A Monthly Meditation on Branding and Language
From Your Favorite Copy Shop, Editorial Emergency

#58 (April 2012): Bio-a-Go-Go

In this issue we throw some glitter on your bio; praise the playful copywriters of Groupon; and view a Not Our Clients gas leak that'll make your head swim.

But first, a word of acknowledgement for devoted reader Lorraine Gordon, who responded to last issue's article on the distinction between infer and imply (and how to remember which is which) with a clever mnemonic suggestion: "Infer + gather; both have 'er' sounds at the end." Thanks, Lorraine, and thanks also to everyone who chimed in about thesauruses on our Twitter feed. We do love to hear from you.

Why You Need a Rock-Star Bio

ImageDoes your bio tell a story? Is the main character someone you'd like to know more about? Does the plot keep you interested?

Most executive bios are lifeless litanies of career landmarks (positions attained, awards received, articles published). They fulfill the basic requirement of cataloguing what the subject has done and won. But the only thing they inspire is drowsiness. If, on the other hand, your bio spins a compelling narrative, it can have a powerful impact, earning you media coverage, speaking engagements and job interviews, among other avenues of advancement.

We learned how to write bios from master image-makers. They spun the mystiques (and sponged up the messes) of giants like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Guns N' Roses and Nirvana. The facts of these rock stars' lives and work were fully arrayed, of course, but always as part of an account that read more like a smartly written magazine feature than an instance of flackery.

Read the rest here.

Copy We Like: Groupon's Gift of Gab

ImageMy sister's boyfriend has averred repeatedly that Groupon is an unsustainable business model — according to USA Today (April 2), "Groupon raised $805 million last November in its IPO" but "has yet to post a profit" — and that I should make hay while the sun shines. And I do. For the bargains, for uncovering items (glass water bottles), places (the Wildlife Learning Center) and excursions (water-powered jetpacking) that would never have occurred to me otherwise, and for the copy.

Read the rest here.


Not Our Clients: Driving on Fumes Edition

Assembling newsroom graphics on tight deadlines is in all likelihood a thankless gig. Even so, it's probably a good idea to step back and check your work now and again lest you impugn the very literacy of the media outlet that signs your paycheck.

Someone at our CBS affiliate has been huffing gas.
(Thanks to Jason Chesney for fueling our efforts.)

Spotted any gaseous gaffes on life's highway? Don't just blame the "Repubublicans." Instead, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it If we add one to the forlorn filling station known as Not Our Clients, we'll send you an Amazon.com gift card, redeemable toward the purchase of a refillable gas can, the kids' book What's So Bad About Gasoline? or a John Deere die-cast mini gas pump.


Editorial Emergency puts words in your mouth.
Assuming you're a marketer, creative, lifestyler, publicist, artist and/or do-gooder
who wants to connect and persuade.
We've worked for these kinds of clients on this kind of stuff.

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