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Archive for December, 2010

Merry Christmas!

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What used to be the over-the-fence verbal referral from a neighbor about the great local dry cleaner or the best place to have your car tuned up has migrated to the social networks. We’re still asking for referrals  from our friends, but we’re asking within a public forum, a virtual community.

Businesses, service providers, product manufacturers and name brands encourage this type of interaction. They participate and invite – no, they entice us to do the same – dangling special discounts, deals and coupons just for “liking” or “following” them. Happily we engage thus.

In my experience of social media and social networking, I’ve found the content – or written word – within social media, published by corporations, businesses or even charitable causes to be lacking in eloquence let alone failing to comply with grammatical rules and standards.

This post, published in May of 2009 on CEO World Magazine – about the importance of social networking –  is FULL of typos and grammatical errors. Unacceptable! The online magazine describes itself as:

CEOWORLD Magazine is the only magazine written strictly for CEOs and their peers. A resource for chief executive officers (CEOS), entrepreneurs and other enterprise technologists.

An online magazine intended for CEOs should be perfectly written – this post is clearly not. Case closed.

I know what you’re thinking – a human being wrote that and no human being is perfect. Agreed. However, any publication worth it’s salt will have an editing staff and will require all posts to be reviewed by someone other than the author. It is obvious to me that the CEO World Magazine post went from the writer’s mind to the keyboard to publish in one fell swoop. The first paragraph starts with “I feel” for crying out loud! The last one includes a word I’ve never seen in the English language before – do you know what “issists” means? If you do, please enlighten me.

So no more kidding around, I’m putting myself out there. I’m ready to assist companies that either just don’t “get it” that misspelled words or errors in grammar do a great deal of damage or they perfunctorily have some unqualified intern or underpaid lackey taking care of social media tasks.

The message is clouded when “your” and “you’re” – “to” and “too” are used interchangeably and it turns some people off – or in my case, makes them angry.

So contact me, I am sure I can help you.

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Connecting the dots

So how do I come off so high and mighty – claiming I can help produce a clear message through social media?

It is time to connect the dots for you, my dear reader.

As a child, I voraciously consumed books. I read quickly, sometimes devouring entire books in one sitting. I was that addicted to reading. I attribute the addiction to my mother’s habit of reading to my siblings and me before bedtime. “Charlotte’s Web” and “Stuart Little” were favorite choices. I still smile remembering those times and I’ve never once tried to rehab my way out of being a reading addict.

The summer of my 14th year on this earth, I spent two weeks in the Hamptons – Sag Harbor, NY – babysitting my then two year old cousin. My uncle was working with HBO at the time. The day I arrived in the city, he brought me on the set where he was working on a promo spot. I immediately fell in love with the way the crew went about their respective jobs. No one was barking out orders. Everyone just seemed to know what to do and did it happily.

A seed was planted.

Through my high school years, the passion for reading continued. I was infatuated with William Shakespeare. I adored Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Harper Lee and a whole host of others. My English teachers loved me and I them.

When time came to select a college; I knew – thanks to my visit to that HBO set – I wanted to be in the business of television. I applied to and was accepted to Montclair State College (it was still a college then) and pursued a degree in Broadcasting. For four years, I lugged heavy equipment and logged hours in edit bays. I worked per diem on the NYC Marathon and The Belmont Stakes for ABC (they still had the rights to those events back then), I worked for free as a talent escort and seat filler for various awards shows. I had a meltdown in the control room while trying to direct my live show on “Telerad Day” during my senior year – getting a valuable lesson that certain aspects of “the biz” were not for me – but continued my love affair with writing.

I eventually found my way to a newsroom. Local cable 24-hour news was a relatively recent creation back then but a perfect place for someone coming off a rocky detour in the printing industry and a divorce. Like a door-to-door sales rep who doesn’t take “no” for an answer, I shoved my foot into the doorway, gleefully accepted a $13,000 a year pay cut and became a newsroom secretary.

After several months of brain atrophy from the necessary drudgery of scheduling writers, reporters and “photogs” and processing viewer tape dub requests, I begged to take a writing test. Request granted – thank you Allison! I immediately began my news writing career. Since then I’ve written for, assisted in the production of, produced and planned news programs for several television stations in the New York market. I loved it!

When my daughter entered kindergarten and the demands of writing for a nightly newscast began to interfere with actually spending any daylight or waking hours with her, I entered the world of Public Relations. I was still writing, just not about murders, thefts, politics or other world events.

My love of words and writing make me the perfect choice to craft your message. I will edit and re-edit and pick apart sentences to find the best meat and serve it to your readers on a silver platter.

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