In praise of recycling

I keep a folder called “Templates” on my desktop. Whenever I write a proposal, create a spreadsheet, or send a query letter that contains language I may want to use again, I save a copy into it.

Some of the pieces are dated. But over the years, this practice has saved me countless hours of writing time.

What are your best time-saving tips?

Quote me on this

Direct quotes can create an instant, personal connection between your company and its target audience. But a corporate-speak sound bite will have the opposite effect. Compare the following quotes, both on the subject of pro bono:

“It gives me pleasure to report that 85 percent of the firm’s attorneys engage in work on a pro bono basis, primarily with  distressed populations in the metropolitan area.”

“I’m proud to say that nearly all our lawyers volunteer in the community.”

Which makes you feel more positive about the firm? How can you reduce the jargon in your company’s direct quotes?

Non-entities

As anyone who works at a law firm knows, employees who do not practice law are known as “non-lawyers” or “non-legal staff.” I can’t think of another industry that insults its support staff quite so thoroughly. Imagine if nurses and medical technicians were called “non-doctors?” Try referring to flight attendants as “non-pilots” or bank tellers as “non-bankers” and see how they respond.

Can you think of other unacceptable “terms of employment?”