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

“My Life Saved My Life”

When the acclaimed memoirist Frank McCourt died this week, he was lionized for the simple and sad storytelling in his Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Angela’s Ashes,” which recounted his impoverished childhood in Ireland.  But he spent much of his adult life as a high school teacher in New York, where he prodded his writing students […]

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Assume People Don’t Read or Listen

As a writer, I came to the conclusion a long time ago that it was in my best interest to assume that most people don’t read very much or listen very well. Short attention spans, busy lives and almost constant distractions create enormous challenges for communicators. It’s an undeniable fact that audiences bore easily.

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Obama in Cairo: Finding Our Common Humanity

President Obama waded into the treacherous waters of Middle East politics last week with his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo. In so doing, he gave us a simple lesson in bridge-building leadership that we can learn from.  What made it a success were words and ideas that valued honesty, fairness and respect in […]

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The dangers of euphemisms: people aren’t stupid

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. Torture. Whatever your political point of view, the words “enhanced interrogation techniques” are inaccurate and purposely designed to mislead. For one thing, the term has nothing to do with interrogation; it’s all about physical coercion.

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Lincoln: A Master at Making Ideas “Sticky”

A recent book entitled Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, written by brothers Chip and Dan Heath, focuses on the six characteristics that make ideas memorable (“sticky”).  To be sticky, they say, ideas have to be: • Simple • Unexpected • Concrete • Credible • Emotional • And tell a story […]

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Working backwards

How often do you hear a speech, read a blog, watch a commercial, or peruse an email blast and say, huh??  What is this about? Or, what does this have to do with me? Keep that confusion in mind the next time you need to communicate. The point is, you’ll be wasting your time… unless […]

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Creating a reality that rings true

President Obama’s recent speech before a joint session of Congress last week couldn’t have contrasted more sharply with the rebuttal given by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. But the stark differences in style and political substance were only part of what set these two speeches apart.   The other key difference was the choice of words and […]

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Today’s Hated CEOs: Can They Change Perceptions?

The giant banks on Wall Street and the Big 3 automakers have done a very poor job (to be charitable) of making their case to the American people. How can their CEOs communicate more effectively to start winning the hearts and minds of angry Americans?

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Obama’s Words: Writing Lessons for Tough Times

Most of us cannot deliver a speech like President Obama. But we certainly can learn a lesson from him on the power and impact of the spoken word, whether you’re addressing thousands or just a handful of people. In one shining moment, a well-executed speech brings people together on an issue or idea and summons […]

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Becoming a writer… because your boss says you have to

In years past, Gil might have been able to hire me or another creative source to handle the assignments, but for the time being there’s a freeze on outsourcing… and he’s in a panic.

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