Welcome to another edition of my
last newsletter went out shortly before the bushfires devastated
much of Victoria so I want to express my support to everyone
affected by the fires. Living in Melbourne, we still get days where
we can smell the smoke and it seems such a small thing to live with
compared to the losses suffered by many others.
As the fires stop being a threat and people start to rebuild their
lives and communities, I intend finding ways to help affected
businesses - and sharing ideas in this newsletter and
If your business has been affected by the fires (or the floods in
Queensland), please let me know.
Massive events like this can have a huge impact on us all, both
directly (e.g. if our possessions are damaged or our business sales
go down) and psychologically. It is important to acknowledge these
impacts and work together to keep us all safe. My articles today are
all based on topics related to business and disasters.
Use your words wisely!
P.S. If you have not
yet donated to the bushfire appeal and want to, the
red cross will be taking donations and helping fire victims for
months to come. You can also
book to donate blood or
donate some books.
03 9018 8182
fax 03 9445
For all your business writing needs
simple yellow ribbon's what I need to set me free I wrote
A hundred yellow ribbons 'round the old oak tree. I'm comin' home
Tony Orlando & Dawn
By Tash Hughes of
People across Australia (and the
world) have been moved by the bushfires and want to help. Some
businesses have made public offers of support (e.g. 100% of today's
profits go to the bushfire appeal) and for most of them it is from a
true desire to help. However, there is the risk that these
businesses will be perceived to be 'cashing in' on other people's
misery and loss.
Here are a few things to consider
when making such decisions for your own business
make it a genuine donation. If
it you just offer 2% of profits, people will not consider it as
a generous move but as a tactic
keep within what you can
afford - it is great to help and many of us could live with
less, but there's no point giving to others if you leaves you
some argue that advertising
your donation can increase sales to increase the size of your
donation - if you sell more, the percentage of profits donated
is obviously a bigger dollar figure. Major stores certainly
notice people choosing their shopping day to coincide with a
major promotion, but many people say an offer of a donation
doesn't really impact on their buying habits. The better you
know your target audience, the better you can judge how they
will react to an offer from you
an alternative is to discuss
the disaster in some way (for example, I mentioned in at the
start of this newsletter and on my blog) without actually
linking it to making a donation. This way you get to express
some of the emotional response you feel, publicise the issue and
show the affected people you care but don't risk offending
people - you can still donate the same amount anyway
there are numerous ways to
help people so it doesn't have to be about donating 100% of
profits or proceeds, especially if you can't afford that.
You can donate time, in kind services, goods and information, or
you can help publicise the disaster, recovery efforts and
Backing up your computer is one way to cope with future emergencies
for the worst - and hoping for the best
By Tash Hughes of
Something like the
Victorian bushfires serves to remind us that it doesn't always
happen to someone else and that we all need to decide what risks we
can face in the future - and how to minimise the risks.
Here are some previous
articles I've written about preparations and contingencies:
It is also a good time to
make sure you have back ups of everything - and that includes photos
and important personal documents as well as business things. Regular
back ups of your computer need to include your emails and be kept
off site - a back up is no good if it burns in the house along with
your computer. We actually use an online service which backs up our
computers automatically every day and keeps it on a secure server
Online storage of photos is something to think about too, including
scanning precious old photos so they can be preserved.
New Year, New Business has great tips for
refreshing a business whenever you feel like a new start.
For a bookworm like me, a book is always appreciated
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 something published and written by a
'professional writer' selling his services.
This not only saves
precious time built also saves the client’s money and energy, which
he can chanalise towards the growth and other aspects of his
Issues with this
Presumably, 'built' was meant to be 'but'. Only
two letters difference but it takes away the meaning and shows this
writer doesn't care enough about details.
What does it save the client's money and energy? "Saves the client
money and energy" means the client will not use as much money or
energy which is great; "saves the client's money and energy" is
about saving something for the client's money and energy. A simpler
example may make this clearer - "She helps the boy's mother every
day." - it is the mother being helped, not the boy.
Have you ever chanalised anything? Ever? I haven't and the Oxford
dictionary doesn't list it as a word either. Even assuming the
writer meant channelised (or even channelized in American,) it isn't
a great choice of word as it isn't used in common speech and makes
the sentence harder than it needs to be. Channel itself would have
been a better choice - 'he can channel towards...'
find it very interesting that this writer chooses to have only male
clients - or maybe he only saves time for male clients. Okay, the
reality is that the writer just didn't use gender inclusive text
which could annoy people and is particularly important if you have a
predominantly female audience.
A better version would
be: (without changing the meaning)
This not only saves
precious time but also saves the client money and energy which can
be used in the growth of the business.
And a better, more
personal version would be:
This not only saves
you time, but also saves you money and energy to use on other parts
of your business.
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