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Writing Fundraising Appeals: Our Top 10 Tips

At The Hired Pens, some of our most rewarding work involves supporting the fundraising efforts of nonprofit organizations we admire — from a few of the country’s top hospitals to small, local agencies with whom we work on a pro bono basis. We’ve written enough fundraising appeals over the years to know what resonates with […]

Write a Kickass Craigslist Ad: Six Tips

Write a Kickass Craigslist Ad: Six Tips Looking to offload an old chair or futon? How about that jogging stroller you’ve never used? Craigslist can be a boon if you know how to use it. As with any ad, when it comes to writing a Craigslist ad, your best bet is to be clear and […]

Color Matters: Why Facebook’s Blues Make You Trust It

Fast Co. has a great post up from Buffer’s Leo Widrich, and it’s all about color. Widrich pulls together different data about how color works (or doesn’t) in marketing. According to the research, our own Hired Pens online color scheme suggests “credibility,” “clean” and “direct” with a little “excitement” thrown in for good measure. Sounds […]

Talk Dirty to Me (As Long As You Get the Grammar Right)

What if grammarians had a trashy magazine? This post made us chuckle when we found it on Facebook — and it got a lot funnier when Anna started adding her own suggestions. Which are your favorites? Can you top them? 1. Words he’s DYING to hear from you. 2. Its vs. It’s: Do you ditch […]

Copy We Wish We’d Written: Anthony Logistics For Men

Because I’m always on the lookout for fun, conversational copy (copy geek), I laughed out loud when I spotted this label from Anthony Logistics for Men. If you can make shaving cream fun to read about, you’re doing something right. I couldn’t help but think of all the money that will go into this weekend’s […]

Holiday Card-Writing Tips from The Hired Scrooges

Dear Friends and Family (and the three other people who read our blog), Thinking about sending a holiday card? Good for you! Here are a few tips to up your game … and avoid embarrassment with those who are too lazy to write their own cards and just sit around critiquing yours (ahem). 1. Don’t […]

Brilliant Anti-marketing: Guy Fieri and The New York Times

Guy Fieri: Still laughing? Gosh, this NYT review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant in TimesSquare has been read, tweeted, emailed and blogged about to the four corners of the earth, so it’s hard to imagine you’ve missed it. Pete Wells writes a harsh, hilarious critique framed as a long series of questions directed at Guy Fieri […]

CVS: We put the needle in “flu shot”

Does this sign make you want to get a flu shot? No? Me neither. Here’s the thing, CVS. Maybe it’s true that your smaller needles make injections less painful. But seeing the word “needles” in your sign just gave me an immediate, vivid picture of something sharp piercing my skin. Not only did I avert […]

He’s Just Not That Into You

Oh, small, earnest neighborhood florist — I can see how hard you’re working to get this right. Here you are in the heart of college country, with scores of students strolling past you every day, never stopping to browse or buy. You know an untapped market when you see one, and you’re even willing to […]

You’re Welcome, President Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton had faced tough questions before, but this time, the stakes were high. Clinton had never listened to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” the NPR news quiz, let alone appeared as a contestant on the show. If he lost, he would let down his party and his country — especially Dave Parks […]