Archive by Author

WANTED: Non-weird, Non-hermity Copywriter

  I remember my first official freelance assignment like a dream that never was. I was working from my kitchen table. Framing my computer screen was a pretty view of the apartment cluster’s courtyard. The smell of coffee mixed nicely with the scent of salt air from the beach a block away. I remember sighing […]

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A cross-pollination of insights from NJ Ad Club’s 2017 State of the Advertising Industry Panel – featuring R/GA, Dunkin’, Nickelodeon and VaynerMedia.

  You really couldn’t ask for a better panel for a 2017 outlook discussion. The NJ Ad Club’s panel was lively and their views were all over the place. The candid descriptions of the ways their outfits are operating and the projects and mindsets driving them were pure gold. Bunch of people at the top […]

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Snowplow races and why paying a project fee beats hourly every time.

  My house backs up to a cemetery and fronts up to a small but busy cul-de-sac maintained and plowed by our town. During a snowstorm, the cemetery side is where all the action is. Without exception, the guy who plows their roads has theirs cleared and salted hours, sometimes days, before the city sends […]

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Peace, love and seeing through stereotypes.

  On the morning of November 9th, I found myself searching the faces of my neighbors as they drove by. “Friend or foe?” I worried. I wondered if my sprinkler contractor was going to show up—or anyone was going to show up to work for that matter. People who rode the morning train into Manhattan […]

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You need a roadmap the most when you’re in a hurry.

  I woke up in a panic a few Sundays ago. My daughter had a travel soccer game and we’d way overslept. The maps app said it would take 50 minutes but we only had 45. I reassured myself that those estimates only applied to little old ladies and snow plows. If I was driving, […]

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In life and branding, I think it’s best to just be yourself.

  Why I killed backpocket copywriter. Back when I became backpocket copywriter 15 years ago, it seemed like a natural fit for my clients’ needs. I was doing a lot more 1-off projects. Things were much more wham-bam thank you, adman. Clients appreciated my creativity and quickness. The name, backpocket copywriter fit this arrangement nicely. […]

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6 workarounds for creating case studies against all odds.

  So you’re 5 miles into the backcountry mountain biking when you blow your rear tire. Once you get to work patching it, you realize your patch kit hasn’t seen the light of day since before your 6-year-old was born and the glue is dryer than trail dust. This would never have happened before you […]

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“They” wins.

In my recent post, “Non-binary copywriting: ready for the shift?” I asked readers to weigh in on their pronoun preference in business writing. It seems like people are ready for an gender neutral pronoun. Over half chose they—and there was even some interest in ze. Check out the results below. I like “they” and I’m […]

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Non-binary copywriting: ready for the shift?

A recent article, Beyond ‘he’ and ‘she’: the rise of non-binary pronouns, on BBC.com, touched on a topic that’s been on my mind for years now: The use of feminine and masculine pronouns in business writing—you know: he, she, him and her. I’m convinced we English-speakers need a  gender-neutral—or what some call a non-binary—pronoun of […]

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Ready to go nuclear with texting?

  I’m not sure I am ready to start using texts as a promotional medium. But Matt Warner of Flocknote included texting in his lineup of outreach vehicles at the Digital Church Conference I attended today. His main reason is that texts are extremely interruptive. He cited a statistic that texts have a 97% open […]

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