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.

Eight ways to make numbers meaningful

Love them or hate them, numbers are all around us. Whether numbers mean anything to your reader or not often comes down to how well they are explained. I recently ran across Making Data Meaningful (pdf), a guide designed to be “a practical tool to help managers, statisticians and media relations officers bring statistics to […]

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Happy birthday to the World Wide Web

Can you remember life before the web? Probably barely, even if you are old enough. The World Wide Web turned 30 this week, starting “a technological revolution that has transformed the way people buy goods, share ideas, get information and much more,” reports Jamey Keaten for The Associated Press. Thirty years ago, only one of […]

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‘Ecosystem’ may be a ‘thing’ – but it’s a buzzword

A PR colleague is having a hard time convincing me that using “ecosystem” outside the realm of biology and science isn’t jargon. It is. Here’s the usual definition: “A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment” (The Canadian Oxford Dictionary) or “…all the non-living elements and living species in a specific local environment. […]

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Is blogging dead in 2019?

Every year, people wonder: Is blogging dead? I always wonder this myself when my blogging anniversary comes up in January (12 years and 800+ posts!), and do a search to find out the current thinking. This week, about 74 million went to Google to find out, too. The answer is still no. ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse […]

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8 reasons to keep e-newsletters in your comms toolbox

When it comes to the workplace, one form of communication does not fit all. This is especially true now that employees may span five generations, ranging from Traditionalists (born before 1946) to Generation Z (born after 1997). Thousands of internal communicators around the world are already using a range of new and old channels. According […]

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Penguins ‘like an audience’ + more expressive writing

You can’t always (ever?) be wildly creative in corporate writing. But you can choose words and phrases that are interesting and colourful to help your readers “see” what you mean. If you want to explain something, make a point or reflect or spark emotion, reach for expressive language that shows rather than tells. Here are […]

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For readability, choose words that communicate

Why say “the earthy scent released when rain hits dry earth” when you could go with “petrichor”? That’s what Merriam-Webster tweeted recently. I love words almost as much as Merriam-Webster, but I would pick the full description. One, it’s wonderfully evocative. You can almost smell that earthy scent, and feel the drops of rain splashing […]

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‘Passive House’ design offers new ways to create affordable housing

At one time, building as many homes or units as possible, as cheaply as possible, seemed to be the way to create affordable housing. Yet as with most things, you get what you pay for. History has shown that it’s better to look at costs over a building’s life cycle rather than just the cost […]

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8 ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions on track

“It’s only mid-January, but chances are pretty good that all those lofty resolutions you made before the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31 have fallen by the wayside,” says executive coach Harrison Monarth in an article for Entrepreneur. What happens? We have good intentions, but the reality isn’t fun. We don’t see results soon enough. We […]

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‘A leap of faith to a dream job’ marks 28 years

I’m celebrating 28 years in business this month – wow! Check out “A leap of faith to a dream job (with a great boss)” for a look at the best things about running my own business, and tips and resources if by chance you’re thinking about taking your own leap. Fireworks photo by Jingda Chen […]

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