Friday, August 28, 2009

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Case study makeover

Earlier this month I blogged about Matthew Stibbe's article on writing case studies. With all of the great tips Matthew offered, I no longer had any excuse not to cross "rewrite case studies" off of my to-do list. Especially now that frugal blogger Kelly Rigotti is helping me re-do my website with Wordpress.

As promised, I gave it a try. Here is my first case study "makeover". Comments welcome!

Before

Training in Writing for the Web in English plus Editing/Proofreading services (2008)

Client: Xerox Research Centre Europe, Communication Department

Client’s objective:
Learn effective writing habits to improve the variety and quality of corporate intranet content while saving time. Improve articles written for publication on the Web.

Major challenge:
Develop a made-to-measure course addressing the unique needs of the author, a native speaker of German tasked with writing content publicizing the Centre's activities on a global corporate intranet platform.

My value added:
“Sara’s training has been of great value to me. Her excitement about good structure and precise language has been downright infectious. Not only has she helped me to improve my English writing skills, she has also given me confidence in my ability to write in English. With regard to her editing and proofreading services, When I send her draft articles in English they come back not only with the English corrected, but Sara also manages to add enthusiasm to them!”

-- Claudia Heyer, Communication Department, XRCE

After the "makeover"

Xerox Research Centre Europe adds oomph to English intranet content

Communication department seeks strategies to streamline the writing process and add variety

As a member of the XRCE Communication Department, part of Claudia Heyer’s job is to write English-language articles about XRCE for the Xerox global corporate intranet platform, a task made all the more daunting by the fact that Claudia’s native language is German!

XRCE is a Xerox research and development center in Grenoble, France. XRCE researchers create innovative document technologies for the Xerox office and global solutions and services businesses. The center employs about 80 people and is part of the global Xerox Innovation Group.

The solution: a made-to-measure course covering the entire writing process

Claudia asked SFM Traduction to come up with a made-to-measure course to address her unique needs. The two-day course covered the writing process, effective writing for the web, different article types and their structures, developing a persona to target writing to a specific readership, and personalizing pieces with quotes and real-life anecdotes. And, because Claudia writes in her second language, English, the course also offered tailor-made tips and tricks for proofreading and correcting her own work to catch mistakes.

According to Claudia, “Sara’s training has been of great value to me. Her excitement about good structure and precise language has been downright infectious. Not only has she helped me to improve my English writing skills, she has also given me confidence in my ability to write in English.”

Continuous improvement on the job through real-time editing services

Once the two-day training course was completed, SFM continued to support Claudia by editing her pieces prior to publication. This service helped Claudia to meet deadlines while continuing to build on the skills learned during the training—she received all of the corrections for each article as well as a “clean” version of the improved article for publication. She adds, “When I send Sara draft articles in English they come back not only with the English corrected, but Sara also manages to add enthusiasm to them!”

Better?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Post on writing case studies on Bad Language

I've been thinking about case studies lately and how I can use them more effectively to drive sales via my website, which, incidentally, Web Marketing Consultant Kelly Rigotti is currently helping me redo using Wordpress.

The idea that my case studies should be written as articles has been floating around in my mind for months (years!) but I wasn't sure exactly how to go about it (why is it so much harder to write for yourself than it is to write for your customers?).

And then, lo and behold, Matthew Stibbe came to the rescue at Bad Language with this great post on writing case studies last week.

Come back in a month or so to see a case-study makeover!

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