We will all soon be focused on family, friends, holiday celebrations and looking toward the New Year.

For KCOMM, 2012 is shaping up to be a banner year. But we would first like to express our sincere gratitude to the valued clients who made 2011 one of our most exciting years to date. They represent an amazing breadth of organizations. Their confidence and loyalty have made all the hard work and extra hours more than worthwhile. In addition, the relationships we build with everyone from the media and professional service providers to elected officials and other leaders bring wonderful added dimensions to our world.

We look forward to achieving great things together in 2012.

Happy holidays!


Sinan Kanatsiz
Chairman / CEO
Keeping the Website innovative and Up-to-Date

KCOMM has redesigned three new websites for Dr. Carr, Simeio Solutions and DirectAXS to be a vital communications tool delivering standards, vision and market awareness. The enhanced websites offer a fresh new look that provides consumers with significant improvements in navigation, accessibility and content along with daily industry news.

We invite you to visit these new websites:

Dr. Carr
Simeio Solutions
Facebook Timeline Now Available to Everyone
By TechCrunch

You've been anxiously waiting for it, and now it has finally arrived. Facebook Timeline, which MG likened to 'the story of your life on a single page' when it was first announced back in September at the F8 event, that is.

We told you how to get it early (and millions of you did) and what it looked like, but most of you earthlings - not living in New Zealand - had to wait patiently until the glorious day Facebook decided to flick that on/off switch.

Wait, are you still here? Go click that "Get It Now" button and revisit your life (or at least the parts of it you or others shared on Facebook). You'll have seven days to review everything that appears on your Timeline before anyone else can see it, and you can choose to see how it appears to a specific friend or the public.

As a commenter on this post put it: "Today will be the most unproductive day in America this year." And, of course, the rest of the world and stuff. Meanwhile, Facebook is countersuing Timelines.com, which first sued the social networking colossus over trademark infringement. To be continued.
The Importance of the Written Word

With all of the LOLing and OMGing and RUing and frowny facing going on in the world, it may sometimes seem like the glory and depth of communicating complex ideas by the written word is in peril.

It is quite true that the Internet has changed how we communicate with one another; personally, I still worry that sending a person a text (save for simple items as directions, meeting time changes, etc.) can come across as almost imperially dismissive - "Here is my thought but I don't have the time or energy to actually talk to you about it so I'm just going to stuff it in your head and go on my merry way."

Conversely, though, the shortcutting and simplifying of cyber communication has in part transformed being able to express oneself properly in the more traditional writing forms from a basic skill into a highly sought after talent in the business world.

To that end, we offer a few tips and ideas that will help business professionals write good (or well - I know it's one of those - LOL):

There are a number of different types of writing that call for different tenses, uses and constructs. They include:
  • Simple Expository - Used when one wishes to convey basic facts that can be understood by the largest audience; think newspaper story. Note how the sentences are crisp and clean, do not contain too many acronyms, do not assume the reader has a great deal of background on the subject, and do not use too many large and/or obscure words. This style works best in short forms and for product "one-sheets," public announcements, etc.
  • Complex Expository - This is technical writing, which is similarly clear but only to those with the proper background to understand the underlying concepts and ideas without having to resort to Wikipedia and calling one of the IT folks for an explanation.
  • Oratory - At once both the simplest and most complex form, good speechwriting is underpinned by two main elements - knowing how to fit the words into the way the person giving the speech naturally talks, from cadence to vocabulary, and putting facts and figures in short sentences with concepts and ideas in longer sentences. (Note - having any sentence go on for more than four lines is to be avoided; the audience will probably forget the beginning of the sentence by the time it ends.) It is also extremely important to know composition of the audience and to understand that an joke about the piece of string walking into a bar that you think is so funny may go over well with English teachers but not so well with chemists.
  • Opinion - Opinion pieces must be underpinned by facts, but not too many of them. Pick three or four points that support your position and play off of them. Use active words like "will" and "must" rather than "could" and "should" to emphasize the strength of your position. Also, make sure you have a straightforward declaratory opening paragraph stating the essentials of your concept and a closing paragraph that both re-states that position and at least implies a certain gratitude to the reader for "listening" to your idea.
There are also a number of different formats for the written word, from novel to press release, each of which requires different attributes. For the press release in particular, you should combine the opening and closing strengths of "opinion" writing with the straightforward, general-audience, factual appeal of "simple expository" in the main body of text. Also, when writing quotes for other people - "This is the best product ever!" - do still try to capture their voice to at least make it seem plausible that the person being quoted may have actually said and/or believed it at one time or another.

Here are a few other, more technical, tips you may find helpful:
  • Know Length - When writing for media outlets, know ahead of time how many words you may use; for example, most newspapers try to keep their "letters to the editor" under 200 words and their full "op-ed" pieces under 500. When writing speeches, know ahead of time how many minutes the speaker will have and how fast the speaker talks; for example, audio books are recorded at about 150 words per minute, while slide and PowerPoint presentations are usually delivered at about 100 words per minute.
  • Simplify - Except when attempting the most technical of writing, it is usually best to simplify concepts and ideas as much as possible. Making people feel stupid - or at least uncertain - about what they are reading tends not to be helpful when trying to get one's point across.
  • Write to the Audience - If at all possible, know as much about your target audience before you begin to write. It will help you focus your thoughts and result in cleaner copy.
  • Edit - "Word" is great but beware its tyranny! After you have finished the piece (presumably on your computer) print it out and then walk away for 15 to 20 minutes and then re-edit on paper. You will catch problems that you missed during your screen-based edit (I've actually purposefully left a couple of problems in this piece - print it out and you'll see my point).
We hope that this overview has been of some use. Thanks for your time!
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