This law firm’s marketing copy is so dry it makes me thirsty

My goodness. This brochure copy from a Baltimore law firm — one I’ve worked with and really like — has to be the flattest, driest writing ever. A deadly dull offer? Targeted brochure copy that’s directed to “everyone”? Using 27 words when 15 will do?


Social Media Press Release: A New Approach to the Old Problem of Getting Noticed

When more than 50 people lost their lives in a train wreck in 1906, Ivy Lee—the father of public relations—issued the first-ever news release, a public statement about the crash from Pennsylvania Railroad officials. The New York Times was so impressed with this innovative approach to corporate communications that it published the release verbatim. Getting […]


Crimes Against Clarity: Marketese and Malaprops

“These people really need you.”  That’s what I hear just before a reader, client, or other word lover shows me some buzzword-loaded, abstraction-choked paragraph of marketese she’s found online. And that’s what Writing Matters reader Jill Leahy said to me when she forwarded this spectacle of bureaucratic PR verbiage published by the Federal Reserve in […]


It’s Not E-Mail Marketing if I Can’t Figure Out What You Sell

Received this “cold call” e-mail today from XYZ Networks [not the company’s real name]. Opened it in preview pane as it had a scary, spammy subject line: “XYZ Networks Meeting.” Never heard of XYZ Networks. Read it four times. Couldn’t figure out what he sells. Leslie, I called into your organization last week and would […]