Getting to grips with BYOD

Interesting chart and article from Raconteur about the challenges and opportunities of enabling staff to access company sites and platforms using their own smartphones, tablets and laptops.

As with many aspects of the emerging, connected, cloud based digital landscape, the best approach would seem to be not one of Canute like prevention but instead to engage with the possibilities and develop simple, clear, easily understood policies and processes that limit the chances of the inadvertent loss or leaking of important company data whilst enabling users to realise the benefits of a fast moving, joined up world.

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How to Write – Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard

Everyone approaches writing differently, some revel in the use of language whilst others take a more stripped back approach, trying to get out of the way of the world they’re creating and the story they’re telling.

Elmore Leonard was a brilliant and stylish writer; his stated aim was to make himself invisible, but, in doing so, he developed an elegant, apparently simple style that was unmistakeable his own.

In 2001 Elmore wrote a piece for the New York Times in which he laid out, very simply, his ten rules for good writing.

‘These are rules I’ve picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I’m writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what’s taking place in the story. If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over.’ Elmore Leonard

You can read the rules in full here, but, for now, here are the basic principles. Use them wisely.

  1.  Never open a book with weather.
  2.  Avoid prologues.
  3.  Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
  4.  Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”.
  5.  Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
  6.  Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
  7.  Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8.  Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9.  Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
  10.  Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

Elmore’s most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”

How to Write – David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy
The ability to communicate effectively is a precious commodity, one that should be cherished and nurtured constantly. So any good advice on how to improve is worth revisiting at any time.
Back in the 1980’s advertising legend David Ogilvy sent the following internal memo, titled “How to Write,” to all his Ogilvy & Mather employees.
The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather.
People who think well, write well. Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.
Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:

  1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing*. Read it three times.
  2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  4. Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification,attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
  5. Never write more than two pages on any subject.
  6. Check your quotations.
  7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.
  8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
  9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
  10. If you want ACTION, don’t write. Go and tell the guy what you want.

David

*Writing That Works, by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson

Source: The Unpublished David Ogilvy: A Selection of His Writings from the Files of His Partners

The skills of the modern marketer

Interesting insights from econsultancy on the skills needed by today’s successful marketers. Alongside the obvious need to understand digital and social media, the report highlights a growing emphasis on the need for softer skills.

Perhaps this reflects the fact that marketing activity is at last becoming less the siloed domain of specialists and  more a central imperative for the whole business: one that now commands greater influence but therefore requires greater effort from marketers to share, explain and adapt in order to engage their colleagues in developing collective solutions. About time too!

 

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