The Red Jacket Diaries blog

Sue Horner is a freelance writer in Oakville, Ontario, who blogs about writing, newsletters, communications and running an independent business in The Red Jacket Diaries blog.

The expressive language of loss

Any writing can be improved by careful attention to words that convey meaning or emotion, or metaphors and analogies that bring a concept to life. The July issue of my newsletter, Wordnerdery, shares some wonderful examples of expressive writing I’ve found related to grieving and loss. It’s way less depressing than you might think! Here’s [...]

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Write your own Twitter bio, please!

“Award-winning writer. Organizer. Thinker. Travel fan. Food enthusiast. Evil explorer. Creator. TV specialist. Communicator.” This was a sample Twitter biography helpfully provided by the Twitter Bio Generator. Have you seen it? I ran across this tool recently (sorry, can’t remember where) and ran a couple of samples for fun. After noticing frequent mentions of bacon, [...]

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Remembering my Dad

My father — Grant Cunningham — was always the go-to guy for anything that needed fixing. His day job for more than 30 years was with Bell Canada (which he always called “Mother Bell”), but on the side he fixed stuff. In his prime, he built a deck, installed deck lights, added telephone outlets, hung [...]

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The best of the Red Jacket Diaries so far in 2014

As we take a breather before Canada Day and launching into the second half of 2014, here’s a look at the most viewed content on the blog so far, as revealed by poking around under the  blog “hood”: Thinking about hanging out your shingle? Start here rounds up my best advice for starting your own [...]

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12 innovations in internal communications (a report from #IABC14)

What forces are shaping internal communications, and what are the best practices that help companies improve their own communications performance? At a session at the recent IABC World Conference in Toronto, speaker Kelly Parsons shared what Melcrum’s research tells the company. She highlighted these current forces that drive innovation: The rising power of employee voice. [...]

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What the new anti-spam law means for e-newsletters

The looming deadline of July 1, 2014 has some marketers in a panic. That’s when a new law comes into effect, the Canadian Anti-Spam Law — which acronym-lovers shorten to CASL, pronounced “castle.” Running afoul of the law could mean serious penalties, including fines up to $10 million. The June issue of my newsletter, Wordnerdery, [...]

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APEX award for Wordnerdery!

Yahoo! My monthly newsletter, Wordnerdery, has been given a 2014 APEX Award of Excellence for Publication Excellence. APEX Awards are given by Communications Concepts, which helps communicators “write, edit and manage more effective business publications.” The organization bases the awards on “excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence.” [...]

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What’s your question?

Is there one question “you are never tired of asking and will never know the answer to”? This is the question 2014 IABC World Conference* speaker Lesley Jane Seymour referred to in her keynote session, “Discovering Your Life’s Question.” The question was also the subject of her May editorial column. As Editor-in-Chief of More Magazine/More.com, [...]

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Why you shouldn’t ignore Google+

Where do you go first to search? For most of us, it’s Google. As Donna Papacosta told members of my local indie group, HPCA, on May 15, that alone should tell you that you need to look into Google+. So don’t fight it! Google+ is not just another social network, so the people comparing and [...]

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Geeky content can drive reputation

For every narrow, geeky subject, Carl Friesen bets there’s a matching geeky publication that wants your content. At the May meeting of IABC/Toronto’s Professional Independent Communicators, Carl outlined how to drive reputation through content that shows off your client’s or your expertise. That content could include print and online articles, blog posts, SlideShare presentations, e-books [...]

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