Image of Post-it note“Corporate” writing doesn’t need to be so “corporate.”

Employee communications consultant Steve Crescenzo thinks it gets that way when people write for the approver, not the reader. He advises taking the “corporate” out of corporate comms and replacing it with “creative.” One way to do that is by using analogies.

“Think of an analogy as a gift to your readers that helps explain a complex process or concept with familiar, relatable specifics,” says marketer and writer Ann Handley. (Notice that “as a gift” is itself an analogy.)

Analogies can be similes, showing how two things are alike using “like” or “as” (“light as a feather”). Metaphors do the same without using “like” or “as” (“They were birds of a feather”).

What if you wanted to explain the workings of the brain, for instance? Not many of us are neurologists, but we don’t need to be to understand this:

When our brains detect an emotionally charged event, our amygdala releases dopamine into the system that aids in memory and info processing. “You could say it creates a Post-it note that reads, ‘Remember this,’ [biologist John Medina] says.”

You’ll find more terrific analogies in the February issue of my newsletter, Wordnerdery.


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