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One Space Will Do

May 10, 2013

In a previous post, I bemoaned the missing space.

Having been taught at an early age that a sentence ends with two spaces, I was critical about the lack of respect two spacers get.

One Space Or Two?

April 22, 2013

If you write for a living, you likely spend way too much time worrying about little things, like when to use a comma, whether it’s OK to split an infinitive or when to write in second person.

Nothing is too trivial to escape attention.  For example, I’ve long wanted to know what happened to the extra space at the end of a sentence.

It used to be routine to use two spaces at the end of a sentence.  Now, no one (except for real old timers, like me) uses two spaces.  When did one space become acceptable?

Two spaces are much better than one.  The double space reinforces the end of a thought.  It makes a sentence a sentence.

Maybe it’s more efficient to use one space, but if you want the reader to think about each sentence, an extra space can create an opportunity to pause for a nanosecond or so before moving on to the next sentence.

So give me back my space.

 

When Should You Use An Exclamation Point? Almost Never!!!!

April 1, 2013

“An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Remove the exclamation point from the keypad, and the volume of e-mail and text will drop by half, as fingertips around the world are struck dumb.

Exclamation points today are so ubiquitous, we hardly notice them.  They’re everywhere, like pickets on the fence of prose.

My Life as a Ghost

March 12, 2013

When I made the transition from journalism to public relations, it was a revelation to find out I could be paid a lot more for putting someone’s name other than my own on the articles I wrote.

It’s a peculiar way to make a living.  Yet there are thousands of ghosts walking the halls of corporate America. 

How to Get Your News Ignored

January 8, 2012

Want to make certain that your press releases and pitches get ignored by reporters and editors?  It’s easy.  Here are a few tips:

The reverse pyramid method is so yesterday!  Why not build a little suspense and bury the news in the third paragraph?

Repeat key words frequently.  Your press release will be boring and redundant, but search engines will be more likely to find it.

Anyone Can Write – Just Like Anyone Can Sing

December 12, 2012

It’s true that anyone can write – in the same sense that anyone can sing. Writing well, like singing well, takes practice, skill and a discerning ear.

Unfortunately, many people in the business world write off key without realizing it. They produce a cacophony of overused words like “quality,” “solution” and “service,” and mistake it for a concerto. Like the tone-deaf singer at church, they attempt to make up in volume what they lack in skill.

PR Peeve #2: Press Releases

November 29, 2012

Clients often think that all public relations agencies do is send out press releases.  PR agencies reinforce this notion, because press releases are easy to prepare and agencies can charge lots of money for them.

While press releases should be used to announce breaking news, they are typically the least effective method of publicizing your company.  Unless a press release has news value, no one will run it and few will read it.  A press release is also a great way to ensure that top-tier media will not run your news.  The Wall Street Journal and other top media want exclusivity.  If you send out a press release, it tells them that every other financial media outlet will be getting the same news.

While press releases should be used for breaking news, in most cases they should not be the main focus of your public relations program.

A summary of PR Peeves initially appeared in an article we wrote for the Worcester Business Journal.