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Say it out loud before putting pen to paper

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26/09/2016

We often get asked to write copy – website copy, copy for brochures, PR – by the very people able to talk knowledgeably about their company, industry and products. And while talking and writing are clearly different ‘things’, talking about what you’re planning to write about can really free your creative juices.

Many of us sit down to type our copy. And then end up going around in circles – rewriting, deleting – wondering where to start.

What do you do? Well instead of thinking about how to write it, say what you want to say. Take away all the worries of grammar, tone of voice and copy flow by speaking it out loud. You’ll be far more creative this way and you’ll know exactly what you want to write about. You’re then free to focus on grammar and flow when you put pen to paper.

 

 

Photos bring a press release to life

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28/03/2015

Images, photographs in particular, help to bring a press release to life.

Photos can also make a press release more publishable – they make the story more interesting, therefore more likely to be used by a journalist.

But, do not think that just any photo is a good photo:

Your photo:

  • Must be relevant to the story
  • Must be a good resolution (quality) if you’re sending to print publications
  • Must be a good image in general (no heads cut-off, no blurry shots …)
  • Must be owned by you, or you must have copyright to use it

For more guidance on sending images with your press release, see our Resource Centre. 

 

Copywriting tip: How to use ellipses to tease your readers

By

23/03/2015

All too often you can feel like the plain kid when trying to woo your readers through copywriting. But used well, the ellipsis (a set of three dots . . . ) can be your secret weapon − the equivalent of a ‘7 stone weakling to Charles Atlas’ makeover.

That’s because inserting an ellipsis elicits. . .  anticipation.

It will help you break up large chunks of text or even take the place of bullet points to make your body text less intimidating to read. So you can use an ellipse to insert white space into the paragraph . . .  like this . . .  and this.

The reader can’t resist reading on when presented with an ellipsis
It’s a trail of breadcrumbs designed to make them imagine what comes next. You see the ellipsis is a tease . . .  a seductress who likes to leave you wanting more. So you can use it like a ‘wink’ to get your reader to follow. Try breaking up long copy with transitions like:

Just imagine going from nought to 60 in six seconds . . .

But let me explain . . .
And that’s not all . . .

Places to seduce your reader by using an ellipsis

Try using an ellipsis at the end of a page to get the prospect to turn over, or even at the end of a paragraph to get them to read the next one. Use it to get them to imagine or reflect on what you mean. Use it to signal that something good is coming up (a bit like a pre-commercial break trailer).

Use it to make them complete a headline.

An ellipsis begs a response . . .  gets your reader involved . . .  and it’s something they won’t be able to resist. An ellipsis invites the reader into the conversation. In fact it makes your whole tone more conversational, because it allows for breathing space.

How to type an ellipsis and other places to use one
An ellipsis is three dots, each separated by a space and both preceded and followed by a space. So you should type [space].[space].[space].[space]. You can also use an ellipsis to indicate the fact that you’ve removed parts of a quote – although you should never alter the original meaning. An ellipsis can be followed by a question mark or an exclamation mark or by a further full stop when indicating the end of a sentence which you’ve edited.