...Author, Creative Director, Award-Winning Art Director/Designer and Print Communications Specialist, as well as a
Skilled Yacht Craftsman, Experienced Bluewater Skipper, Champion Offshore Racing Sailor, and a Serious Player of the Links.
I once owned a small communications business (DEDG). I had many large clients on the roster over the years who had, what seemed to be, bottomless pockets to pay for my company's creative services. They could be very demanding, but were willing to pay whatever it took to get what they needed. And, we did whatever it took to make sure they were happy. That's how business-to-business relationships work.
However, I also handled smaller, local businesses, some of whom had very limited budgets, or in some cases, none at all. Having been a small business owner myself, I could easily relate to their budget struggles and was sensitive to their restrictions. So I would often give special consideration to those companies. Not by offering lesser quality work, but instead, by accepting more reasonable deadlines. I wanted to help out when I could, but I still had to pay the bills.
There were three important elements to consider on every project we took on for our clients, no matter how large or how small the company, or the project. Quality work, quick turnaround times for that work, and rates better than other firms with similar credentials could offer. As a client, you could choose any two of those three. Whichever two worked best for your needs. Simple as that.
If a small company with a very limited budget for a project, was willing to give us a realistic deadline, I would be more inclined to work with that client, even if their budget was slim. Basically, if they could be flexible, so could we. I would still be compelled to present them with the same level of work as I would a Fortune 500 client, with a large budget. Our own reputation could be negatively affected, otherwise. Besides, we as a creative group, really wanted to do great work, big client or small. Yet big clients, who had more of a tendency to give us unreasonable deadlines---often requiring us to work around the clock, sometimes for days at a time---paid us well to meet their demands.
Funny though, even with their larger budgets, it would not be uncommon for us to do some of our best work for lessor known clients, simply because those smaller guys couldn't afford to be as demanding with their deadlines. You see, creativity, which is basically what my company offered, comes from humans, not computers. It was true then and is still true today. Computers can display a human's creative thinking, show some unique graphics, and can do so at the touch of a few key strokes in the correct succession. However, a human, no matter how creative, must manufacture and develop those concepts in their mind first, before a long series of 0s and 1s strung together in the proper sequence can present it on a computer screen in seconds. And that takes a process which does not always fit well within a set of time parameters.
Unfortunately, in a creative business, quality doesn't just happen because someone wants or needs it fast. Good creative work needs to percolate awhile. Forcing words and designs to meet an unrealistic deadline doesn't do either any good, the client or the creative firm.
My company's reputation depended on the quality of our work. So, offering creative services which was below our expectations, whether it satisfied the client or not, was unacceptable to me. I had a brand image to protect. Yet, no matter how ridiculous the deadline, the work we presented was always of a professional grade. However, when we had more time to think things through, that was typically when we were able to present our best stuff.
The Cost? We'll Work It Out.
Things are different for me now. I write because I choose to do so. For my own satisfaction. And, to earn a few bucks. Not because I carry a huge overhead that must be met each month. The pressure, or lack thereof, is much more tolerable. Things are simpler now.
There are no set fees. I don't charge a specific hourly rate. I work with people I want to work with. People I like. Good people. Nice people. Doesn't matter what company you work for, big or small. We can likely work together one way or another if you're one of those people.
My fee structure, diverse background and creative style are all akin to a Hindu yoga instructor. Yes, I'm very flexible.
Certainly, I would like to be paid reasonably for my creative work and considerable experience in the field of communications. Yet, I'm an easy going guy. So, I'm open to discussion about what reasonable looks like.
So, What Can I Do For You?
Writing—whether it be for advertising, marketing, brand development, corporate relations or editorial genres—is my primary offering. However, I can also add my award-winning creative direction and design talents, should the need arise. I am very experienced and proficient at handling all parts of the creative and printing process, from concept through completion, including overseeing print and production houses.
And let's not forget proofreading. It's one of the most important aspects of any printed piece, and sadly, one which gets overlooked all too often. Unfortunately, basic mistakes can negatively reflect on a brand's image. Proofreading requires a fine eye for details and a general understanding of the rules of punctuation, grammar, spelling, style and consistency, etc., all of which fall squarely within my wheelhouse. I'd be happy to simply handle your proofreading. I don't need to write it to proof it.
I think I mentioned, I'm quite flexible.
From corporate communications, whether it be a simple HR handout or a slick, glossy annual report to make shareholders feel good about the path their corporation is headed; to advertising, marketing, editorial or search-engine-friendly web content, I'm available to lend you a hand, an eye...or a creative slice of my mind.
Surely, there will be certain projects that just don't hit my sweet spot. On the other hand, some will be perfect fits. We won't know until we connect. Let's chat.
Is it plural, or is it possessive? Or a preposition or pronoun? That is the question. If you present written communications for any purpose, whether it be advertising or marketing text, a letter to the editor or your personal Twitter feed, it's a good idea to understand the differences.
The nuances of the English language may be complex at times, but even if you get the sentence structure wrong, your message can still get through. This can be a blessing or a curse. I mean, really, three-year-olds get their points across without worrying too much about sentence structure, so using a possessive pronoun properly to get yours across is only going to make things that much more clear to the reader. And, better is always gooder! Just ask a three-year-old.
In printed communications, particularly for business, but actually for anything where there are written words, proofreading should be an essential part of the process. And these days, unfortunately, it is often, not. Whether you do it yourself, or have someone else peruse it with a keen eye, caring enough to be sure it is correct, matters.
Like it or not, you are judged on the image you present. Mistakes of any kind can reflect negatively on that image. Spelling and simple grammatical errors suggest that no one is paying attention on the presenter's side, or that there may be a lack of commitment. If they don't care, why should the reader?
Some obvious errors may even suggest a lack of education. There, vs. their vs. they're, for instance. Then vs. than. To, too, or two. By, bye, or buy. Yes, our American English language can be a little confusing. However, just like in basic arithmetic, where 2+2=4, there are some simple, basic, writing rules that you learn in elementary school, which absolutely do need to be followed if you expect your audience to take you seriously. It's one thing to incorrectly end your sentence with a preposition, but it's a much bigger writing crime to spell a word wrong or use the incorrect form of a word, as far as your final image judgement is concerned.
So, if you are producing written communications and can't be bothered, or don't have time to sweat the details, consider having someone do so for you.
Oh, and by the way, I think I can help you with that.
It's not its, it's it's.
Or, is it? Huh?
The exciting place where it all happens. Well, at least
my sweetheart pup thinks it's the place to be.