Why Virginia Woolf was wrong about words

Virginia Woolf once said that “when words are pinned down they fold their wings and die”. While reluctant to argue with one of the greatest writers of all time, I believe there are occasions when you need to do exactly that: pin words down. Clip their wings. Keep them under control. If you’re establishing a new brand or refreshing your […]

How to communicate with confidence: Top tips from Guardian journalists

‘How to present a strong argument with confidence’. That’s what the advert said I’d learn at this Guardian newspaper masterclass, from some of their leading journalists. What I also discovered from listening to these self-assured writers was that they have a lot to teach charity communicators about getting your charity’s messages across. Here are a few tips I picked up […]

Charity communications lessons from ‘Question Time’

“If you remember one thing, make it this,” said left-wing political commentator Owen Jones to conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith on ‘Question Time’ last Thursday. “Brian McArdle, 57-years-old, paralysed down one side, blind in one eye, he couldn’t speak. Brian died one day after being found fit for work.” That’s how Jones tackled a question on benefits. When debating the […]

Five tips for briefing your charity copywriter

Good copywriters spend a lot of time talking. Sharing thoughts and ideas, making bad grammar jokes and, most importantly, asking their clients lots of challenging questions. So if you brief a writer and are met with silence, beware. It’s their responsibility to make sure they fully understand the intricacies of your project and the subtleties of your tone of voice. […]