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The Hired Pens Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

Twenty years ago today, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved our application for incorporation, marking the official birth of The Hired Pens. We know milestones like this don’t mean much to anyone outside of the business. Fair enough. However, we do want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has enabled us to stick around […]

Storytelling: Sparking Imagination in Your Business Writing

Thank you to Hired Pen Manya Chylinski for sharing this post. Take it away, Manya …  Storytelling is one of the big buzzwords in content marketing and thought leadership these days. For good reason. Rather than just stating facts or advertising your product or service, why not use words and images to simplify concepts, evoke […]

Confessions of a Newbie Podcaster

Question: What do you call two middle-aged white guys talking? Answer: A podcast. About a year ago, I decided that if there’s one thing the world is lacking, it’s middle-aged white guys hosting podcasts. So I decided to get in on the action — and the fame and fortune that inevitably would follow. Choosing a […]

Our Favorite Commercials From Super Bowl LIII

Unless you’re a New England Patriots fan like me, Super Bowl LIII wasn’t much fun to watch. Fortunately, we still had the commercials. Here are the ones we liked the most at The Hired Pens. (And by the way, Thrillist ranked their top 51 commercials — you can see them all here.) Pringles: Sad Device […]

‘Keep Calm and Carry On’: A Good Slogan Gone Bad

“Keep Calm and Carry On” reads an iconic motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939. The intention was to steady the nerves of an anxious public being thrust into war with Germany. Now, despite my mistrust of Instagram as a valid form of communication, I wasn’t around for World War II. But I […]

Pet Peeve: The Forbes.com Interstitial

Kvetching about the petty annoyances of modern life is a tradition at The Hired Pens. With that in mind, let’s shine the spotlight on the website of the global media brand Forbes. Suppose you’re starting a business and need to write a business plan. You Google “how to write a business plan” and review the […]

Someone Profiles The Hired Pens for a Change

True story: A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Anna that given all the interviews we conduct for work, it would be nice if someone interviewed us. The next day, someone emailed me about being profiled for Boston Voyager Magazine. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t yet familiar with Boston Voyager. But this was an opportunity […]

A Belated Postmortem on the Super Bowl LII Commercials

Doing an annual roundup of the Super Bowl commercials is practically a job requirement in our line of work. But after my beloved Patriots lost to the Eagles, I didn’t want to relive anything about the game. Besides, the consensus in many quarters was that this year’s spots were disappointing or derivative. Why add to […]

Case Study: Writing Website Copy for Newfire Partners

Outsourced software development gets a bad rap in many circles, and justifiably so. A big part of the problem is those firms that underpay their talent and don’t care enough about the quality of the code they crank out. Stephen S. Hau, a long-time technology executive and entrepreneur, believes there’s a better way to do […]