How to lose a customer

Forgive me for hi-jacking my own work blog, but I wanted to get this down before the details fade and I start gibbering incoherently when I try to recall what happened. If you want a communication steer on it, let’s just say the following story highlights the need for clear and honest communication between a […]

Hari off the hook?

It seems I am in danger of turning into a bullshit merchant for sounding off about Johann Hari as I did last week. Someone who would possibly call me a friend but whom I regard as nothing more than a malevolent mischief-maker (hi Bob) drew my attention to this Daily Mash article, which variously describes […]

I’m just wild about Hari

I confess I was torn over the Johann Hari case. For those who don’t know, Hari is a journalist at The Independent who has been exposed as a serial embellisher, passing off quotes in various interviews as original when he’d actually found them in his subjects’ writings – or even in other hacks’ interviews in […]

The impossible poetry of headline writing

I’ve learnt lots in my newish role as occasional Sunday Times sub editor. I’ve learnt that the Sunday Times prefers its numbers as words up to nine, not 10 as I’ve always done. I’ve learnt that they prefer learnt to learned. I’ve learnt that they don’t like ‘like’ but they do like ‘such as’. And […]

Open data cities – visionary way forward or just TMI?

Another interesting evening at the Brighton Future of News Group (BFONG) tonight, at which Greg Hadfield, a former Fleet Street journalist and current director of strategic projects at Brighton-based digital agency Cogapp, talked about his desire to see Brighton & Hove turn into an open data city. Don’t know what that is eh? Don’t worry, neither did […]

Zen and the art of networking

How do you make an event about networking a good networking event? By not banging on too much about networking so people can get on with actually meeting each other and making connections, I’d say. Last week’s Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce event, which I’m afraid was called Knowing Me Knowing You, (no problem with […]

Local journalism – alive, well and working at the nationals

The Brighton Future of News Group (#bfong) is a heartening place to spend some time for someone who trained on local newspapers and whose only early ambition was to land a job on one of the nationals. The prevailing wisdom would have us believe that journalism is in a state of crisis, with old business […]

Accepting help

I’m beginning to think I don’t read enough. Not good for a writer – and especially not good for a writer struggling to survive as a freelance during what must be one of the trickiest times in recent history to set up a freelance business. There are countless books out there about how to make […]

When worlds collide

My passion for writing and helping people to communicate effectively is matched – maybe even exceeded – by my love of cycling, so it’s pleasing to notice those worlds harmoniously colliding every now and then. I heard about a company called Shutt Velo Rapide on the road.cc website (where you’ll find my other blog – […]

Content strategy: UX minus page layout or IA over time?

Yesterday I visited a hip Shoreditch drinking spot to attend a seminar and networking event called Content Strategy, Manhattan Style. It was an interesting experience – not least because it’s always fun to watch tribes other than your own doing their thing. There were quite a few asymmetrical haircuts in evidence but also rather a […]

Identity crisis

What am I? A copywriter? A journalist? A writer? A wordsmith? A freelance commercial writer? This excellent post on a fellow copywriter’s blog poses that very question and, like me, is unable to come up with a satisfactory answer. Every one of those phrases has some kind of unsatisfactory connotation. For me, a copywriter is […]

Pulling teeth

At last, my website is ready, after months of agonizing and prevarication. It’s such a painful process deciding how your own website should look and figuring out the right words to put onto those pesky pages. But it’s an essential rite of passage for any copywriter who aspires to helping others do the same – […]