Recognition for awardAs one of the strongest examples of local websites completed in 2013, Paarlance Creative Writing entered in the American Advertising Awards competition. The website received a Silver award from American Advertising Federation: Cedar Rapids-Iowa City on February 22, 2014.

We are proud of the work and appreciate being brought in by designer/developer Harrison Wheeler to do the work. We also appreciate the client for being so great to work with on this corporate site. Congrats to Hawkeye Hotels for their award-winning website!


Great collaborations never get old. New collaborations are always exciting. Here’s a renewed website for a new client and developer partner, Harrison Wheeler, and his client, Hawkeye Hotels.

Hawkeye Hotels About Page

The About page for Hawkeye Hotels includes a rewritten and refreshed story about the company.

A little bit of conversation with the client and developer made it possible to rewrite the story about the company and its strategic benefits with little trouble. Because of the open communication with the developer and client, the copy for this site was completed in a fairly short time frame. We worked on making sure SEO terms were available for this corporate site targeted primarily at investors.

We hope you’ll check it out when you have a chance. It’s a great example of what Paarlance Creative Writing can do for web designers and developers and their clients.

Website Done Right

Theresa Bornbach has been a great client over the years. She has owned several businesses, which have all evolved over time. These evolutions have resulted in changes to her websites. Our latest creation promotes Theresa’s business coaching services and demonstrates a solid B2B brand on a WordPress platform.

Check out a recent website writing sample at

While a few details remain to be completed, I welcome you to check out this site, which reflects a collaboration between Paarlance Creative Writing, Amy Belice Graphic Design and Edilson Web Design. I wrote the tagline, edited the copy for SEO and marketing effectiveness and provided project management services. We took the time to do it right, and the effort paid off — we even launched ahead of schedule!

Together with the client, we have put together a quality website that offers an in-depth view of her services, provides opportunities for blogging, and makes it easy to update as changes occur.

What is Creativity?

After developing hundreds of ideas for a project, a client made the comment that  they weren’t creative enough. While the comment stung for a second, I realized it was important to consider, what is creativity? What does that mean to this client? And what does it mean to me?

Creativity is a term that comes loaded with your own baggage. For me personally, creativity is marked by the freedom to generate ideas without judgment. Professionally, creativity mingles with — and is limited by — time, an essential ingredient of the professional creative process. It’s also peppered with audience awareness, which enhances marketing magnificence. When it comes down to it, it means very little to bring creative ideas to the table if they aren’t targeted at some audience with a clear goal in mind.

I believe that part of the issue of undervaluing the creativity presented to this client was that he was not clear on his goal for the project. He was still undecided on what he liked and what he wanted from the project. He wasn’t yet prepared to accept ideas that met his initial criteria.

Even if you’re not a creative type, as a business owner, it’s good to think about the type of creative work you like before you take on a marketing project working with freelancers or a creative firm. What are you drawn to? Which ads or designs drive you nuts? And what are your goals for a creative project? Put some of your own thought into it first, and write those ideas and goals down. Then, you’ll be better poised for a successful creative marketing venture.

3 Tips for Better Email Marketing

Email. Seems like we’re all on email overload these days, but it’s still an inexpensive marketing option, and one of the most flexible ways to communicate with your audience. Emails can be fairly straightforward or very creative.

After hearing DJ Waldow speak at a social media conference last year, I read The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing by Waldow and Jason Falls. Being used to the rules surrounding email marketing, but having a rebellious nature at times, this book unveiled a few myths about emails that I intend to break.

It drove home a few basic points that I’d like to share with my clients:

Set goals. What do you want to accomplish with your email marketing? It’s better to have a strategy and set up a regular schedule than to be sporadic or haphazard. With email as one channel you can use for education, think of themes you can use to educate your clients. Set it to the ups and downs of your business and take it from there!

Build your list. Get a signup form on your website as soon as humanly possible. It’s one of the most effective ways to develop a strong list.

Set up a welcome message. Most email providers have a way of setting up an autoresponder, so when people sign up for your email, they receive a welcome message. This is a brilliant idea that enhances the perception of your customer service. Even though you don’t have to do a thing after you set it up, it makes a good first impression. Take advantage of it!

Email marketing can be fun, creative and educational. Start with the basics and see where they lead!

Are You Friends with Facebook?

Love it or hate it, Facebook has become a go-to spot for DIY marketing, particularly for consumer-focused businesses. If you’re looking to dabble in this realm, take some time to think about these key issues.

Be prepared for change. One thing you’ll learn about Facebook very quickly is about their propensity for change. They are constantly changing the look of pages or the way your Facebook posts are shared with users. Tune into the websites that talk about social media marketing so you can keep up with the changes.

Show and tell. People love to watch, so give them what they want! Photos and videos make for popular posts. Think about the opportunities to show people what you do instead of just telling them about the latest sale. People buy from people, so show your people working on projects. Your Facebook friends will love it.

Be consistent. When you’re just starting out with Facebook postings, plan to put some time and effort into it. You can’t build a following unless you do. Also, be consistent with the language you use in terms of spelling and the overall feel. I find it very useful to create posts in word processing software so I can take advantage of spell check.

Make it about your friends. It’s not all about you. Do your best to make your page about your friends. Share testimonials, tips and ideas that they will find riveting. Share other content that is interesting. They say you should share other content of interest several times for every one promotion you post. So, connect to your partners and clients in your industry and see what’s worth sharing.

Remember, if you find yourself short on time or the skill to put together short posts that engage customers, don’t be afraid to outsource the work. You could work on messaging with a writer or editor, or, if you have the budget, you could contract a social media agency to make your Facebook approach more strategic and comprehensive.

While I don’t consider myself an expert in Facebook, I have worked with several clients to develop plans for posting and to write and schedule posts. Feel free to check them out:

I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions about writing or editing posts and finding ways to make Facebook feasible for your business.