Newsletter #2: What kind of writer are you?
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Helping businesses to write legible, credible, compelling documents

Welcome to this our second newsletter.  Thanks to some thoughtful feedback following the first one we have trimmed back the contents and concentrated on hopefully more interesting and relevant topics:

  • Give your colleagues, friends or family a different kind of gift this Christmas.

  • Try our tongue-in-cheek style test and learn more about the writer in you. 

  • More top tips from Roger on helpful tools and websites for businesses. 

  • Featured guest business - Panoarmour Photography. 

  • Notice board - articles, events and resources. 

If you have any ideas for items you would like to see covered in future editions, please let us know.
1ac/1dn. A DIFFERENT KIND OF GIFT? (10, 9 letters)
Answer: Customised crossword

Send us as much information as you can and we will compile a crossword tailored to the person, organisation or theme of your choice.  Unlike other companies, we promise to make the majority of our clues or solutions relevant.

Our Christmas gift pack includes:

  • standard 15x15 crossword + customised clues/solutions (cryptic/concise/general knowledge)
  • typed solution
  • frame (black, silver or gold), plus
  • free erasable pen

We do of course realise that by raising the topic of Christmas we run the very real risk of alienating readers. Sorry! But with only two months to go, we wanted to let you know that last orders for Christmas 2013 must be in by 15th November. Be warned - spaces are already limited.  

Contact us and we'll send you a short questionnaire designed to capture all the information we need about your chosen person, organisation or topic.

We normally compile only corporate crosswords, at a cost of £299.00 each. For this Christmas special offer we are giving everyone the chance to commission a crossword for just £149.00. With no added VAT, that's LESS THAN HALF PRICE.


 . . . and discover what kind of business writer you are. For each set of sentences below, which of the four options comes closest to the way you write?  

1a - "If what we're saying resignates with you and even if it doesn't it'd be grate to hear from you ;)."
1b - "Should any client wish to comment on this issue, feedback submissions can be made via the company's IT-based communications interface."
1c - "We are always keen to hear our customers' views - that is why we set up our dedicated email facility which we launched on 1st April 2010, since when we have received an impressive 3,012 responses from clients and interested members of the public - so contact us now."
1d - "Email us now - we would love to hear what you think."
2a - "The people supposed to be looking after our PCs misunderestimated what they had to do."
2b - "To the company's regret, the issues its clients have been experiencing were due to a quality issue relating to the delivery of the IT-based system that is currently utilised in-house and a review to identify lessons and learning points is now ongoing."
2c - "The 3.25 hour interruption to service experienced by customers on the morning of May 24th 2013, was the result of a rare but highly virulent file infector virus which entered our centralised IT system during a scheduled bi-monthly update of anti-virus software, for which we are sorry."
2d - "We apologise for the unfortunate break in service, which was caused by problems with our IT system."
3a - "From now on no-one can cancellate the deal without 3 days' notice!"
3b - "Going forward, cancellation of the agreement can only be delivered upon receipt of written notification of a client's  intention to cancel three days prior to the cancellation."
3c - "Our terms and conditions, which were revised on 1st September 2013, stipulate that in order for us to 
perform all the administrative tasks that are required to process cancellation requests and update our records, we can only accept cancellations where we have been notified in writing three days in advance."
3d - "Should you wish to cancel the agreement, under our new policy you must inform us in writing three days in advance."

Mostly As = The Pretender                                   Mostly Bs = The Bureaucrat
Mostly Cs = The Pedant                                      Mostly Ds = The Communicator

Mostly As? - It's back to the classroom for you, or next time get a grown-up to help!

Mostly Bs? - Find a job that demands verbal subterfuge or start applying some Plain English.  

Mostly Cs? - Information overload! Take pity on your audience and learn to get straight to the point. 

Mostly Ds? - Give yourself a 'V for Victory; Great English Needs You!



For the benefit of new readers, my very good friend Roger works in Communications at Seafish. Every so often he sends me links to potentially useful web tools or sites that he has come across. We thought it would be good to share these with you, not to plug the sites or products - many of which we haven't tried ourselves - but purely for interest. 

Google Analytics tutorial 
  • A step-by-step guide to making the most of Google's data about your website.
Spice up your blog
  • Tips galore on how to improve your blogs, from someone who unusually isn't based in the US. 
The best stats you've ever seen      
  • A very engaging TED presentation showing just how powerful and entertaining statistical presentations can be. 
  • I'm still not sure about this myself (and not just because of its name!), but the popularity of this presentation software is growing. Free option and 30-day trial available.
Social media policy               
  • A novel approach to spreading the word on internal policy, from the Department of Justice in Victoria, Australia.


Capturing moments, memories and more . . . 

Exceed your expectations is what husband and wife team Alan and Fiona aim to do with every photo shoot they undertake - whether that be covering corporate events or weddings, composing family portraits, creating business profiles, or capturing your favourite scenes or subjects.

Having recently been on the other side of their camera lens, I can assure you that "exceed" they do. It starts with them listening to what it is I'm hoping for, their responsive and creative suggestions characteristic of their promise to 'exceed'. What follows, thanks to their thorough pre-shoot prep, is a smooth, relaxing and dare I add fun photo session. The upshot (pun intended)? - a great set of portraits that even this photo-shy author is happy to display. They even managed to tame my hair!

SPECIAL OFFER - Panoarmour is offering readers of this newsletter a 10% DISCOUNT on their rates as advertised on their website portfolio pages. A further discount is available if two or more readers are interested in a shoot in the same vicinity on the same day.   

Articles about the English language
  • There's a brief and entertaining article in The Economist this month on English idioms in political speech, although for an easier laugh look up German comedian Flula Borg's funny You-Tube rants about our weird sayings.
  • London school bans pupils from using slang - ten phrases in particular - in school classrooms and corridors. As the Guardian article asks, what words would you ban?
Information for businesses
  • If you have a connection to law enforcement in Scotland and an interest in business, you may want to join new LinkedIn group Legacy Oyster-catchers in Scotland, set up by ex-DCC Bill Harkins.
  • Thinking of seeking potential markets for your services or products beyond Scotland and the UK? SmartExporter/ Scottish Development International adviser Isabelle Henderson is happy to help. 
  • If you're looking for an exercise regime that guarantees to shed inches faster than any other, then get along to Morningside and Karin Mackenzie's Edinburgh & Borders Callanetics Open Weekend on 26th and 27th of October for free taster classes and great introductory offers.
  • If it's worth celebrating, it's worth a cake! So says Daisy Daisy Cakes, artisan bakers of everything from cupcakes to canapés. As a special favour to our readers, owner Sarah has extended her deadline for Christmas (fruit) cake orders, including icing and decoration, to 15th November.

NOTE: If you know of any upcoming courses, events, offers or information that you think our readers might enjoy, if we can we will post them here in future editions. Our next newsletter will be coming out towards the end of January so notifications should be with us by early January.   

Our mailing address is:
Reporting for Business
58 Liberton Brae
Edinburgh, SCOTLAND EH16 6LB
United Kingdom

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