In a recent LinkedIn jobs post, Tangerine, the innovative online banker, was seeking an internal writer/editor so I wondered what the company’s writing might be like (and thought I could help). Here’s what I found: Tangerine definitely needs an editor. For a highly progressive company, more attention needs to be paid to writing basics. #tangerinebank #tangerinemovie #thefloridaproject #humberPR
Original news release headline and lead
Canadians Facing Barriers When it Comes to Investing for First Time (11 words)
Lack of money, risk tolerance, and knowledge preventing Canadians from investing their money
A recent survey* by Tangerine Investments found that over a third of Canadians surveyed (36 per cent) do not have an investment account, and only four per cent of non-investors have ever seriously considered opening one. When asked to select the reasons why they don’t invest, 70 per cent of non-investors said they don’t have enough money, 25 per cent said they’re worried about the risk of losing money, and 20 per cent said they don’t know enough about investing their money, and it’s too complex. (86 words)
Of Is and By edit
First Time Canadian Investors Face Barriers (6 words)
Lack of money, risk tolerance, and knowledge hinder investors
Tangerine Investments’ recent survey found that over a third of Canadians (36 per cent) are without an investment account, and only four per cent seriously consider opening one. Reasons for not investing include scarce funds (70 per cent) and fear of financial loss (25 per cent), while 20 per cent said investing is too complex and they don’t know enough about it. (62 words)
Note the changes from 1 to 2; the meaning is the same but the word count is not.
- A recent survey* by Tangerine Investments
- Tangerine Investments’ recent survey
- Do not have an investment account
- Are without an investment account
- When asked to select reasons why they don’t invest
- Reasons for not investing
- Said they don’t have enough money
- Scarce funds
The company promises were an interesting challenge; clearly, they were well thought out and meaningful but just too many words. Take a look.
- We Dare means challenging the status quo, and innovating on behalf of our Clients – providing them with the best possible experience. (22 words)
- We Dare – challenging the status quo and innovating and providing Clients – with the best possible experience. (18 words)
The – connects the two thoughts and renders the redundant word ‘mean’ unnecessary. ‘On behalf of clients’ becomes ‘providing for clients.
- We Care means we work tirelessly for our Clients and value the needs and uniqueness of all of our colleagues at Tangerine. (22 words)
- We Care means working tirelessly for Clients and valuing our Tangerine colleagues’ needs and uniqueness. (15 words)
‘We work tirelessly’ is better and shorter as ‘working tirelessly.’ ‘Of all of our colleagues at Tangerine has ‘of’ twice, an Of Is and By no-no, and the ‘at’ clause triggers moving Tangerine in front of ‘colleagues.’
Here are a few more 1 and 2 examples.
- We Share reflects the desire to make a difference which is at the heart of our culture. It’s empowering our Clients with the knowledge and tools to take charge of their financial future. (33 words)
- We Share, the heart of our culture, means making a difference, empowering our Clients with the knowledge and tools to direct their financial future. (24 words)
- We Deliver is the power of keeping our Promises. It’s how we redefine our Clients’ banking experiences in ways they never imagined possible (23 words)
- We Deliver, the power of keeping Promises, redefines Clients’ banking experiences in ways never imagined possible. (16 words)
Finally, even the ad itself can be shortened:
- Reporting to the Manager, Writing Services, the Writer & Proofreader is responsible for writing, editing and proofreading marketing materials to ensure they meet the needs of internal stakeholders and adhere to internal guidelines. (33 words)
- Reporting to the Manager, Writing Services, the Writer & Proofreader writes, edits and proofreads marketing materials, ensuring they meet internal stakeholders needs and adhere to internal guidelines. (27 words)
PS: There is an excellent Netflix movie called Tangerine, made with an iPhone: (https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/tangerine_2015 (97% Rotten Tomatoes ranking) from Sean Baker, the direct of the highly regarded Florida Project with Willem Dafoe (https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_florida_project (96% Rotten Tomatoes ranking).