Randy Michaels could have made an excellent blog trainer, but the CEO of the Tribune is far too busy training his news anchors not to use newspeak.
We bloggers for business tend to be preoccupied with words we should be using (those keyword phrases that help our blogs get found by the search engines), but Michaels has come up with a list of words and phrases to avoid. With the idea of delivering news in a down-to-earth, conversational manner, he trains his newsmen and women to pretend they are "speaking knowledgeably to one person". By NOT using what he calls "newspeak", they enhance their reputation as communicators, he teaches.
What a great standard for blog-writing for business, I thought while reading the article. Write copy that reads as if you (or your ghost blogger) were sitting down talking to readers one at a time. (The expression "all of you" is near the top of Michaels’ no-no list; others include "flee", "seek" "aftermath", "alleged", "area residents", "at this point in time", and "behind closed doors").
One question I pose to business owners prior to beginning a corporate blogging project is this: "If you had only 8-10 words to describe why you’re passionate about what you sell, what you know about, and the services you provide to clients, what would those words be?" (If you’re really being passionate, you’re probably using words from Michael’s approved list!)
In Personal Branding with Social Media, Spinweb CEO Michael Reynolds wrote something that really connects with Randy Michael’s rules about using conversational language:
"People want to do business with people they like and trust. All the business branding in the world will not close a sale if the prospect does not like and trust the person with whom he is doing business….Social media allows us to deliver those trust factors," concludes Michael Reynolds.
Next time you’re composing a blog post for your business – shoot for the one-on-one style!