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.

4 ways to simplify your sustainability report

This time of year, corporate sustainability reports bloom like algae in a lake. These reports show the efforts a company makes to do the right things for the environment and the community. However, the language that describes what they do is often thick with jargon. And there’s no getting around multi-syllable words like “sustainable” and […]

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Take control of meetings to shine

Gerry Lewis wants to help you stand out. “Everyone can be a better communicator if we just take it up a notch,” the author of SHINE: Stand Out. Get Noticed. Be Brilliant told a recent gathering of IABC Golden Horseshoe members and friends. Start by handling meetings like a pro, by conquering the five sins of […]

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Set the tone with words

Anything worth doing is worth doing with WOW. So says online retailer Zappos, which for years has been a name synonymous for great customer service. At least, that’s what I had heard. I hadn’t experienced it myself because Zappos no longer ships to Canada (after a brief trial where they discovered how painful cross-border shopping […]

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Don’t let LinkedIn intimidate you

A friend has a LinkedIn profile, but beyond listing his title and employer, he has nothing — nothing! — to say what he does and how well he does it. He doesn’t even have a photo. Of course, I’m bugging him about it. “At least get a photo up!” I told him. “And then you […]

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How do you reach “non-desk” employees?

How do companies communicate with their employees these days, when so many don’t have a desk or a computer? How do you reach those who work in a mine, in the cab of a delivery van, on the sales floor? Since it’s been a long time since I’ve been in a home office, curiosity sent […]

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To bid or not to bid on that RFP?

When it comes to a Request for Proposal (RFP), the first question you should ask yourself is this: To bid, or not to bid? At a meeting this week of my local group of independents, the Communicators Connection, presenter Paul Heron pointed out that for small businesses like ours, responding to an RFP may be […]

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Pricing tips for indie communicators

If you’re new to freelancing, you probably charge by the hour.  However, a better plan for both clients and solopreneurs is to charge by the project, according to panelists at the recent IABC/Toronto Professional Independent Communicators (PIC) session on pricing. This takes the focus away from time and puts it on value. While you might […]

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Runs with undies

The issue is serious — colon cancer — but those of us running/walking to raise money for the cause on February 28 couldn’t resist a little word fun. Thus The Turdles were the top team in the Sacramento Undy Run, and the field included Heidi’s Hineys, the Semi Colons, the Stolen Colons and Team Pooper […]

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Reports of print’s death are exaggerated

Author Harper Lee’s recently discovered book, Go Set a Watchman, will launch with an e-book and audio book – and two million print copies. Her original 1960 book, To Kill a Mockingbird, still sells more than a million hard copies a year. Clearly, print is not dead. Here are some of the reasons why: Understanding […]

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LinkedIn turns up the noise

Wait for it: 230 million LinkedIn users around the world will soon be piling on the publishing bandwagon. LinkedIn says it is “always looking for new ways for members to contribute professional insights.” That means it is allowing members – as well as the so-called “Influencers” – to publish “long-form posts about their expertise and […]

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