Not for sale

20 years ago, when I left corporate life as an in-house copywriter to set up as a freelancer, I decided to trade as ‘Comms Plus’. Comms, I thought, for written and spoken communications. Plus a little extra: results, positivity, a smile, all that good stuff.

When I attempted to register the name as a trade mark, the IP computer said No* because Staples Ltd had a product called “ Plus” and there was a “risk of confusion”.

I asked an IP lawyer for advice, and he told me I’d have to get permission from the Staples lawyers in the US, and that there would be “no chance” they would even reply, never mind grant it.

I wrote to them anyway. And they said Yes, as long as I promised not to sell any stationery online.

I agreed to that condition, and my legal and accounting entity is still “Jackie Barrie T/A Comms Plus”.

That said, the name did me no good at all. Because when I went out networking, everyone thought I was in telecoms.

Instead, I do most marketing under my own name and my ‘Writing Without Waffle’ slogan.

What this means to you

Did you read that story? If yes, you’re probably reading this too.

Story-telling is a great way of hooking readers in so you can make your point and then give them your call to action.

It’s especially powerful when your stories are unique to you, and even more compelling when they include dialogue.

That’s just one of the ways my team and I write blog posts and thought leadership articles for clients who don’t have time to do it themselves.

We interview you to uncover personal stories that will illustrate the point, and then write content that’s almost irresistible to your target readers.

Some of my team are generalist copywriters, like me, while others specialise in a specific niche, including: property and interiors, food, travel, retail, medical, B2B, startups, charities, education, fintech and heritage.

Need help blogging? Let me know.

P.S. Don’t ask me to sell you any office stationery. I’m not allowed to.

* This wasn’t a catchphrase at the time as it wasn’t broadcast on Little Britain until 2004.

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