The Write Stuff
March 2014 Volume 10 Issue 3
You Can Quote Me On That
Using quotes can be a very powerful way to get a message across, but it’s also quite easy to go awry with this form of communication. Here are a few tips:
1. Build on a thought that’s just been expressed in copy–don’t just restate it.
No: The Sharks have gone on a tear since the break for the Olympics. “We’ve gone on a tear since the Olympic break,” said Captain Joe Thornton.
Yes: The Sharks have gone on a tear since the break for the Olympics. “Those of us who didn’t play got some much-needed rest, and the guys who went to Sochi came back energized,” said Captain Joe Thornton.
2. Use double quotes unless you have a quote within a quote.
No: ‘I’m going to win a billion dollars,’ said everyone filling out NCAA basketball tournament brackets.
Yes: “I’m going to win a billion dollars,” said everyone
filling out NCAA basketball tournament brackets.
Also Yes: “We could hear the same cry throughout offices, schools, bars and anyplace else sports fans gather: ‘I’m going to win a billion dollars.'”
3. Don’t feel you need to quote people verbatim; never change the message, but it is OK to clean it up.
No: “We don’t know nothing about that rumor,” said the beleaguered CEO.
Yes: “We don’t know anything about that rumor,” said the beleaguered CEO.
The latter suggestion is especially relevant for customer testimonials. Don’t blunt their effectiveness by failing to eliminate misspellings, grammar errors or poor writing.
I’ve been running into a number of people lately who have what I call “blogging guilt.” They don’t feel bad about something they’ve written; they wonder if they should regret being blog-less. Not necessarily. To determine if having a blog would be a valuable addition to your marketing communications efforts, see if your competitors are blogging. If they are, you might want to think about entering the blogging fray–as long as you have something to say, have the ability and time to write (or hire someone!), and will stick to a regular publishing schedule.
Those who follow up will be rewarded by improved sales performance as well as increased client retention and loyalty. Not sure how to do it? Learn tips from Wanda Allen, author of Follow Up Savvy (which I edited), in a live workshop, March 25 from 5:30-8 p.m. Learn more and save your place here.
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