Writing

06/30/2016
A large slice of the work we do at the Bloom Group involves ghost writing for professional services firms and other companies to get their experts’ thought leadership published on their websites or in journals such as Harvard Business Review and Forbes. We’re generally engaged by content directors...
12/23/2015
Writing is my business. I write almost every day, and practice, they say, makes perfect. I’m far from perfect, but I’d like to think I’m better than the average bear. So in the holiday spirit, I offer five simple rules I follow in hope they’ll help you write better. 1. Avoid adverbs Communicating...
11/02/2015
With the increase in thought leadership content production we’re now seeing across a range of industries, the demand for people who can do it is going up, too. That shouldn’t be a problem, surely, as all sorts of publications are shutting down for want of advertising money, or from the sheer...
08/29/2015
Too much thought leadership content from consulting firms has a lecturing, hectoring tone that parents too often adopt with their children. Eventually, (as every parent knows), the kids stop listening. So, too, will the readers of thought leadership content that adopts this all-too-familiar and...
08/19/2015
As has been well documented (and repeated ad infinitum), we are in the midst of a thought leadership, content marketing explosion. Also well-documented are the characteristics of this explosion and if you’ve somehow dodged the shrapnel, you can read all about its magnitude here, the trends here,...
08/11/2015
A recent article I edited drew this comment repeatedly from a copy editor: "colloquial." I resisted changing the words in question and mentioned it to a colleague. This got us talking: Why have so many people decided colloquial in business writing is bad? To clarify, I don't mean colloquial terms...
01/28/2014
The web is a tabloid medium. Like tabloid newspapers, the web collects the world’s news and notes, analysis and opinion, flotsam and jetsam, organizing it all in helter-skelter fashion without passing judgment. Great content and nonsense are treated the same. The web, like the tabloid, is a great...
11/08/2013
Recently, more than one person has taken our work, edited it slightly and used it for their purposes. So let’s talk about why this is a bad idea. And it’s not just because copyright violation is crime. The demands on B2B content creators are continually rising. In a study we conducted earlier this...
08/26/2013
We’ve long been advocates of writing in plain English, but our remonstrations have fallen, like dead leaves, on deaf ears.  Jargon continues to reign in business writing, and its stubborn persistence has forced us to rethink our position.  We pride ourselves on taking a clear-eyed, evidence-based...
03/30/2013
After 26 years of watching consultants and other advisers successfully use ghostwriters, I was stunned recently to hear a professional services marketer who didn’t believe in the practice. It happened at a March 27 Association of Management Consulting Firms seminar in Boston, a gathering of about...
03/24/2013
Over the weekend I watched a TED talk (here) by Andrew Stanton, the writer of all three Toy Story movies, and writer/director for Wall-E, Finding Nemo and John Carter. In it Stanton lays out some of the lessons he’s learned over the years, both from others and from his own trials and errors, about...
12/17/2012
It might seem odd to turn to the literary masters for lessons on business writing. But I think there are some we can learn. And the first has to do with clarity. Here are a few excerpts from some of the greatest fiction writers of the 20th century. Ernest Hemingway: “The house was built on the...
04/13/2012
Good writing is important in business as everyone knows. And it’s especially important for professional services firms publishing articles, research studies and white papers. These things show off a firm’s expertise and so are actual samples of the firm’s product. A sales brochure for a printer,...
04/08/2011
  Historically, writers and editors have been comic figures, ye olde ink-stained wretches, necessary evils, people so lacking in life skills that they're reduced to trying to earn a living by putting words together, something anyone, even a child (and certain birds) can do. Is it any wonder that...
04/07/2011
  I was informed by a client this morning that my compensation for writing for their website would be cut by more than 50 percent. I was told not to take this personally; all the writers the client employed were taking the same cut and they were taking it happily. After a few email exchanges, I...
12/10/2010
Producing more and better content is now the single biggest issue for professional services firms and many other B2B companies too. Here are just some of the places it has popped up in the last few weeks; it was the number one issue for marketers at a meeting of the Association of Management...
10/29/2010
Nice to see we’re not the only ones who complain about indecipherable business communications. Check out this Oct. 29 column by New York Times media critic David Carr about a CEO’s internal memo at magazine magnate Conde Nast (Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, etc.).  Looks as though employees...
10/27/2010
I talked last week with a friend at a consulting firm about the challenges of extracting thought leadership material from a firm’s professionals, and how the process often degenerates into a long series of rewrites. This is actually very common, and I thought it might be helpful to explain how and...
06/01/2010
Once upon a time I had a boss who would always end his memos announcing some new Draconian policy with the phrase: "Thank you for your mandatory cooperation." Of course, this became an oft-repeated office joke. Clearly, if something is "mandatory," then "cooperation" loses its meaning as, indeed,...
05/21/2010
It is a truth universally acknowledged that corporate writing--from white papers to one-sheets and everything in between--stinks. Say "white paper" to 99 out of 100 executives and first you'll hear a snicker, and then something along the lines of "I never read that [insert expletive]." Why is this...

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