say the least. Every time you turn around, a new one has popped up. Just the other day, I saw a CARTA bus with the full screen print wrap treatment advertising a new site – and this one had local geriatric newscasting legend Warren-freaking-Peper endorsing it! Grrr!

Well, it all goes naptime on good terms and, if it revives, I am sure I will be included in the festivities. I sure hope so – it’s a great gig! I invite you to check it out, because there’s a whole lot to like – even in limbo!  PremiereCharleston.com

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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I don't carry a lunchbox. But if I DID...

I have copywriting clients from here (Charleston SC) to hell and gone – corporations, MarComm agencies, web design/marketing firms and so on. I have never been one to place all of my ova into one woven cellulose conveyance.

As the recession wore on, that policy served me well.  One client might be booming while another was dry. Other times, several of them might all be running at a middling pace. It all evened out somewhat.

But as the downturn continued to, um, downturn, it seemed like all of them were drying up at the same time. And suddenly I started paying attention to all of those annoying “Copywriter Jobs in Charleston” emails I subscribed to but never opened.

On a sleepless Saturday night about a month ago I saw and ad for – get ready – Copywriter Charleston. It was a blind recruiting agency ad looking for copywriting experience in web, print, video, packaging, point of sale, and trade show materials. It all seemed like a good fit, so at 3:30 in the A of M I rifled through my archives and uploaded resume, references, samples, etc. I hit submit, and commenced the Waiting Game. (“I’m sick of the Waiting Game! Let’s play Hungry Hungry Hippos!” – Homer Simpson.)

It’s a month later, and I am working for a global consumer products giant based in Europe. The local branch does consumer electronics accessories. Good folks, lots of creativity in the air, cool downtown location. And, though you might not see this as a benefit, I work half time so I can maintain my current clients. Of course, the moment I begin this new endeavor, everybody who was dormant suddenly started calling again. This is a problem I can deal with!

So that explains my absence for the last month. Going forward, I think for the time being I will do some repost-with-comments from the last 2.33 years of Lively Exchange. So if you are down with a little short-term rehash, stay tuned!

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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Frank DeFord definitely has nothing to worry about from me. Still, I had a crapload of fun summarizing my first  Charleston RiverDogs experience for PremiereCharleston.com.

As Tom Hanks once declared, there is no crying in baseball. In Charleston, however, there is sweating. There’s a lot of sweating, and not just in the cheap seats. Even non-VIPs like me who somehow scored a spot in the air-conditioned luxury box were gripped by the Sweaty Fist of Oppression™.

Please take a look at my latest blog post, Panting Like a RiverDog. Until next time, this is the old left-hander, rounding third and heading for home!

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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The Charleston portal site I write for assigned the task of describing Charleston’s Coastal Beauty and Diversity entitled, appropriately enough, “Charleston’s Coastal Beauty and Diversity.”  Inspired by the BP oil spill in the Gulf, obviously.  Too late to include in the article, I just saw a TV commercial for “Northwest Florida: NOT an Oil-Stained Wasteland Yet.” So, you know, pack up the kids and head for Marco Island…quickly! Here’s an excerpt…

Dateline: Kiawah Beach, SC. Moms and dads sizzle in the sun. Diaper-butted babies splash in tidal pools. 10-year-old boys wipe out spectacularly on boogie boards. People of all shapes and sizes bob in the waves. Farther out, the occasional dolphin fin breaches the surface, and pelicans do that insane kamikaze dive of theirs. Out on the misty horizon, a half-dozen shrimp boats ply their trade, harassed by squadrons of gulls.

It’s weird to imagine the possibility of this all simply going away.

Read the rest of  Charleston’s Coastal Beauty and Diversity  HERE.

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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Well, the dumb-guy’s perspective on e-commerce draws to a close this week.  Four parts, five weeks and 4300 words later, we come to the stirring conclusion: e-commerce is good…so, like, do it!

So, just for the sake of completeness, here is the entire four-part series in its entire entirety. Enjoy, e-geeks!

Part One: History and Growth of E-commerce

Part Two: Niche Marketing and E-commerce

Part Three: Tools of E-commerce

Part Four: Potential Benefits of E-commerce

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Oh my. White papers. In my day-to-day blogging life, I get a lot of mileage out of humor, sarcasm, cluelessness, and being a dope in general. But a white paper is the one instance where you simply can’t joke around. You are expected to make a point, to explain, to elucidate, to persuade, to basically NOT be a dork. In other words, my safety net is gone.

For those who care to be illuminated on the topic, what are the necessary components of a white paper? Well, I pulled this from somewhere, and I can’t recall where. My regular readers know that I am always diligent about citing my sources. This time, I just can’t remember where I got this.

Anyway, a good white paper should do the following:

  • Begin with a well developed overview/executive summary/abstract: Attention grabbing, one-paragraph summary of problem, solution and hint of results.
  • State the Problem: Two-to-three paragraphs demonstrating your knowledge of your clients’ challenges and industry trends.  Identify the main objectives of the paper.
  • Describe your product: Incorporate design decisions; industry standards, testing and reliability; best practices and ease of use.
  • Address how your product resolves the problem; tie the two together
    Demonstrate with evidence. Illustrate with case studies and expert testimonials.  Entice with: benefits and returns on investment (ROI) , future applications, developments, and timelines.
  • Conclude:  with confidence and credibility
    Refer to the abstract and summarize your main advantages

So, that’s the setup. The topic at hand is E-commerce, and why a small business owner should take the plunge into online retail. It’s a four part thing that included several interviews, tons of research and a bunch of anxiety about whether I sounded like I knew what I was talking about.  I suppose I will let you be the judge. Of the four parts, the first two are online. Enjoy! Or, rather, endure!

E-commerce White Paper, el Parte Uno

E-commerce White Paper, el Parte Dos

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Instead of writing about writing, I thought I would write about what I am writing. You’re welcome.  Manning the cultural desk (I love saying that) of PremiereCharleston.com, it’s not always easy to come up with topics to write about. And some weeks, Monday blog deadline day seems to roll around very quickly.

So, imagine my delight when an outdoor symphony concert was scheduled close to home on a Saturday night!   Then, imagine my disappointment when it was postponed due to rain! What is a writer to do? Well, if you’re me, you write an entire blog about what a drag it is when the thing you were going to write about gets cancelled. Trust me, it is as exciting as it sounds! Don’t believe me? Then experience the smooth tobacco satisfaction for yourself!  Um, HERE.

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Hey gang.  Been doing it to it, and neglecting the blogging. Try not to faint!

So what’s new? Article Writing is where it’s at currently. For some clients, I seem to be doing more internal, opinion-leader marketing articles.  Mostly it’s stuff I know little about. It is, however, a useful an exercise in research and sounding like I know what I am talking about. YOU be the judge, Judgy McJudgington!  Check out:

In other areas of the article biz, it’s the Charleston Local Flavor website I work for. Here, there are two exercises: I must write entertaining, informative articles while tempering my natural sarcasm, and also find things interesting enough to blog about – while playing up the sarcasm! AND, I must find enough Charleston happs to tweet about 5 times a week.  It can be a chore, but it is currently the thing I am enjoying most.  Check out:

The PremiereCharleston.com Blog (from 10/01/09 to the present)

Articles:

So, that’s the happs, groovy people. If you need an article written, give yo boy a holla!

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