Advice

Grammar Matters: Plural Possessive

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It amazes us every time we find advertising with simple grammar errors. It usually triggers a saying we’re fond of around the agency, “Grammar is not an opinion.” Today’s Grammar Matters blog focuses on plural possessive.

ISSUE: Where to put the apostrophe?

We often see an apostrophe misplaced when something is “plural possessive,” meaning when a noun is more than one (plural) and “owns” something (possessive). When it is plural possessive, the apostrophe belongs after the “s.” For example, the “boys’ toys” means the toys belong to more than one boy. (If the toys belonged to only one boy, the apostrophe would be placed before the “s” – the “boy’s toys.”)

EXAMPLES: the bartenders’ tips (more than one bartender who “own” the tips), the dogs’ bowl (more than one dog sharing one bowl), a teachers’ conference (multiple teachers – probably discussing proper grammar)

EXCEPTION: If the plural noun does not end in “s,” then the possessive is indicated with an apostrophe and an “s.” For example, “Where is the women’s room?”

QUICK TIP: Ask yourself 2 questions: 1) “Are there more than one of these?” and 2) “Do they own something?” If the answer is yes to both questions, it’s plural possessive; and the apostrophe belongs after the “s.”

We hope this agency’s tip relieves clients’ concerns about reviewing their marketing agencies’ copy. #showlovetotheapostrophe

Marketing Yourself Part 2

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The second and final part of our “Marketing Yourself” post explores this idea a little more and shares 3 more tips to help you from the perspective of the hiring manager.

One major bit of advice that always works is thinking about what the company’s Movie in the Mind could be for this position. Once you have an idea of what the hiring manager might be expecting from a candidate, you can tailor your skills, experience and stories to the movie that is playing in his/her mind. Try to position yourself as the star of the movie, and there’s a higher chance you will rise as one of the top candidates for the job.

Last week we wrote about the first 3 key elements that can help you with your job search. We are back with 3 more that sound like common sense but that candidates somehow still get wrong. We hope that after reading this, you will feel more prepared to apply for your dream internship or job! We hope to hear from you.

 

4. Read the company blog

We’ve said this before; we’ll probably say it a few hundred more times in our lives. Some of the best insight into the culture and values of a company is to really dig into their blog and social media postings. From there, it’s up to you to incorporate what you learn into the application and interview process. For example, we’ve written about volunteering. If you are someone who volunteers his or her time, it’s something we would want to know about. It would be an indication that you might be a good culture fit with us. You won’t get hired just from that, but every interaction either builds or erodes the brand of You. Look for information that lets you shine.

 

5. Show up on time

Your first interaction with a company will dictate how we believe all of the following ones will be if we decide to hire you. Hopefully, everyone knows not to be late to an interview so don’t cut it close. Hiring managers really don’t care if the 6 train had delays – and he or she might not even believe you. One thing you might not think about is that showing up on time also means not showing up too early. The interviewer likely has a busy schedule that is fairly tightly planned. Showing up 30 minutes early means they now need to figure out what to do with you until the scheduled meeting time. Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early to allow time for security to check your ID, get upstairs and take off your coat. If you arrive earlier than that, hang out in a nearby Starbucks. We are sure there’s one.

 

6. Thank you

Some candidates still don’t send a thank you, even after so much has been written about doing so. In our experience, skipping the thank-you note won’t keep the best candidate from getting the offer, nor will sending one magically put a candidate who’s not a fit into the running. But it’s good old-fashioned common courtesy, and the team here at BrandTuitive always appreciates getting one.

Marketing Yourself - Part 1

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It’s that time of year when college students start getting more aggressive about applying for internships and first-job-out-of-college jobs. As branding experts, we see everything in life through the lens of branding and marketing – including when you’re marketing yourself.

Some of the candidates we see do a very good job of applying best marketing tactics to their job search. Many who approach us, however, still miss the mark (like referring to us by another agency’s name!) Yup, that still happens. We thought we’d compile some of the misses we often see to help job seekers keep themselves in the running in their search.

We put together 6 of the key elements that can make a difference in standing out from the competition by simply applying tried- and true- best marketing practices to your efforts. Read the first 3 today and come back next week for the other half!

 

1. Finish your LinkedIn profile already! :)

Our observations are that many millennials find LinkedIn boring and tedious, especially compared to other social media. But it is often the first place hiring managers look to find out more about you and start to understand what your personal brand is, so block out some time and finish it up. An added bonus is that complete profiles are more likely to get unsolicited interest. What could make the job search easier than having companies come to you? It’s like SEO for your job search. One more thing…add a photo that shows your more professional side. LinkedIn is not the place to flaunt your fun-party side (that’s what Facebook and Snapchat are for.)

 

2. Guard your social media

Speaking of Facebook, please take a moment to block non-friends from seeing your pics. We are sure that college was a lot of fun, and there is probably lots of evidence of that in the form of photos. But you probably don’t want prospective employers to think there’s a risk you won’t make it into work on time, because you’re so much fun at a bar. We mention it, because we see it! Even if you think you know your privacy settings, double check. Or better yet, triple check.

 

3. PDF your resume

Yup, we still get a bunch of resumes as a Word document. We have nothing against Microsoft products. But often they don’t render the way the writer intended, and it’s super distracting. Even worse, your prospective employer might accidentally modify your Word document and never even notice. Further, it indicates a lack of attention to detail. Most of what we send to clients is in PDF form, so it renders the way we intend. We want to hire people who don’t forget that step.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2!

 

Delicious is Lazy

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A well-respected advertising agency Creative Director used to say, “Delicious is lazy” when reviewing ad copy.

What did he mean?

“Delicious” itself is not a bad word. What he meant is that if you’re writing copy about food, “delicious” is too easy of a choice and really doesn’t mean anything specific…there is always a better, more descriptive word to describe the taste experience. If you want to write copy that captures attention and creates a mental image that makes it irresistible for someone to run out and purchase your client’s product, then push yourself to find a more interesting, more apt word.

Much copy is overlooked because readers are tired of reading the same thing over and over. Half the time they know what the ad reads, even without reading it. That’s when “delicious is lazy.”

Of course, there is a “delicious” equivalent in every industry. Words that are easy or “lazy.” The actual word “delicious” doesn’t apply to a B2B software or luxury jewelry designer client. In those industries their “delicious” might be “world class” or “beautiful.”

At BrandTuitive we use the phrase “delicious is lazy” as a mantra when we’re writing copy for our brand clients. It ensures we push to create copy that is as compelling as it can be and that sparks the end users’ Movie in the Mind℠.

Browse our Portfolio pages for some examples of pushing ourselves to go beyond “delicious.” In particular, we love the copy in the Infolectual direct mail piece we created for The Economist magazine and the “Designed for Perfection” national newspaper advertising we did for Nespresso during their 25% off promotion.

Maybe the next time you want to describe something as “delicious,” you’ll challenge yourself to find a more interesting option. :)