Blog: Content writing and content strategy insights

Reward, retrain and retain talent says Ortus HR: now’s good!

Attracting and retaining talented staff is a major problem for companies. Last year’s report by recruitment firm Ortus shows that HR worldwide struggles to retain staff, and headhunting is rife.

This report (many like others) pinpoints career development as the greatest incentive for leaving an organisation. So that’s a top reason for offering targeted training to new staff and others.

Training staff in modern writing skills has never been easier.

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Happy New Year, everyone!

Happy new year of the sheepThere's a lot to be said for a nice calm year. And for sheep.

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Q & A from STC India technical communicators

Map of India. TravelInfo, Creative Commons A-SAQ & A: Indian technical communicators in India asked these questions after my webinar on  How to write clear, translatable English for a global audience.

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Overcome fear of finishing: knock off those side projects one by one

Inspired by Ricky Robinett, I've decided to make Fridays a day for finishing stuff: mainly small side-projects that are almost ready for launch. Great idea: even a failure feels better than something unfinished.

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Clear communication skills at work with 100 names in 1000 places

What do communications people do? And how does plain English differ from clear language, technical writing, information design, usability and business communication? 

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How much is a web writer paid?

Rachel answers an email question about web writing wages, salaries and potential earnings: I am a student in Writing for the Web here in Nashville Tennessee. My teacher is Endora Feisk. We are using your book, Write me a web page Elsie. I asked my teacher about what a person charges for web writing and she told me to ask you? So I am wondering if you can answer that question for me? Thanks and I appreciate your answer.

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Golden opportunity 2012: long live the cliché!

Golden opportunity is a cliché, but the phrase is now speaking to me from my office whiteboard, alongside the reassuring Don't Peak Too Soon.

My 2012 tag golden opportunity is certainly overworked: page #1 of Google results showed web sites on World of Warcraft, an investment fund, a recruitment and training company, community development videos, politics, sport and shopping shopping shopping.

Confession: my friend dealt me 3 Goddess Oracle cards for the new year, and one of 'my' cards was Yemanya, goddess of golden opportunities.

Disclaimer: I do not believe a real goddess spoke to me. I see the cards as random thoughts that we can personalize into a piece of advice from us to us. Like astrology and weather forecasts, a playful aid to planning or problem solving.

So when I saw the words golden opportunity, I quite logically applied them to the year ahead: the business of Contented, a fourth grandchild on its way, a stage production of Scarlet Heels, whatever. Made sense.

What I didn't expect was for this phrase to start popping uninvited into my mind. I wake up and think, today is a golden opportunity to be alive. (I'm not dead like Fred.) Walking to the kitchen I think, this is a golden opportunity to walk barefoot on my soft carpet. And so forth. Wait—wait—I think I'm getting a message!
Right now is a golden opportunity to do exactly what you're doing.

This new year of 2012 is a year of golden opportunities. I don't want to miss a single one. Not just big opportunities, like a business breakthrough, but also tiny opportunities, like noticing sunshine on the clothesline. And the most enormous opportunity of all is being alive, not dead.

May the new year be a very fine year for you, all year long. I have a hunch it will be.

Photo of Fabergé egg by Jason Pier in DC, via