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Constant Company Name-Dropping

Arthur wrote to ask my view of an interesting question: How often should a company use its name in a marketing piece?

He asked because he translates marketing pieces into English, and some of his clients use their name five times in a five-sentence paragraph. He wondered: Is this good style in the U.S.?

Let's think about what readers need. For readers looking at a marketing piece, is the name of the company the essential information? Do readers ask, "Gee, what is the name of this company?" and "What's the name of this company again?" and "I forget–what's the company's name?"

The obvious answer is no. Readers have no interest in a company's name until they recognize what the company can do for them. Readers need this information: "Why should I read this message? What is it about? Why should I care? What can this company do for me? Why should I believe what I am reading?"

If the answers to those questions are compelling, readers may wonder about the name of the company.

On this site I include my company name–just once–in the very last line beneath my own name.

Marketing pieces are like any writing. They need to give readers what they need.

Syntax Training

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

3 comments on “Constant Company Name-Dropping”

  • Lynn:

    I agree with your point, with this proviso. Oftentimes the provider of the information is what really grabs people’s attention. For example, a company like Google or Proctor & Gamble have reputations that precede them.

    So it makes sense, in these cases, to highlight what company is communicating because we respect and trust them. But let’s face it, most companies do not have the benefit of being a household name, and in those instances (the vast majority) it is what’s being said that really counts, rather than who’s saying it.

  • this is areally good idea maybe we should try it for example we can make a website just like facebook or google something that grabs people atention

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