So you’ve decided to start your own e-commerce business. You’ve probably read every textbook and online guide you can get your hands on, and you feel like you’re ready to launch your online shop soon. While that may be true after you’ve chosen the perfect niche that’s not ultra-competitive...
The other day at my health club I asked an employee what time the bank parking lot was available for club members' use. I knew I could use the bank lot when the bank closed, but I wasn't sure what time that was. The employee responded, "You'll have to...
Advertising has long been a cornerstone upon which business is build.  You need to attract customers to your products and services, and an informative, imaginative and unique ad is what is going to elevate you above the rest. Writing ads, or copy, is a fascinating and creative process and...
I led a class for a group of writers who respond to citizen complaints about airplane noise. The writers cannot make the planes quieter, and they can't make them go away. What can they do? They can respond in ways that help citizens feel heard and helped. When you can't give...
The other day I participated in an online chat about cats being allowed to roam free in our neighborhood. Opinions for and against piled up minute by minute, with some people expressing strong views. Reading the comments, I noticed this one:  I'm sorry you were offended by my tone. The passive...
Last week I went with two friends to visit an assisted living facility they were considering for their mother. A warm, welcoming man shook hands with us and led us into his office. As we entered, I noticed the door plate. It said Sales and Marketing.  We were not there...
The other day I met my friend Barb for lunch. She arrived at the restaurant first, and the server asked, “Just one?” Barb often eats out alone, and she frowns when she hears that question. This time she replied, “Here is where I should have a snappy comeback, but I...
Today I received an unsolicited email with this as the close: Can you identify what's wrong with it? Think about what you would change before scrolling down to my ideas.                               I'd change several things. But what's definitely wrong is the capitalization. Only the first word of the complimentary close should be capitalized....
You work against deadlines. Often you have to write quickly, even when the message is complex and somewhat delicate. It’s not surprising that you occasionally come across as abrupt when you thought you were being efficient. This problem is especially true in email. For the past few weeks, I've been...
I received a delightful note when I found my seat at the Arena Stage Theater in Washington, D.C., last week. I was on vacation and visiting the theater for the first time.  An envelope addressed to Ms. Lynn Gaertner-Johnston lay propped on my upturned seat. Inside it were two small...