What a 96-year Old Taught Us About Communication

Sep 20 2018

Denis Norden, left, and Frank Muir in their office in the 1950s writing scripts for the radio show Take It from Here. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Denis Norden, who died on September 19, 2018, was one of the UK’s most beloved comedic writers and broadcasters. He also lived a long and happy life that encompassed the ‘golden years’ of British broadcasting. One of his great skills was his ability to connect with his audience, which is where we can all start to pay attention.

Many efforts at communication today rely on sending out large amounts of information and hoping some of it will stick. Far less time is spent trying to actually engage – or empathise with – the audience. Most PR agencies will be guilty of this at one time or another, usually under the guise of ‘thought leadership’, a label that many reporters despise.

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3 Rules: Content Writing in the Digital Age

Content Writing in the Digital Age
Feb 9 2018

It will come as no surprise that the average human attention span is drastically shorter than what it once was. Google the phrase “average attention span” and you are greeted with a number of articles written around the well-known Microsoft 2015 study that demonstrated the average human attention span was down to 8 seconds, “shorter than that of a goldfish.”

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Good Grammar: Does It Even Matter Anymore?

Good Grammar
Jun 21 2016

The more I read the news these days, the more I notice that articles are full of errors. I am not referring to the actual reporting or fact-checking, although that is an extremely important topic, but to errors of grammar. Misspellings. Incorrect punctuation. Words in the wrong place or misused altogether. (Yes, I acknowledge that I just used incomplete sentences rather than serial commas.)

Are these concerns about grammar just one of my own pet peeves while other readers find it forgivable (or worse, in my opinion, even acceptable)? Does anyone else assign trust and quality to a news article in proportion to its grammatical correctness?

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Ditch the acronyms!

Acronyms
Jun 9 2016

It’s amazing how much jargon exists in everyday life, as well as business. Acronyms, abbreviations, “in” phrases and industry slang seem to have become badges of honor for so many of us. It’s as if the use of undecipherable words and letters is a code for a higher level of education or deep inside knowledge of a subject. But it’s getting out of control.

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Expand your universe

expand your universe
May 19 2016

It’s time we all step outside our everyday activities and start to think more creatively. All too often, we get absorbed in the daily routine and forget about the possibilities for growth. It’s your world. If you’re content with being in one place for the rest of your life, potentially falling behind those who are more creative, then that is fine. But for those who are looking to think more creatively about their projects, here are a few suggestions.

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