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Visual Thesaurus subscriber Sarah Williams runs a busy copywriting company called Wordsmith, based near Oxford, England. When we spoke to her recently, she quipped that "copywriting is a bit like method acting." Hmm, that got us curious. So we asked Sarah to tell us more about her approach to developing her clients' communications. Here's our conversation:

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When my client, a Boston cosmetic dentist, asked me to produce podcasts promoting her dental practice, I said sure. I'm always game to learn new things. Although I was vaguely aware of podcasts, I really had no idea how they were put together or why a company would use them.  Continue reading...
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You have an e-mail, direct mail letter, web page, or other promotional piece to write. How much copy is required to do the job? One paragraph? Five? Twenty?

Most marketing writers struggle with this question. And for good reason. There's a lot of misinformation out there. One so-called expert claims that all marketing and PR copy should be long and involved. Another insists that short and concise works best these days.

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Each week I come across countless examples of marketing and PR writing that are wonderful to read. The grammar is impeccable. The phrases are inventive. The words sing. But does that mean the resultant sales letter, web page, or press release will meet objectives? The answer, of course, is no.  Continue reading...
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You already know that stories are the foundation of comic books, novels, biographies, and screenplays. Here's what may not seem so obvious: the principles of storytelling are equally as important in successful business communications.

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Coudal Partners is a small, super-creative design, ad and interactive studio based in Chicago. A few years ago the firm had, well, a creative idea for its website: Take the marketing out of it. So instead of featuring portfolios, client lists, press releases and awards online, they started publishing an eclectic, interactive magazine about visual design, marketing, advertising and much more. The site buzzes with new thinking, guest editors, contests, even a "museum of online museums." It certainly made an impact: Some 40,000 people now visit Coudal.com each day. Should you consider this take-the-marketing-out-of-it approach for your site, too? Listen to what Coudal's Steve Delahoyde has to say.  Continue reading...
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