After years of eliminating that from my writing, you would think I would have run out of that by now. But no, it still pops up from time to time.
What’s wrong with that? If you strive for clear and succinct writing, its overuse puts dents in otherwise smooth communication.
Here’s an example of a disposable that:
I realized that I could write better emails.
See? That isn’t grammatically incorrect, but it serves no purpose.
That does have its place. For example:
She finished the report that was due tomorrow.
The next time you write a letter or an email, go on a that search. You may be surprised how many times you rely on it. Delete that if it doesn’t support the meaning of your sentence. Your message will be more authoritative and your readers will appreciate your brevity and conciseness.
As the editor of a magazine for the manufacturing industry that’s read in 82 countries, I receive press releases from around the world. I'm happy to correct a typo or fix a punctuation error, but a press release must have at least two of the following items to get published in our magazine. As freelance writer, I include these must-haves in press releases I write for my clients.
1. An interesting angle
A European manufacturer sent a press release with this hook: The idea for a new rotating machine component is similar in movement to a popular "Octopus" amusement park ride. The marketing coordinator even included a copyright-free image of the amusement park ride. Now that's an interesting angle and I was pleased to publish the well-written article.
2. A real-life application or customer success story
A German machine manufacturer supplied a press release on a new machine and, instead of supplying a long list of specifications on the equipment, the writer explained why the customer chose their product, how the customer uses their machine, and how well the machine is working for them. The press release did list the features and benefits of the equipment, but the customer success story added credibility.
3. High-resolution photographs with captions
A regular contributor to the magazine always provides professionally taken, high-resolution photographs of their products with captions. The publicity company that prepares these materials knows that a photo and caption can sell a concept to our subscribers that only skim an article, or draw the reader into the article.
When I'm preparing a press release for a client, I specify that I need high-resolution images and I will write an explanatory caption for each image. (If the client can't supply an image, I'll schedule a photo shoot with a professional photographer.) As an editor and a publicity coordinator, I won't accept images downloaded from the internet for two reasons:
According to a recent study, more than 53 million Americans are doing freelance work.* That means more and more businesses are realizing the advantages of outsourcing. Here are a few benefits of hiring a freelancer you might not have considered.
We Work Without a net
A freelancer is an independent contractor. She is successful due to her own merits and must have the ability to deliver quality work on time and within budget.
We’re Not You
If you’re seeking new ideas, we will offer innovative concepts and solutions. In addition, we see your current marketing program from a fresh perspective. Even if you want a freelancer with experience in your industry, we see your business the same way your customers see your compan and that can be a revelation.
Use Only When Needed
Do you need only one project? Do you need temporary help while an employee or your ad agency is swamped with other responsibilities? Or are you looking for long-term association? A freelancer is happy to help as little or as much as needed.
* Based on an independent research study, “Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce,” by Edelman Berland and commissioned by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk.