I’m Andrew. I get messages out.
Writing copy, creating digital and paper pieces, building sites, working with the press, managing social media, training carrier pigeons…
My thing is the presentation of information: making any topic clear, interesting, and sometimes fun — because that’s how you get people to read it.
Who I am
I’ve got more than 20 years’ experience in communications and marketing: from creating magazines and developing Web sites to writing articles, press releases, and marketing material.
I’ve worked for non-profits, associations, and small corporations; I’ve covered technology, science, insurance and financial services, real estate, pharmacy, history, taxes, and a lot more.
I’ve been a freelancer, a staff member, and a manager of almost a dozen people.
I’m hands-on: Besides the writing and editing, I step in with photography, HTML coding, Photoshop, InDesign, and video editing.
Some of What I believe (about messaging, anyway)
Know your goal. We’re all friends here, so be honest: Is that press release really meant to generate press, or is it just to impress the board? They’ll be created differently. Know what your [real] goal is and you’re a lot more likely to hit it without wasting time. [Read more.]
Use humor smartly. Being fun and colloquial is the simplest, easiest way to get people to pay attention. Don’t go overboard; don’t force it. But when people enjoy your messages they’re more likely to pay attention. [Read more.]
Keep messages clear, simple, and direct. People are busy. Don’t overwhelm them with needless chatter — get to the point and be clear about it. Avoid jargon, avoid legalese, and your words will get through. [Read more.]
Be up front. Admit your mistakes and acknowledge your biases and limitations. You’ll get more respect that way — you’ll have earned it. [Read more.]
Balance the familiar with the surprising. Familiarity in messages is important — that’s branding. But surprises within the messages will stand out … and make readers pay attention. [Read more.]
Don’t worship the experts. Messaging and media is complex and specific. When experts tell you that X works, you need to think: Does it really apply to our situation? [Read more.]
What I can do
Write. Articles, press releases, marketing material, blog posts, research papers….
Develop. Websites, marketing strategies, branding, messaging campaigns….
Create. Magazines, websites, marketing material, posters, flyers, mailings, blogs….
Media. Photoshop. Video editing. InDesign. Audio editing. No, I’m not an expert (see “Be up front,” above), but I’m solid in all of these.
Research. Trends, people, best practices, science, financials, and so on, ad infinitum. I learned as a reporter never to take a press release at face value.