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Contact me through email at Gary's Good Cause Communications

Gary's Good Cause Communications

Gary's Good Cause Communications

I write and edit for good causes.
Gary B. Larson, Seattle, King County, Washington

Photo of Gary Larson at Machu Picchu, Peru, September 2012Formerly, Garbl's Pencil

If people can't, don't or won't read your brochure, newsletter, report, letter or website, why publish it? And if people read it but don't do anything as a result, what was the point of publishing it?

As a communications specialist, I will help you connect with people through the written word and prompt your readers to take action that meets your needs--and theirs. As a writer and editor, I will strive to plan, write or edit documents for you that people will read, keep readers interested, and prompt them to respond while they're reading or afterward. As a writing trainer and coach, I will work with your staff to enhance their writing skills.

I'm available for temporary, long-term, contract or freelance opportunities with progressive, socially responsible firms, agencies, individuals, and nonprofit or political organizations. I'm also available for part-time or full-time staff positions. I have a personal interest in writing for good causes that advocate for environment, the arts, peace and justice, health, education, civil rights, and other human services.

With more than 38 years of work experience in journalism, communications and marketing, I can help you with all your writing or editing needs. My commitment to you is to write or edit materials that are clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically correct with consistent editorial style, spelling and word use. I also can teach your staff a practical, effective approach to clear, concise writing.

Through writing, editing and publications production, my professional mission has been to help people learn about, understand, influence and use their public services. I can apply my experience and mission to your organization in the materials I write or edit for you and the publications I help you produce.

Also, I can provide high-quality photography, graphic design advice, and publication production management when needed.

Meeting your needs

I can help you and your organization by writing or editing materials like these:

  • annual reports, project reports, status reports
  • announcements and invitations
  • banners and posters
  • booklets and brochures
  • blog posts, Facebook and Twitter messages
  • books and graduate school theses (editing only)
  • communication plans
  • displays and signs
  • editorial style guidelines
  • feature articles
  • event fliers, marketing fliers
  • guest editorials and op-eds
  • instructions and procedures
  • key messages and mission statements
  • letters and memos
  • news releases, press releases
  • newsletters
  • newspaper advertisements
  • plans and proposals
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • public service announcements
  • speeches and talking points
  • Web pages.

In addition, I can train you and your staff on the principles of plain English, aka plain language, and consult with you and your staff on developing an editorial style manual. I also can take and edit high-quality photographs to meet your publication needs.

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Working together

If you'd like me to do work for you, please send me an email message at Gary's Good Cause Communications. We can talk later when needed.

As we discuss your writing or editing needs and project, I'll be asking questions like these:

  • Who are you trying to reach (your audience)?
  • What are you trying to accomplish by producing this document for them (your purpose)?
  • What do you want readers to do with the information provided in your document (their actions)?
  • What are your employee needs for enhancing and focusing their writing?

Of course, we'll also talk about your deadlines, my rates and schedule, and other contract necessities. And I'll advise you about how I can best provide you with materials that meet your needs. Please see the section below about my clear, concise writing and editing.

I'll consider a discounted rate for nonprofit organizations with limited budgets.

A Suite of Samples

This Web page features several customer-information brochures for which I managed production, including writing and editing. They were used before and after the launch of a new type of bus service, called RapidRide, by King County Metro Transit.

My experience

I have written, edited and published materials like those listed above in a variety of positions for various organizations:

  • media relations specialist, employee communications editor and capital projects editor for a public agency
  • community relations editor for transit and transportation departments
  • information production and distribution chief for a transit agency
  • public information officer for a public utility
  • editorial style manual developer for a public agency
  • website developer and manager for public, private and nonprofit organizations
  • newspaper reporter, editor and photographer
  • associate public relations director for a nonprofit agency
  • volunteer editor, writer and designer for progressive nonprofit organizations
  • manuscript editor for graduate students and a nonfiction author.
  • photographer and graphic designer for nonprofit and public organizations.

I have also been a journalism and business communications instructor at the college level and a writing trainer to employee groups.

My clear, concise writing and editing

I follow the principles of plain English (often called plain language because of its international use and value). It's an approach to writing that concentrates on the needs of readers while also meeting the needs of the writer and publisher. This clear-writing approach aids people who read at all levels of time, interest, education and literacy. It also benefits readers with limited English proficiency or learning disabilities.

I can provide half-day (or longer) training sessions to your staff in the principles and methods of plain English. And I can coach your staff in following this writing approach.

The basics of clear, concise writing -- using familiar words and simple sentences -- apply to all types of documents. Plain English improves the readability of letters and memos, reports and newsletters, brochures and presentations, instruction manuals and legal documents, and most other documents. The principles also apply directly to news releases and Web pages, and they aid translating English documents into other languages.

You can learn more about this approach at Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide.

More about me ...

My online resume contains more details about my professional objective, qualifications, experience, accomplishments, employment history, education, training and volunteer experience.

My website, Garbl's Writing Center, reflects my commitment to my growth, to clear, concise, and useful writing and to helping others improve their writing. It offers a free editorial style manual, annotated directory of writing websites, concise writing guides, and bookshelf of recommended writing references.

More about me and my mission to be a creative, compassionate communicator.

Thank you for your interest.
Gary B. Larson
Gary's Good Cause Communications (email)

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Updated Dec. 5, 2012.