Posts Tagged ‘corporate communication’

There are at least 10 new web samples on the (wait for it…) Web Samples page. Can you pick the new ones out of the 30-or-so on the page? Would it kill you to try?  Web Writing Examples.

Also, I added a link on the Video Writing Samples page to the Veterans Administration Tribute Videos I produced. Go there! Aloha.

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Ah, the things a Charleston copywriter does these days to keep the checks coming!

This tale is about “these times” and the strength of professional relationships. First, these times. What can we say? By every objective economic measure, these times suck. It is all around us – people out of work, underworked or underpaid. And yet, as I said a while back, I keep chugging along. Not setting the world on fire by any means, but staying busy – and staying Thankful.

Then, a regular client comes to me with a proposition. A relative of his is a Realtor here in Charleston. He is representing a seller with about 500 acres of land in Manning SC. This is a large hunting property with many improvements where you can annihilate deer, doves, ducks and turkeys by day, while enjoying the amenities of a handsome new 4-bed, 2-bath cabin by night. If you know anything about hunting properties (and I do not,) you know that this is a rarity.

Of course, times being what they are, the sellers can’t sell as quickly as they would like. They want to sell, the Realtor wants his commission, so what do they do? Well, the Realtor turns to his cousin/uncle/whatever who runs a website development firm here in Charleston. This property needs a well-designed, well-written and well- optimized website – better designed, written and optimized than is currently affordable. The proposal is as follows: if we sell, I will pay you double. If we do not, it’s free.

The web dude agrees, but only if he can get his trusted designer – and his trusted writer (me) – to go along with it. So, I have a choice. It’s not like I need any more practice writing Real Estate. Since I moved to Charleston, I have done plenty. And, will this property ultimately sell? Who knows?

For me, it all turned on the professional relationship with the web dude. I asked myself, what would make me comfortable with the possibility of not being paid for my work? And the beginning, middle and end of the story is that I trust the guy. Of all my clients, I have precisely two that I would trust with this sort of arrangement.

I guess the point is that, despite the economic conditions, you ALWAYS have a choice who you work with. And it isn’t always about money. I have clients I have known for 20 years who take their sweet-ass time paying me, and I have clients I have known for about a minute who are my fastest pays.

I don’t want this to seem like a tortured decision process that took days…I trusted the guy, and I agreed. And I agreed to do my best work, fully aware that I may not get paid.

So I invite you to check out the site, and judge for yourself. Does this look like a guy doing a favor for his nephew, and dragging his begrudging web buddies along for the ride? Deep Creek Land for Sale.

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Research was BRUTAL on this gig!

And now, number 600 in the copywriting master series, “Topics I Never Considered Until I was being Paid to.”

Do you know the difference between in-shore, near-shore and offshore fishing? A bay, cove or sound? A boat and a skiff? Yeah, me neither…until now.  I was never much of a fisherman, I must admit. In fact, one of my earliest memories was at a fishing lake. I might have been three. I remember drawing the rod back and making a mighty cast. Instantly I felt a yank on the line and heard a scream. I had hooked my mother by the earlobe!

Anyway, the topic is fishing charters, and they are BIG business in Charleston SC.  The tourism base here is strong already and, when you combine that with abundant fishing opportunities, you have a lot of competition in the angling trade.

The challenge, as usual, is differentiation. In my research I learned that absolutely every one of these fishing boat captains has:

  • Spent his whole life on the water;
  • Knows every secret fishing hole, channel and reef in the Charleston area; and is
  • Fully licensed, bonded and insured.

Fortunately, I worked with a web design dude who had a little more on the ball in terms of the subject matter. He also had loads of ideas in terms of structure, with SEO in mind. This included a glossary of fishing terms, a detailed equipment list, exhaustive descriptions of the territory covered, and so on. Also, though our client runs a strictly in-shore charter, we included descriptions of all the other types of charters you might experience in Charleston, just to get those stray Google hits.

Anyway, take a look.  Did I capture the fishing mojo?  By Gar, I hooked it by its lip and hauled it up out of the vast sea of my own fishing ignorance. Then I gutted and filleted it right on the dock!

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"You knew we were taking ID pictures today, right?"

My TV prof from long ago, John Higgins, has posted a bunch of student videos on YouTube, including several from the Lively era of the mid-80’s.  Wright State Cablevision 4a* was an underfunded, under-appreciated, ill-equipped pretend TV station in Fairborn OH with no viewers and few rules. It was also the most fun I ever had in my video career. I milked that experience for every bit of work/study grant availability, until they dragged me out kicking and screaming.

So, here are 5 videos from John’s site. I produced all of them except the last one – which I think is my favorite. I had nothing to so with that one, but I am in a lot of the clips. A perfect time capsule of those days.

*As I recall, the super-advanced, Soviet-manufactured Fairborn cable TV box had 26 channels – 13 each on two bands (A and B,) with a ridiculous toggle switch to change bands. Hence “Cable 4A.”

ALSO: Check out Prof. John Higgins’ Site… http://www.mediaprof.org/

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ARCANE: known or understood by very few; mysterious; secret; obscure; esoteric…

Copywriting for business inherently includes a certain amount of arcana. But perhaps no topic is more arcane than cardboard tubes. Believe it or not, cardboard tubes have hundreds of uses beyond moaning into them, “Luuuke… I am your Faaaather!”  You will find a cardboard tube at the core of your toilet paper, as well as your thousand-pound roll of printer’s stock. And I recently received a poster of Zac Effron in a cardboard tube from Tiger Beat. By mistake, of course.

So, how do you glamorize a product that is basically a commodity? It’s not easy, but it helps to have a client who freely admits that it’s a commodity. This gentleman stated right up front that his product was hardly different from his competitor’s. So I dug a little, and fashioned a story about consultative selling, wide selection and quick delivery.

Anyway, this masterful masterpiece of mastery just went live, and I invite you to give it a cursory glance. Oh and, honey! Could you toss me a roll of toilet paper? Here be the link: http://papertubesnow.com/

(BTW, I originally thought to title this blog – not just this post, but the entire blog –  “Master of the Arcane,” a title I thought incredibly apt. Stupid, yes, but apt.)

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Another in the occasional series of blogs about blogging, done for web marketing supermen RevenFlo of Rock Hill SC. The topic is blogging for business, something about which I have some insight. Not terribly much, but some.  Someone told me the other day that I have the top organic Google results for “copywriter + charleston”, DESPITE my recent lack of commitment. That is good to hear, and that is due entirely to blogging, so there is that.

So anyway, this was adapted from a similar piece I found somewhere. In reality, I only really used 5 of the 9 points this writer brought up, and then only the bullet points. The examples I filled in myself. This is another Top Tip for business bloggers and article writers. Swiping inspiration is the norm. Swiping content whole cloth is, like, not cool man.  Here is a preview:

Ideally, you know your audience – the potential customer you are trying to reach and persuade. You know what they care about and what they need.  Hopefully, your product or service fulfills that need.  So, if you are blogging to support your replacement window business, please PLEASE focus on that! Energy savings, ease of installation, home resale value, green tax credits, and so on.  If you want to write about politics, religion or movies, start a personal blog someplace else.

Continue on to the RevenFlo article HERE.

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Better question…who would read one? Oh sure, I try to sound tough, but I am a romantic at heart (as opposed to the lungs or  kidneys, I guess.)  So I leapt at the chance to pen the Romance feature on our local e-zine-slash-portal-slash whatever it is, PremiereCharleston.com. Why the enthusiasm? Because, for once, I had a story to tell….

I think this baby has a booger or something...

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, PremiereCharleston.com set out to tackle the hard-hitting topic of Romance in Charleston. In general, people near and far tend to think of Charleston as a romantic town, with its beaches, the Battery, carriage rides on charming cobblestone streets, yada yada yada. And we will address all of those romantic opportunities.

But first, let us travel to the peak of romantic possibility in a Charleston engagement story we call “A Charleston Engagement Story.” Note: portions of the following may be fictionalized to enhance the author’s romantic awesomeness.

Link to article…

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A client of mine, who is heavily into social media marketing (blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc.) asked me for my take on the subject matter.  Specifically, he asked for an article – a keyword-intensive article for his web marketing firm home page – about blogging for business.  It was a nice opportunity to actually put some thoughts together on the subject. Even better, I got paid to blog, which never hurts. Here is an excerpt….

One way to think of social media marketing is as an online extension of the many networking activities you undertake in the “real world,” such as membership in your local Chamber of Commerce. The time you spend getting your face and name out into your local community is vital to your business. You should do the same in the web community, and social media marketing is an effective way to do it.

The irony is that, while I blog for everyone and his brother these days, my own blog – meant to promote my business – has suffered. So, read the article, then do as I say, not as I do!!

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Another lame post directing you to some other blog! Yay? Anyway, I have been tasked with breaking down the Charleston scene, neighborhood by neighborhood. This is quite a task for someone who sits at a desk all day, stepping outside only to tell children to get the hell off my lawn. Regardless, I have accepted this challenge, and consider it a really good way to get to know this weird little town where I am shipwrecked my adopted hometown. So, here is the latest article highlighting this, that or some other aspect of life in Charleston. With limited experience, some intense Google-ing, and the help of Yahoo Maps, I break down the cultural, dining and retail adventure that is Upper King Street.  Take a look…  um, HERE.

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Hey gang, my latest blog post is up on the Charleston site. This week we highlight the renovations to the White Point Gardens gazebo, and its implications for Charleston wedding season. Check it, yo!  This link is good for the next week, after which you will have to scroll down, because the blogging software is CHUNKY!

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