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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I hope you, your family and friends have a lovely day today (whether you celebrate Christmas or not).

Snack for Snata in front of a Christmas tree and presents

A snack left for Santa last night…

I would also like to wish you a happy and successful 2013.

Please note that I will be working reduced hours from now until the 3rd of January so please be patient if I don’t reply to emails or phone messages instantly!

Content and message must match

Whatever your message is, your content must be consistent as well.

One of my favourite writing tasks is helping Santa write letters each Christmas at Love Santa. They are fun, positive letters and I know that each one will bring smiles and extend the Christmas joy.

Of course, sometimes people feel that they get too old for Santa and question their belief in him and the magic of Christmas.

Writing letters to Santa

Like many others, Love Santa has some information available to help people (parents in particular) to encourage people to keep their belief in Santa. The information is written with care to give tips on encouraging belief but also be read by those in doubt without any additional cause to doubt (and yes, this blog post is also being carefully written!)

Others are not so careful. I just read an article with ‘easy ways to keep your child believing in Santa’ that spends the first few paragraphs destroying any beliefs before giving the five tips. Any doubting child reading it would no longer be influenced by those useful tips so the purpose would be lost – and don’t assume kids don’t read articles aimed for parents!

This makes a clear example of how the presentation of information through choice of words, headings and images can support or contradict the intent and content of the writing. Sure it is harder to write so that the entire message is consistent and acceptable for all potential readers, but it will serve the purpose much better and will be appreciated by those looking for the information.

What examples have you seen of a message not supporting itself? Or maybe you have a Santa story to share (although personal stories are best shared at Love Santa’s blog!)?

Using Santa for trustworthy content

Baby in a Santa suit is trustworthy and cuteRight now, Santa and all things Christmas are popular topics and adding these keywords to your content can be useful.

At any time of year, using topical words and common events in your marketing can be valuable. For example, think about a chocolate company that advertises all year but leading up to mid February, they use more romantic concepts to tie in with Valentines Day.

If you don’t sell gifts, however, you may not think Christmas and Santa can help your marketing.

Actually, you may be surprised at how you can use current events to promote your business (and I’ll give some ideas later in the week) but here is an example from Jeff Bullas where he used Santa in a heading and one tip to tie an article on building trust to the Christmas season.

Let’s face it, are there many people more trusted than Santa? Would people trust your business based on your online presence?

If you do try to link your business in with Christmas, Santa or some other major event, it is important to do it in such a way as to build and maintain trust; make your message relevant to the added keywords rather than just adding topical words in a heading or description for purely keyword and SEO purposes.

 

* Image courtesy of Love Santa

Here comes Santa Claus…

As always, I am involved with Love Santa at this time of year – I write letters to Australian children to help out that busiest of men, Santa Claus (Father Christmas or St Nick). I love doing it, and am honoured Santa entrusts this important task to me each Christmas.

You’d think that Santa is famous enough that people could spell his name, but unfortunately I often see it misspelt so it inspired this week’s Monday Meanings!

Claus – Santa’s surname/last night/family name; a first name for boys in some countries
Santa Claus is a very generous man.

Clause – part of a sentence  (including a subject and its verb) or a legal document
According to clause 23.4, all pilots must avoid flying at sleigh height on 24h December.

Claws – sharp nails growing from the fingers or paws of some animals, especially cats.
Santa’s kitten sharpens his claws on the couch.

How to remember these three words? Well, the easy one is relating claws to jaws as both are sharp and potentially dangerous!

Then just take the easier/shorter word for Santa as he is uncomplicated (magical and special, but uncomplicated!)