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Welcome to another edition of my newsletter, and I hope you are dealing with the weather wherever you live!

Writing about the weather in a newsletter like this can be boring - and it's worse if the writer doesn't acknowledge where they are talking about! I have received newsletters suggesting I rug up as December is coming, for instance, which is a really silly suggestion to someone living in Australia! If you do reference some local event, make sure you note who it is local for and it's relevance!

I only mention the weather today because it has been so extreme lately - it was hard to concentrate and work efficiently when it was over 40 degrees for days on end. I did the harder projects in the morning and did some easier ones in the evenings, leaving the afternoons for feeling hot! And I am grateful I wasn't commuting to the city in that heat... How has your business coped with any extremes of weather?

Use your words wisely!


Tash Hughes
03 9018 8182
fax 03 9445 9154

blog - www.wordconstructions.com.au/blog
For all your business writing needs

In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope.
- Charles Revson

By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

I am involved in running surveys for some of my clients. While they are very different businesses and run surveys for outwardly different reasons, there are common elements.

Surveys can be useful for finding out:

  • what clients want before you change a product or service

  • what options are most (or least) attractive to your audience

  • what people want to learn about so you can target articles/workshops/ebooks/etc

  • how people make decisions about your products/services

  • readers' favourite parts of newsletters

  • how something was perceived (for example gathering feedback after a seminar)

  • a price range people thing is reasonable for a potential product or service

There are a number of ways to run surveys, both formally and informally. Sometimes you may be surprised by the results and other times you might find the results benefit you in unexpected ways (for example someone might suggest a new product you hadn't thought of.)

Whatever your survey is about, make sure your questions are clear and easy to understand so that people can easily respond and he results are meaningful.

Valentines Day and your business
By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

Yes, Valentines Day is commercial and it would be great if we showed our love and care for others every day, but it is celebrated every February whether you like it or not. And if you run a business, you can keep it topical through using some Valentines romance.

There are a number of suggestions in my article, but here are a few more:

  • post a Valentine message in your blog. It can be a simple "Happy Valentines Day" or maybe you can find a creative message to show you appreciate your blog readers or customers

  • use pink envelopes or paper on the day or the surrounding week or month

  • pop a chocolate or treat in every package you send out in February - of course, if it's hot try something less likely to melt!

  • give an ebook or tip sheet with romantic ideas relating to your business (see my blog post for specific ideas!)

  • put some pink candles in your shop or display

  • run a competition with some romantic prizes

  • send a rose to your key clients - an unexpected gift builds a lot of goodwill

The Nile -Australia's Largest Online Bookstore
For a bookworm like me, a book is always appreciated - and it can be considered romantic, too


Poor examples

Sometimes, the easiest way to learn the correct way to do something is to see it done poorly so in this section of my newsletter, I show you some real-life examples of writing that need a little help.

Today’s example is part of an email newsletter I received!


Web Sites are given for each business featured, so that you can make direct contact with these very successful business operators.

Issues with this example:

It sounds wonderful - get your business featured and you get a website! Only, she actually meant that their URLs (i.e. website address) would be listed in her directory. It is important to write what you mean rather than assuming people can figure it out.

Of course, a website URL is not the most efficient way to give me contact details of  businesses - give me their email or phone number as contacts, and their URL for information.

I would also questions why sites needs a capital letter - Web sites or websites are better alternative.

This one is personal preference, but I wouldn't write business operators; operators makes me think of con artists and crime squads which implies those business people are less than reputable. Given the websites are probably about businesses rather than the people, this can be rewritten without referring to the people.

A better version would be: (without changing the meaning)

A web site address is given for each business featured so you can find out more about these very successful businesses.

You are welcome to pass this newsletter on to anyone you think will be interested, but please send it as is without changes.

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© 2009, Tash Hughes