When it comes to writing style I don’t consider myself a “traditionalist”. Two things that I insist on when writing is spelling and punctuation. Both of these things have improved by using two apps on a regular basis: Hemingway and Grammarly.
If you’re writing a script for a commercial, a TV promo, an ebook, blog post or any form of online social media, these two tools will make sure you stay on track.
Grammarly – is more than a spell checker. It checks your grammar, spelling and plagiarism (premium version only)! You read that right. According to their website, “Grammarly’s plagiarism checker crosschecks your text against over 8 billion web pages, detecting plagiarized passages and highlighting sections that have been previously published elsewhere”. Another plagiarism checker is Unplag. Learn about their free plagiarism checker here.
The web browser plugin checks that comments or posts are grammatically correct.
Grammarly is available for free as a plugin on Chrome, Safari and Firefox.
Hemingway – is a web tool where you simply cut and paste your document and get instant feedback. Sentence structure and phrasing, even passive voice alerts are included.
My personal preference is running my text through Grammarly and then taking it to Hemingway for final touches.
Try them and let me know what you think!
BONUS: If you’re writing a timed text for a commercial or explainer video try the David Tyler Script Timer by clicking here.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in as you grow, eventually you will face the challenge of hiring an advertising agency.
Now, for clarity when I say “advertising agency” I’m also talking about any kind of creative agencies that offer creative marketing services like PR firms or even commercial or video production houses.
Creative People Are Strange People
In the 25+ years I’ve worked as a voice over artist I’ve had the privilege of working with some seriously innovative, imaginative and sometimes strange creative people who were a real inspiration to me. I understand how sometimes these “creative types” can inspire apprehension more often than confidence. But trust me when I say they’re harmless and when you decide on the team to help you get your brand message out there, they will amaze you!
How ‘Spec’ Work Can Help
Spec (speculative) work has become the default decision aide in the quest for an advertising agency to help create and spread your message…while the ethics of doing work for free amongst creative companies has come under question…it will help you see what a prospective advertising agency can do for you and more importantly HOW they do it…how they work together as a team.
Choosing Is About Feeling
Unlike in episodes of Mad Men, or Robin Williams short lived TV series “The Crazy Ones” it’s not always the most creative idea that will win your contract, it’s more about the feeling you get from the team chemistry and how they work together to come up with ideas.
Choose the advertising agency who you see has the ability to produce amazing ideas as a team.
It’s All About (Losing) Control
The Dudley Moore film Crazy People (1990) showed that best…the crazier they were the better they were at generating ideas like “boxy but they’re good” for Volvo [video].
So don’t be afraid at what may look like an uncontrollable bunch. Truthfully, if you can control them, telling them what to do, they probably aren’t very good…or that creative.
How To Know For Sure
If they can understand your brand message and communicate it to your audience in a way that generates sales, you’ve found your advertising agency!
Meet with a shortlist of agencies, see what they can do for you and then pick the one who can do what they do, best!
Let me know how your search goes, I’d love to hear back from you and who you chose.