Clear, persuasive communications… not more clutter

Zoetis 2013 Annual Review

Any business, organization, or individual MUST communicate effectively to succeed. These days, customers, investors, employees, suppliers and the community at large yearn for language that communicates clearly, simply and persuasively. As a writer, consultant and creative strategist, I help corporations, innovative niche businesses and non-profit organizations achieve these goals with distinct messages that rise above the clutter and confusion. I can help you achieve your goals.

Don’s Blog

Head, Heart and Hand*: A Simple Path to Effective Communicating

In addition to writing for a variety of clients, I spend time working with scientists, engineers and IT professionals on their presentations to non-experts. While it’s a bit of a cliche’ that “tech nerds” live in their own world, it’s often true that their focus on data can thwart effective communicating by strangling key messages […]

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My issue with “issue”? No problem. 

Problems. Difficulties. Complications. Obstacles. Disputes. Solid words but not used much anymore. Now everything is an “issue,” and I’m so grateful to Carina Chocano who wrote about this brilliantly in the New York Times Magazine (July 23, 2017). “Almost any difficulty, conflict or threat will feel less pressing as soon as you’ve reduced it to […]

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“What’s in it for me?” The most important question.

The three questions a prospective client is thinking (if not asking) are: Who are you? What do you want? What’s in it for me? The last one’s the kicker. Audiences of any kind – whether they’re customers, employees, volunteers or donors – don’t have time for anything else, especially today with so much “information” coming […]

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Seattle’s International Exchanges Spur Growth, Citizen Diplomacy and Friendships

World Learning is a respected non-profit that has, for decades, coordinated international exchanges and educational programs for students and entrepreneurs around the world. They asked me to write a series of articles, like the one here, to promote the benefits of these exchanges to Americans. From economic growth and business partnerships to cultural understanding, citizen diplomacy and lasting friendships –participating communities like Cleveland, Detroit, Seattle, and Tulsa are becoming welcoming centers of opportunity.

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Frank Bruni Asks a Good Question

I’ve been thinking about writing a column on this subject for a long time. Then I saw that Frank Bruni of the Times beat me to it, and did so beautifully. I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I won’t try.

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It’s not about you. Know the 5 stages of awareness.

Whether you’re putting together a website, a social media campaign or any kind of corporate/marketing communication program, you often tend to focus on the product, service or idea you’re promoting. It’s understandable. But your communications effort is NOT primarily about you, it’s about your audience and their needs. Not your product but their problem.

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11 Steps to Compose Clear, Concise & Effective Emails

The average office worker receives around 80 emails each day, and I’m sure many of you receive more than that. With so much to wade through, your audience – whether it’s one colleague or a slew of potential customers – needs you to get to the point and be immediately relevant. Here are some tips […]

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Six Skills to Look for When You Need a Great Writer

You and your business need content. Not just words and explanations but clear, useful, compelling and persuasive content that powerfully separates you from the competition and the clutter.  Now that we’re closing in on the busy fall period, how do you find a great writer who can consistently provide the goods? It’s important to know […]

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Turning yada yada yada into a great blog

The great philosopher Jerry Seinfeld once said, “There is no such thing as an attention span. There is only the quality of what you’re viewing.”  It’s a wise aphorism that applies to all communications today, including blogs. We’ve all been hounded by “experts” who provide lots of  advice about how to write perfect blogs that […]

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Politically Correct? Or is it Time for a New Vocabulary?

We all know words have power. Take the vocabulary of incarceration – the stigmatizing way we speak about people who have served time. Studies show that the words we choose – “felon,” “ex-convict” or “ex-offender” – present a significant barrier to reintegration. While people are certainly responsible for their actions, there is little room for […]

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