Blog | Yann Fortier | Strategy | Copywriting | Translation | Montreal

Blog

Observations and insights about content, copywriting and the French language

No time to put together a client brief?

Dear decision-making friends: a brief is not about firing off an email with 14 information-dense attachments. No good copywriting is ever feasible without a clear and concise brief delivered before any work is undertaken.

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Writing hack: (re)read as you listen

I love Microsoft Office 365’s text-to-speech (TTS) feature (using the Alt+Ctrl+Space shortcut). It makes it possible to hear text written in a Word document read aloud, thus experiencing it in a whole new light.

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CAPITALIZED words? Not always

A friendly piece of advice: if the name of your business/brand/product is written in CAPITAL LETTERS, it’s okay to carry that decision over to your marketing and advertising materials. That said, it would be a major misstep to insist on the all-caps spelling in your press releases, articles, blog posts or branded content, purportedly to stay on brand.

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Antidote, je t’aime

The Antidote software does magical things. It’s a best friend to thousands of writers in Quebec and throughout the Francophonie. Hence, in addition to spotting typos and suggesting extremely accurate synonyms, its fantastic related functionalities would merit further exploration.

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Is the press release still relevant?

So long, press release? Au contraire. You can even make it the crux of your story, especially if its contents are specific, informative and compelling. As a freelance writer, I figure I’ve written, translated or improved close to 1,000 press releases, for a diverse range of agencies and businesses, from artisanal workshops to multinationals, and from government ministries to school boards.

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LaPresse+ / XTRA: Prizewinning content at the 2018 Tac-Til Prize

Seeing your efforts rewarded is always a gratifying thing. In recent years, branded content has set itself apart and really taken off. Many clients and agencies have put their trust in me to craft content that’s adapted to their tone, in accordance with a host of variables and (often unforeseen) issues.

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Interview with Phyllis Lambert

A rendez-vous with Phyllis Lambert at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is both mythical and quasi mystical. Lambert is a remarkable woman. She has built a portion of the Montreal that is both immediately recognizable and permanent, but also the invisible Montreal—the one that never saw the light of day, thanks to numerous initiatives to safeguard its rich heritage.

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Interview – La librairie francophone

Participating in a radio program broadcast throughout the French-speaking world is both intimidating and exhilarating. This show, masterfully conducted by host Emmanuel Khérad, is one of my weekly rituals.

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Finalist for Radio-Canada’s Prix du récit (Storytelling Prize)

Writing a short story inspired by real and personal events provides a fun playground for experimentation. Especially when the story homes in on a quest—in this case, for an admiral’s cap—with the intention to offer it as a gift to my grandfather Raoul. A path strewn with pitfalls, but also one happy memory.

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Making concrete compelling: a solid challenge

As a writer, I’m inherently challenge-driven. Writing copy for large corporations, speeches for politicians, as well as web and exhibition content requires versatility, rigour and a willingness to listen. But it also calls for an open mind and a daily review of trends and current events. Applying those same principles to the work I do for budding businesses is a gift.

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Taylor Swift + Apple? Exponential content

As an Infopresse Campus trainer, I sometimes share my observations on Infopresse’s news and opinion-focused site. Here you’ll find an article headlined “When Apple caves in to Taylor Swift,” where I answer journalist Justine Pierrot’s questions.

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To receive a prize in Paris

It was only mildly surreal to find myself in Paris to pick up a prize and grant. That happened in the spring of 2017, upon learning that I had been awarded It was only mildly surreal to find myself in Paris to pick up a prize and grant.

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An anguish-free novel

Despite its title, my novel L’angoisse du paradis (The Anguish of Paradise), published by Marchand de feuilles, is far from agonizing. It’s rather a playground for the imagination, with a handful of musings on social matters.

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