The Hungry Games – will the recipe stay or go?

One of my 2015 goals for Cristina Benson Communications is to provide marketing support to a food client. Partly because many independent restaurants and bakeries here in London are working hard to provide great food and I’d like to help them grow. But also because I love both the science and the art of food. I enjoy serving satisfying meals to my family and learning why a recipe did or didn’t work. So I’d like to combine my enjoyment of food with my copywriting day job.

I have a potential challenge in that I haven’t done much food writing outside of taking Guardian Masterclasses with Jay Rayner and Felicity Cloake. So, here, as part of this blog, I’m going to develop some experience writing about food.

It wasn’t hard to come up with a structure for The Hungry Games. Over the years, I’ve clipped, snipped and ripped so many recipes and shoved them in cookbooks in the hopes that someday I would try them.  Well, someday is here. I’m going to try all of these loose recipes and decide which ones can stay in my kitchen and which must go to the recycling bin. This isn’t District 12 so no one will go hungry. But all of my ragged recipes will compete as tributes so see which ones survive.

And at least my cookbooks will be a lot tidier in the end. Happy Hungry Games! And may the odds be ever in the best recipe’s favor . . .

pile of recipes

It’s what you say AND how you say it

The saying goes ‘It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.’ But I think we can do better. In business communication, I believe that both aspects matter:  what you say and how you say it.

What good would it do to write persuasive copy for a brochure about your product or service, then send the piece out with shoddy graphic design? What impact would an internal email about extra holiday time have on employees if it was written with convoluted phrases and jargon?

Unless we get both content and delivery right, we are unlikely to have the intended effect on our audiences. Focusing on only one half of the process is like leaving the job only half done. Smart businesses communicate powerful messages through effective messengers. For example, business leaders carefully choose every word of their speeches, and then deliver them with confidence and influence. The best websites offer compelling stories with appealing visuals.

Review your marketing content to ensure the explanation of what you offer is clear and persuasive. Limit your messages to hold the attention of your readers and motivate them to take action. Are you using language that resonates with your specific targets? Can your potential customers recognize themselves as people who need your services?

Take a look at how you are presenting your marketing messages. Your company’s visual impression should be consistent across all of your material, online and offline. Do the design and functionality of your website demonstrate the values and personality of your company? Does your employee newsletter invite interaction and feedback through creative composition?

We all have room to improve both what we say and how we say it. I listed some great local graphic designers in an earlier post ‘Designers to make your website POP’ and do let me know if I can help with copywriting.  Just remember to put forward your best message and your best messenger.

Happy new year 2015