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“After Deadline,” The New York Times

Thursday, October 8th, 2009 by Chris

If you want to learn how to write clean copy, fast and under the gun – for marketing or any other arena where clarity is valued – the best training is in a big-city newsroom. (Assuming there are any such jobs left in journalism, but that’s another story.)

Those of us lucky enough to have spent a couple of years in a newsroom can regale you with tales of crotchety editors who stopped just short of whacking junior reporters upside the head if they failed to make subjects and verbs agree, or didn’t sufficiently chop up a run-on sentence.

For a taste of newsroom training (minus the abuse), it’s worth reading the “After Deadline” blog posts every Tuesday in The New York Times online.  Associate managing editor Philip B. Corbett, who’s in charge of the paper’s style guide, shares insights into grammar and style discussions going on inside the Times newsroom – for instance, whether writers should use the colloquial “kids” when “children” might better fit the paper’s style.

Corbett also collects examples of goofs and gaffes (both inside and outside of the Times) to illustrate his points – like sound-alike words used incorrectly. (Do you “pour over” a document, or “pore over” it? Are you “adverse” to exercise, or “averse”?) I love Corbett’s no-nonsense approach and straightforward explanations. “After Deadline” is that rare thing: a fun read, but also an informative one.

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Who Should Run the Company’s Social Media Efforts?

Thursday, October 1st, 2009 by Stacy

While consumers and small businesses tweet away, large businesses struggle to determine their corporate and product-level social media strategies. Should each product group have its own blog, Facebook fan page, and Twitter account? Who is responsible for ensuring that each product term has an accurate wiki? We recommend that corporate marketing departments develop high-level social […]

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Top Five Must-Have Marcom Assets for Fall ’09

Thursday, September 24th, 2009 by Stacy

Friends, Certain asset types have been particularly popular this year. Through a skinny budgeting cycle, these projects have remained on the marketing manager’s to-do list—mostly because salespeople continue to clamor for them. Top Five Must-Have Marcom Assets for Fall ’09: Playbook. What’s not to love about an easy-to-read guide that helps field and channel partners […]

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Splendora

Thursday, September 17th, 2009 by Stacy

We are a serious technology marcom copywriting agency. That doesn’t prevent us from going gaga over great consumer-focused advertorials authored by the genius girlfriends at Splendora of San Francisco. CEO Gina Pell describes Splendora’s voice: “We’re Cat Deely meets Tim Gunn.” Plus a lot of Gina. Sassy first—to grab your attention. Then informative. You can’t […]

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How Do I Use the Subjunctive?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 by Lisa S.

Your Highness: As part of my job in a large corporation, I must communicate in writing with my colleagues and customers. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, holding as I do a degree from a fancy business school and all, but here goes: When it comes to grammar, I’ve been faking it for 34 […]

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Want to See Your Company’s Future? Show Me the Wiki.

Thursday, August 27th, 2009 by Todd

Wikipedia rules the Internet. It’s a more popular information source than CNN and Yahoo News and, with more than three million articles, its pages appear in top-ten search results well over 90% of the time (some reports put the figure as high as 97%). Not bad for a website that’s existed for a mere eight […]

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USA Today

Thursday, August 20th, 2009 by Chris

USA Today. McPaper. The newspaper with the cutesy graphics and not much copy. The one you trip over when you leave your hotel room, and the one you take from the flight attendant when they’ve run out of the Times or the Journal.  USA Today gets no respect. Agreed, it’s nowhere near as satisfying a […]

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Welcome to the Content Bureau Blog

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 by Stacy

Welcome! We hope you’ll enjoy the Content Bureau’s take on the niche, riche world of technology marketing copywriting. Consider us the Scharffenberger Nibby Bar of the B2B marketing blogosphere—slim and elegant, perfectly packaged, and uniquely satisfying in a “smooth and crunchy at the same time” kind of way. Enjoy. And please let us know how […]

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