Friday, 31 October 2008

The all new The Right Words: repackaged, refocused and renamed

Here's a short Q&A I did with myself about the changes that are happening in the business.

So what was the business about before and what is it about now?

The Right Words was about user-friendly written communications. Clear, honest communication that expressed the personality, or brand, of the business I was working with.

PrettySmart is about user-friendly online communications.
Same idea but now we specialise in one medium and offer a broader range of services beyond writing and editing.

Besides the words there is much more that goes into creating the experience of being on your website. The typesetting, the visuals, the tone of voice of the design and text, the way users can move around the site and how the information is organised. We help businesses improve this whole experience and as a result create better relationships with the people who are, or will become, their clients.

We offer consultancy and advice at an affordable hourly rate as well as DIY planning and writing tools. If you want someone to handle the whole job of creating the website then we can also collaborate with other technical specialists to do this for you.

Why the change?

Business for me is about finding that point where what people need, and will pay for, meets with your own expertise and vision.

The new business is a response to what I’ve learnt from my clients and about myself.
The issues I’ve found that people need support with include:

Branding and planning: What is their business really about and what’s the singular message they need to communicate to potential customers?

How to: Where do they get started with planning the content for a website? How do they decide what to put in and where to put it? Who do they need to employ to help them – a website designer, graphics designer, copywriter or programmer? Can they do it themselves?

Writing: How do they overcome the daunting feeling that comes with having to write? How should they talk to people online? What information is useful and relevant to the reader?

Getting it done: Whether they do it themselves or outsource the work, how do they find the time to do the work required: the writing, the design briefing, picking the visuals? And how do they keep the focus so that it doesn’t keep drifting on, with 6-9 months gone and still the project is not finished?

I personally get excited about the internet and about communication. I think modern business communication is about building relationships. It’s about being direct, thinking about exactly who you’re trying to talk to and making it easy for that person to relate to your business.
I celebrate the way the internet has changed the way we talk with one another, making us more open, more respectful and more connected.
I’m also a closet geek who actually likes reading techie blogs and attending talks where research scientists explain the problems of 'discovering the grammar of visuals'.

Business-wise, the new company will offer more variation in terms of services. The projects will vary in length, from just a couple of hours to several months, and vary in price and profit margin. These changes will help with planning time and managing cash flow.

And the new name?

Well it took some time, but I’m really pleased with it. Lists and mindmaps of words and ideas bought the thinking around to my interpretation of communication. For me it’s not just about words, it’s about how things look. So suddenly there was the ‘pretty’ and the smart came from thinking about being straight, concise, functional, clever, effective and really making sense to people.

The runner-up prize went to The Golding Communication Factory.