“Words like tin soldiers with pointed bayonets and solemn expressions, salute before my eyes, begging entrance into my mind and thoughts.”
I wrote those words seemingly ages ago when I initially started scribbles. They still hold true. When starting to write a communication, I sometimes feel inundated with words and ideas. Which ones should I choose? What winning combination of phrases will create the emotion, urgency and desire that spur the target audiences to take notice? How do I keep readers engaged?
I’ve learned, words like rare spices need to be carefully selected, and then used judiciously and in the right context to break through the clutter of communications – whether writing a couple of paragraphs for a Web site or a lengthy company backgrounder.
To showcase River City Studios, an off-shoot of DownStream, a video production company, I choose to emphasize the logo by doing small, black-and-white advertisements. I crafted a handful of words, set them in varying sizes, using a sans-serif font to catch readers’ attention, and also portray the company as fun, creative, and hip. The advertisements were well-received, generating calls from prospective customers.
View portfolio and resume, including work from Microsoft, Dell, Intel, Fluke Biomedical, agencies, and freelance.
When tasked with announcing a complex offering to Dell internal sales representatives, I decided to create a humor online splash screen, stating, “You don’t get to choose your coworkers… but with Advanced Configuration Services, customers can easily select what goes on their client systems.”
Because there was competition among internal sales representatives, this strategy was very effective, both for announcing advanced configuration services, and other enterprise and professional services.
To encourage sales representatives, when talking to customers, to listen for cues that might lead to Dell service engagements, I wrote and produced a series of humorous videos, featuring sales representatives. One representative talked about how much she loved mail, all types of mail from letters and cards to email. She waxed poetic about the value of helping her customers migrate to the next version of Microsoft Exchange Service and Active Directory, so they too could receive lots of mail.
To the right is a snippet of an infographic, I produced for Lionfish Creative to showcase the benefits of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Database as a Service. The primary customer pain point was the ability to manage massive amount of data. I couldn’t get the analogy of data being liking grains of sand, hence, the need to use tractor to move it around.
The rest of the infographic played off the sand theme, and the stress of how to turn data into usable business intelligence with SQL Server 2012.
I took a similar approach when I worked for Microsoft Information Security and Risk Management (ISRM), incorporating interesting characters and strong headlines to showcase startling metrics and helpful tips, encouraging employees not to “become a statistic” by keeping documents and devices safe from security threats. The infographic complemented posters, web content, data sheets, and informational (but entertaining) video.
Another campaign developed for ISRM was data classification. A series of dogs were used to showcase the need to “Classify correctly. Protect properly. Store security,” since like a dog, data can “wander” away, ending where it doesn’t belong. Highly sensitive information like a Doberman or bulldog, needs to be kept on a short leash; whereas communications shared with the public, like a Dachshund, can be freely discriminated.
The campaign included a dedicated web pages, videos, posters, quick check, one-pagers, campaign-in-a-box, digital signage, blog posts, newsletter articles, and formal training program.
In late 2015, I oversaw the development of launch communications for the Fluke Biomedical INCU II Incubator/Radiant Warmer Analyzer. The campaign included landing pages (campaign, PPC), collateral, two videos, product-specific and emotional emedia banners and ads, sales training materials, contributed article, and press release.
Realizing the “emotional” emedia banners and social media posts were performing considerably better, I resorted to sentiment when writing and designing a brochure promote Fluke Biomedical’s family of neonatal test devices. A chubby, healthy baby was chosen for the front cover.
Inside, the brochure, however, I write a story about “First moments,” which tugged at the heart strings. I then broke the products into three groupings: Nurturing, healing, and validating. The tagline throughout the campaign to encourage customers to download the brochure, and request a demo of the equipment was “Ensure the safety of your smallest patients.”