Author Archives: Sue Horner

Madness ‘like a fault line’ and more expressive writing

Do you want to explain something, make a point or reflect or spark emotion? Reach for what I call expressive language, which shows rather than tells. I’m always on the lookout for examples, and here are some appealing ones: “Catherine was his California – she was his sunlight and wine and blue ocean – but […]

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The best of the Red Jacket Diaries so far in 2017

Summer has barely arrived, weather-wise, so how is it possible 2017 is already halfway through? Pause a moment to enjoy the pool, along with a look back at the 10 most-viewed blog posts so far this year: 1. “Eyes and ears still key in the digital age” summarizes a panel discussion of IABC communication leaders. […]

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Before & after: The Hemingway app judges direct mail

Last week, I got a letter from the publisher of Reader’s Digest, indicating I “could” be a winner. Ooh, I have a chance to earn a chance to win ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! The letter is a classic direct mail sales letter, complete with the required P.S., supposedly one of the most-read parts of such […]

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5 reasons you should still embrace print

“How many words can you read on a computer screen before you start drifting off or your eyes start burning?” asks journalist, magazine editor and internal communications manager Rachel Ifans. Rachel calls print the best medium for long-form journalism (which you may have noticed is also making a comeback). She gives 10 reasons why print […]

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How to write a great event recap

“Are you just a really amazing note-taker or great with shorthand to get the info you need?” That’s what a colleague asked me recently, wondering how I take down the notes I turn into event summaries (recaps). Shameless flattery accepted. I do often recap events for the associations I belong to, so people who weren’t […]

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(Almost) everything you want to know about certification

Who doesn’t want to be recognized for knowing your stuff? For many professions, certification gives you unbiased recognition that you know what you’re doing. Accountants, engineers, Human Resources professionals, financial planners and more have certifications. Now, communicators have one, too. One of the first to earn her Communication Management Professional (CMP) “badge” is my friend […]

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Employees need the inside scoop from leaders

“Never assume anybody knows anything.” That’s Lesterism #1, a truth about communications from Les Potter, ABC, International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Fellow, and a senior lecturer at Towson University in Maryland. Les explains, “Organizations are funny; you can never assume that any individual organizational member knows what is going on — strategy, major issues […]

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SEO tips: Feed the beast to land on page one

“Your website is a beast you must constantly feed,” writer and search engine optimization (SEO) specialist Marnie Hughes told a group of entrepreneurs this week. That means constantly updating your site with blog posts, news or other content to help reach your objective: landing on page one of search results. After 10+ years of studying […]

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How to protect yourself from digital data attacks

A classic line in the movie Spaceballs reveals a secret password is 12345. Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) says, “That’s the stupidest combination I’ve ever heard in my life! That’s the kinda thing an idiot would have on his luggage!” Of course, it is exactly what President Skroob (Mel Brooks) uses. As Ryan Duquette of Hexigent […]

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PIC event summary: Defending your digital data

How strong are your passwords? How often do you use free Wifi? And how likely are you to fall for a phishing email that asks you to click a link? At a meeting of IABC/Toronto’s Professional Independent Communicators this week, speaker Ryan Duquette of cyber security firm Hexigent talked about digital dangers, and shared some […]

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