Friday, October 19, 2012 kicks other advertisements' butts

Advertisements are not a writing style per se, but they can contain writing and employ general guidelines that determine an eye-catching advertisement from a poor one. An advertisement I found from does an excellent job at catching the readers attention and promoting their job search services.
For starters, the image draws your attention and peaks the viewer's interest. Following the image, there is a headline that reads, "Maybe it's time to move on." The headline is clear, simple and gets the point of the advertisement across. If the viewer were to stop reading at that point, then he or she would have a general idea of what the advertisement was trying to say.

The advertisement continues; it provides a small blurb of copy that describes in more detail the services and calls the viewer to action if he or she is in need of a profession change.

Lastly, the viewer can see the logo of the company and its tagline in the bottom right hand corner to further promote the brand.

This advertisement puts a humorous spin on a stressful situation of changing careers, but it is clear what this business has to offer. The advertisement is coherent, concise and sticks out amongst the rest. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Featuring Oklahoma Today

I enjoy a great short story as much as a camel in the desert enjoys a drink of water. I like short stories for the main reason that I lose patience with a book or longer stories. A feature story is just that, a short story that spotlights a non newsworthy event or happening.

The feature story that I will examine is, "Oklahoma Weird & Wonderful," published by Oklahoma Today. I discovered a list of  criteria online that combine the qualifications of a feature story and the qualities that good feature stories have.

For starters, it needs to be short and readable in one sitting. Despite the article being in three pieces, I read the full article in less than 15 minutes. Second, a feature story does not fall under the category of a news story and can be categorized as a human interest. This story discusses unique places to visit throughout Oklahoma, so it does not classify as a news story.

Lastly, the story needs to be well written, which the writer not only kept my interest, but also had me wanting to know more about the quirky adventures one can have in Oklahoma. 

This feature story had it all; the story was short and easy to read, but still kept my attention and told me about some great adventure opportunities that would normally have been overlooked in the news.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The basics of media kits from solopreneur life

A combination of organization, creativity and information create a beautiful piece of art known as the media kit. A well put together media kit can help push a story or product over the edge and create intrigue.

The example of a media kit that will be examined this week is from Larry Keltto who is promoting his book, The Solopreneur Life.  After downloading the digital media kit from, it was clear what was lacking and also the good qualities exhibited.

Starting with the positive, the kit has good information that is clearly labeled and organized; it contains a bio of the author also known as a backgrounder. It also contains a press release, commonly asked interview questions and answers, the book summary, and a few photos. This information is helpful, and if I were to put together a story, I would have enough information to write a basic story.

However, the creativity of this media kit leaves the reader something to desire. The information is good, but everything is plain. It doesn't catch my eye, and I doubt it catches the eye of others. In addition, it would be helpful to have more information. The basics are covered, but a fact sheet would have been great, and a poster, ad or flyer image could have gone a long way as well.

This media kit accomplishes the basics, but could use some flare. The point is to pass information from the source to outside consumers in a way to create buzz and interest. The information is sent, but doesn't keep me interested.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Inessa Stewart Antiques' news release flops

Is the news release dead or is the news release alive? Well that is a great question; however, the real question should be how do we get rid of the bad ones? News releases can be helpful, but a lot of the time they are abused. This week I will walking through an example of a sub par news release on behave of Inessa Stewart Antiques that I found courtesy of

This news release takes a turn for the worse right off the bat; just look at the title, "Sale on All Store Items Ends on February 12, 2011." How does that  headline tell me anything? It does not tell the audience what store is having the sale, nor does it grab your attention. This story would be lucky to be opened by a journalist much less be published.

The second problem I have is the story isn't newsworthy; it is an advertisement. Very sneaky of you Inessa Stewart, but you will have to pay for your advertisement space just like every other business. Here's another hint, adding exclamation marks doesn't add excitement; it's hard to get excited about furniture...

Lastly, the copy is poorly written and not well organized. The copy goes from advertising this particular sale, to advertising the store, to advertising a specific piece of furniture, to contact information, back to advertising the store, and finally back to contact information again. In addition to the copy being all over the place, it has grammatical errors.

What we need to take away from this week's blog is that news releases need to be sent when something is newsworthy and arranged in a way to make it easy on busy journalists. The news release should consist of concise statements that are organized and easily followed. Lastly, I know I am saying this twice, but if it isn't news, then don't send it. The last thing you need is to lose credibility and hurt your company.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Art of Non-Conformity sells blog writing

Blogs are the number one most abused and overused writing published today. Bad blogs are cliche, like Nickelback jokes...I get it they are terrible musicians. But in all seriousness, educate yourself before you decide to post something on the Internet.

Don't get me wrong, I like wading through the poorly written blog just as much as the next guy (sarcasm), but I much rather stumble across a blog worthy of my time.

Let's take a look at a blog I  found today, The Art of Non-Conformity. It has a clean design, clear purpose, timely material and well-written content. This blog seeks to expand on the book, The Art of Non-Conformity, written by best selling author, entrepreneur, and world traveler, Chris Guillebeau.

This blog is very much a sales pitch for Guillebeau's two books and travel business, but also motivates its readers at the same time. Each week there are two posts that encourage readers to live out their dreams, explore the world and not be confined by the boring life of today.

Through having a specific purpose, helpful format, insightful copy and useful links, The Art of Non-Conformity exemplifies a well put together blog.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yahoo! exemplifies web writing

Through appropriate headlines, concise copy and a reader friendly layout, Yahoo! excels at writing for the web. In other words, it is like a peanut butter, jelly and lettuce sandwich; I know what you're thinking...nasty, but it is the perfect combination.

Before things get kicked off, let me explain a little bit about the series we are about to begin. This is going to be a six week blogging adventure in which each week I discuss different writing platforms. For this week, I will be critiquing a website. Now lets take a look at Yahoo!'s website.

Yahoo! has a vast amount of coverage ranging from politics to celebrity gossip. Instead of one dominate story they have numerous amounts of stories scroll across the screen. To keep things organized there is an accordion type scroll bar (shown in the red box) that indicates where the reader is located amongst the different stories.

Each of Yahoo!'s stories are set up to make them the focal point of the reader when they are selected. In addition to a large photo, they all have a web appropriate title (shown in the orange box), a concise copy blurb (shown in green box) and of course plenty of hyperlinks that draw the reader to explore the story further. These qualities allow for ease of navigation and lets the reader know exactly what he or she is clicking.

In addition to being a news website, Yahoo! is also a well-known search engine. Yahoo! is able to provide its readers more content by providing informative headline hyperlinks (headline hyperlinks are just so fun to say I had to type it twice) that are created from the most searched things on their website. This information can be found in the upper right hand corner (shown in the yellow box).

Yahoo! provides its readers with easy access to information through their excellent use of headlines, copy, and hyperlinks. Its layout is also pleasing to the eyes because it follows an "f" pattern (shown by the black lines). Yahoo! does a great job writing for the web and maximizing their coverage. I know this is cliche, but in the case of Yahoo!, the information is right at the finger tips of the reader.