October 18, 2018

Tina and I have the same answer.

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:34 am

In her hit song, What’s Love Got To Do With It? Tina Turner tunefully deals with that burning question.

My particular focus is on answering a similar – yet quite different – question: What do words have to do with it?

These questions may seem unrelated, but they share the same answer, which is . . . everything!

Though visuals have immense power, their impact is greatly heightened when they are complemented by well-chosen words. Of course, even in the absence of visuals, there is great power in words. The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution come to mind.

In the realm of business, it has been proven that marketing messages, when expertly worded, can be a powerful force. One that can be taken to the bank.

I would like to be your wordsmith so I can prove it to you.

Kind of like a poor man’s John Hancock.


September 17, 2018

The Power of Words

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 10:12 am
Harness the power of words

Almost nothing has more influence on our lives than words.

From the earliest messages on stone tablets, to the U.S. Constitution, written words have mattered.  Whether it was that important letter to or from someone, or the advertisements that attracted us to most everything we own or do, words play an important role in our daily lives.

By themselves, words are merely disjointed pieces in a puzzle. But when they are strategically chosen and arranged to form thoughts and ideas, their power comes into sharp focus. Crafted with expertise, they can literally move mountains.

My focus is on putting words together strategically.  Though they may not physically move mountains, over the years they have helped to influence people. People like those you want to influence. My specialty is  using words to sell products, services and ideas.

The tools I use in writing and editing include:

  • Listening
  • Vocabulary
  • Clarity
  • Common sense
  • Strategic thinking
  • Experience
  • Uncompromising effort
  • Self-preservation*

I’m asking you for the opportunity to apply my writing and editing skills to help you reach your goals.  Given the chance, I’m confident I can demonstrate just why people continually turn to me for their wordsmithing.

* I depend heavily on repeat business. If I don’t get results, repeat business ain’t – er, is not – going to happen!


August 31, 2018

Taglines matter

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:38 pm

Taglines are a simple way to identify your brand 

The purpose of a tagline is to associate one key thought with a brand in the minds of key consumers. Most, but not all, take the form of a promise.  Some notable examples:

  • Disney – The happiest place on earth.
  • Avis – We try harder.
  • Nike – Just do it.
  • Capital One – What’s in your wallet?
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken – Finger Lickin’ Good.
  • Budweiser – The king of beers.

Hopefully, on a regular basis, you are sending out a lot of substantive information on what your brand has to offer your various audiences. It’s necessary that such messages go into some depth, are frequent, and differ somewhat each time they are sent out. But it is the job of the tagline to plant one key, leave-behind thought in the target audience’s mind . . . over and over again. It reminds people what you think is most important about your offers.

Does your business have one? If not, I would heartily recommend you adopt and use one.

We have a tagline. Our mission since 1976 has been to stand behind the suggestion it makes.  By the way, that’s it . . . right above my name on the signature line below.

Let’s take it to the next level!


August 14, 2018

Close only counts in horseshoes.

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:31 pm


The above saying has always been a favorite of mine. As a kid, it was the taunt our, or the other, team used after a close victory.

I had no idea this saying would one day play into my current occupation as a copy editor.

Indeed, written words that “almost” fit a thought perfectly – especially a selling point – can spell the difference between a marketing hit, or miss.

More often than not, some of the original copy clients send for review can be merely a tad off point But that’s neither good enough for them, nor me.

Unlike casual, backyard horseshoe games, there often is a lot at stake (pardon the pun) in marketing communication.

And the difference between a “leaner” and a “ringer” can be the sweet sound made by a cash register.


August 13, 2018

What a copy editor does

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 3:49 pm


We’re not just needed to correct blatant errors.

But also the subtle flaws that can distract your audience and cloud your meaning.

Good editors love language, and revise content to ensure clarity and accuracy.

We turn a rough draft with spelling, grammar, language or style errors into a piece ready to fulfill its mission.

Copy editors deal with things like:

  • Clarity
  • Tone
  • Consistency
  • Grammar
  • Punctuation
  • Transitions
  • Structure



Of proverbs and boats . . .

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:17 am

Old proverb:  He who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer.

New proverb: He who edits himself should have an expert for an editor.

OK, I made that last one up, but it’s true. Even the best writers take advantage of expert editing.  When you present an idea, product or service, having the power of qualified, independent review on your side can make the critical difference.

How words are chosen and arranged can spell the difference between smooth sailing and missing the boat. But, I don’t want to be your navigator, just your wordsmith.

One who’s helpful when you need your important messages to hold water.

Details: astarr@markpart.com       www.markpart.com


I’m asking for a job

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 9:10 am

A local real estate pitchman has spent millions on TV saying he’s “just asking for a job.” I trust it’s been effective, or he wouldn’t keep saying it.

He didn’t invent that line, of course. Asking for the order is a baseline tenant of salesmanship . . . and one you and I probably should use more often. Right?

As evidence I believe that, I’m going to use it right here:

Hire me for strategic writing and editing services that can convert unengaged prospects into raging enthusiasts (or, at least, devoted clients).

Remember – before you can convert them, you must alert them . . . by using fresh, effective verbiage on the reasons why hiring you matters. As a wordsmith, that’s my specialty. I use words wisely to get results.

But, “I’m not bragging. I’m just asking for a job.”

Details: astarr@markpart.com       www.markpart.com


June 9, 2018

The handwriting is on the wall

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 8:01 am

 The handwriting is on the wall

. . . and its meaning is clear.

Exceptionally-well-written messages to those you want to influence can be a game changer.

But strategic, impressive writing doesn’t just happen.

It’s the product of expertise developed through years of success-proven experience.

Contact Allan Starr, the wordsmith, to discover the difference highly-effective writing can make.


June 3, 2018

Read any good walls lately?

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 4:42 pm


The handwriting is on the wall

. . . and its meaning is clear.

Exceptionally-well-written messages to those you want to influence can be a game changer.

But strategic, impressive writing doesn’t just happen.

It’s the product of expertise developed through years of success-proven experience.

Contact Allan Starr, the wordsmith, to discover the difference highly-effective writing can make.



May 30, 2018

Savvy entrepreneurs make networks pay off

Filed under: Marketing Quick-Tip — admin @ 1:32 pm

Mastering the art of networking nourishes small businesses in several ways.

 For those who are adept at “huddling” in groups with others of their ilk, the disadvantages of isolation are reversed. It allows them to gain market overview, exchange referrals, and stimulate intra-network – as well as “outside” – sales. Such benefits can be gained through memberships offered by an assortment of networking organizations.

 Choices, choices, choices!

 The benefits of schmoozing seem to come instinctively to emerging-business chiefs, but the devil is in the details when it comes to finding a good place to “hook up.”   Growing demand has led to an abundance of networking options. Prevalent among these are chambers of commerce, small-business associations and leads clubs. In most of the latter, many of which are labeled “executive associations,” membership is limited to one member per business type.

 The search for a landing place  

 Locating the right place to “set down,” a fundamental for pilots, is similarly essential for the prospective networker. The first thing that must be understood is that finding a good fit deserves – and requires – maximum effort.  

 The most common errors in the selection process are:

 Impatience that hinders careful due diligence

  • Yielding to pressure from current network members
  • Failure to recognize the critical importance of the decision

 Do your research

 With today’s efficient search tools, there’s no reason to employ the “throw-a-dart” mode.

Best practices:

  • Make in-person visits to groups being considered, and judiciously absorb what you see and hear.

 “Sniff-out” the members. Do they share your objectives, or are most just “hail fellows well met”? Though finding some new buddies to hang with may be a somewhat justifiable pursuit, it’s not your current mission.

 Determine if the membership consists of a high ratio of decision makers (those influencers to whom you ultimately will want to devote most of your effort).

 Be “sectionally selective.” If in a large city, it may be advantageous to settle for a group close to your primary marketing area.

  • Asking to see a set of bylaws, a charter, or a mission statement is a step too far. What you observe firsthand is the best indicator of what to expect.

 Make your decision

 Don’t be so analytical you can’t “pull the trigger” (ref: Buck Fever). If at some future point you feel you’ve made the wrong choice, you can exit by the same door through which you entered the group. Then, promptly join what had been your second choice.

 Don’t spread yourself too thin.

 Diluting your new allegiance(s) will only create a weak concoction. One (or two at the most) networks should be adequate. Remember, your responsibilities will include time and effort spent servicing – or at least oversite of – new accounts you win.

 Networking is a give-and-take proposition.

 Support other networkers. Don’t be merely a taker. Your fellow members can see through someone who views networking as a one-way street. Being a good member means being as loyal as possible within your group when making purchases and recommendations. Of course, you should expect to receive similar consideration.

 “Working” your network means participating at a high level.

 Be visible and active.

 Be a good attender of regular meetings, and attend/participate in special events. Enthusiastically accept committee appointments, and having done so, “dive in” with both feet! Such deeper involvements provide great opportunities to get better acquainted with the most active members. And MIX! – don’t spend all your time at meetings or events with the same “chums.”

 Get beneath the surface.

 Study others’ websites, and make visits to see your fellow members’ work environments. Learn what they have to offer. Toward the conclusion of your visit, it’s OK to briefly discuss your business. But save your real pitch for when your fellow members accept your invitation to visit you.

 Invite info exchanges

 Encourage mutual exchanges of materials, e.g. newsletters, flyers, etc.

 Not everyone can be your customer 

 Not all of those you engage will be able to use your products/services, but all have the ability to make referrals. In fact, it’s reasonable to expect that referrals are where most of your network-related “action” will come from.

 Honor long-term business relationships

 Remaining loyal to pre-existing business relationships, while observing and patronizing new alliances, calls for a delicate balance. However, all networkers will likely understand – and have in common with you – the sometimes-difficult choices that can result. It’s fine to stand by your time-honored business relationships. That said, however, do not “broadcast” or flaunt such standing connections at every turn when operating within the group. This is where a bit of discretion will go a long way.

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