Author Archives: Sue Horner

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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Weasel words still in the spotlight

“There’s a lot of year left,” says Mark Peters, who writes a column called Evasive Maneuvers. But the word “re-accommodate” is already a front-runner for the Euphemism of the Year, he tells Time’s Katy Steinmetz. A euphemism substitutes an inoffensive expression for one that may offend; when done in the spirit of disguising bad news, […]

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How to keep your marketing e-newsletter in the spotlight

Email newsletters are back – or maybe I should say are still – in the spotlight. And whether sent by large companies, media giants or solo entrepreneurs, email newsletters can be a powerful marketing tool. For example, the content marketers at Copyblogger get massive amounts of traffic every day. But the biggest day every week […]

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Finding the human side of academic research

Readers appreciate when the writer does the heavy lifting to explain the complex and figure out “what’s in it for me?” That’s a big part of what I do. Recently, I had the honour of interviewing brainy researchers at Western University’s Faculty of Science. My assignment was to translate the science into writing that will […]

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Get creative! Problem solve with Post-it notes

Post-it notes were flying in last night’s session on creative problem-solving. Trevor McAlpine of Synergetic Management had members of IABC/Toronto’s Professional Independent Communicators covering the Post-its with ideas in a fast-paced session on creativity. The tactic was part of Trevor’s six-step creativity framework for harnessing ideas to solve business challenges: Explore the vision. Ask, What […]

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Can you conquer your inner packrat? I’m trying

I’m a packrat. There. I said it. And it’s true. I hang onto things way too long. Sometimes it’s due to sentimental value (Baby’s first stuffed animal! Photos! Letters from loved ones!), but other times it’s just that I’m busy. I file and forget. I don’t even see the mess after a while. The last […]

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Take the dull out of digits

Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) launched an exhibit this week that explores the story of nine rare blue whales that became stranded in thick ice and died. The ROM recovered two of the skeletons after the creatures washed ashore in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2014. Blue whales are massive, but even before you get to […]

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