Watch Your Language!…and get Clients!

Don’t Get Stuck in a Time Tunnel

Recently, I attended a meeting of a proactive community group. We were to do an outreach to find some prospective candidates for important positions and portfolios. The letter had been prepared for the larger community, and an elder in the group proof read the letter. His critique was to change the term “their” to the term “he/she” , as was his experience. The letter was then forwarded to me.

I received the proof read letter and viewed the “correction” within. I gasped. I sputtered. I knew something had gone awry. The “proofer” (sic) was using communication protocol that went beck 25 years, and here I am stuck in the second decade of the 21st century.  But what was it? What was bothering me? There it was…the words “their” and “he/she”!

I hadn’t considered that pronouns would elicit such importance in society today. Alas, there it was staring at me. Stark naked! The letter would eliminate a good segment and important part of our community. The Lesbian, Bisexual,  Gay, Trans-sexual, Queer + (LBGTQ+) segment of society that may not only be overlooked, but could be excluded by such pronouns. The letter may not only be discounting, but perceptively dismissive.

four gay teenagers sitting on ledge near window Kat Wilcox

I recalled university days, and the importance of the American Psychological Association (Writing) Style Manual (APA Style) and then, like a mirage on the horizon the Chicago (Writing) Style Manual came galloping through the sunset.  Invaluable, anti-pretentious, and preventative by nature these tombs dropped in front of me like manna from the sky.

Use It or Lose It

Writing style manuals are critical to not just our respective professions, like social media, consulting, psychology, sales,journalist, media, writing, small business, government, etc., but helps to keep us up to date, and not “dated”, and communicativly correct for both the greater society and our client base. This is if I would like to appear that I may know what I am saying. Now I do. These manuals, as noted above, inclusive of  the newly appreciated contributions for social media by organizations and media (Cohen, 2012), keeps your blog writing accurate and reflective of our society right outside your window.

United States Federal Government Style Manual  USA Government Style manual for Federal Government Publishing.

I now approached our group. I layed it out on the table and stated at the term “their” is an all inclusive term, where the wording “he/she” remains exclusive. Gasps of folly and embarrassment followed. The APA, as a note, dropped the “he/she” term in 2005, and not only cited the above argument, but pointed that “he/she” becomes tedious in an academic paper. (APA Guidelines, unintended trap-FOILED!

As Cohen quotes  “A style guide can be that “second thought” assuring us our content is appropriate and consistent”. (Cohen, 2012).

It is tough to be a hero, albeit a micro one.


I approached some members of the LBGTQ+ local community to update them on our search for people for our community group. I had mentioned the deliberate, but minor, adjustment to the language used in our communcations and newsletters. They were delighted at the fact and posted it to their respective Facebook site. Appreciative as I was, I was not aware of the enthusiasm that had generated nor newer volunteers and clients that would generate.  Now I use it.  As an influencer outreach their blogging and Facebook brought their community to us (Patel, 2018).

facebook spelled in scrabble letters on table top


More Clients

We paid attention, we engaged our group and who knew I’d ever tell this story. Our brand’s credibility through the language we used and our follow up through engagement (as I now know it) created success. Writing style manuals was a crucial part of being relevant to our volunteers and clients, and I subscribe to this vigilance.

As quoted by Massengill, ”  DO write and rewrite and write and rewrite and write and rewrite…” (Massengill, John, March 10, 2018).

It helps one think, think, think and use professional language and client’s respect.

Patrick Meagher is an on-line student enrolled in Social Media at Algonquin College through Ontario Learn.



Practice Guidelines for LGB Clients

Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients

January 2012


Kevin Payne

Published December 13, 2017

Blogger Outreach: How to Integrate Influencers Into Your Content Marketing Strategy Kevin is an Inbound Marketing Consultant that helps startups increase their website traffic. When he’s not helping clients, he’s often blogging.


Sujan Patel   November 7, 2018

15 Tips to Increase Your Brand’s Social Media Engagements


Joe Massengill Published March 10, 2018

5 Crucial Elements for Writing Great Social Media Posts


Avoiding Heterosexual Bias in Language

American Psychologist
September 1991, Volume 46, Issue No. 9, 973-974

Committee on Lesbian and Gay Concerns
American Psychological Association

©1991 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Esther Rothblum, Department of Psychology, John Dewey Hall, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 5405.

Life is Hard & So is Death

I am sure everyone has heard about Kate Spade and her recent passing. She passed recently from apparent suicide at age 55 in her own home.  Kate was an iconic fashion designer best known for her sleek and modern handbags. She started the company in the 1990’s, it grew into an international brand and retail chain, which was sold in 2007 for approximately 125 million to Liz Claiborne Inc.

I don’t actually own any of her bags or accessories, but I did/do covet quite a few. How could you not! Beautiful bags with clean lines, super soft leather and roomy interiors. Or maybe you want a little bling, flowers or a flamingo! All with a starting price tag of about $300.

But it was the article this morning on ET Canada that really got to me. “Andy Spade Gives Heartbreaking Statement On Wife Kate Spade’s Death: ‘We Can’t Even Begin To Fathom Life Without Her’”

“This is the truth. Anything else that is out there right now is false.,” he continues. “There was no substance or alcohol abuse. There were no business problems.”

Despite reports Kate left a suicide note addressed to their daughter Bea, Spade says he has not seen it.

“I have yet to see any note left behind and am appalled that a private message to my daughter has been so heartlessly shared with the media,” his statement reads, before asking for privacy for the couple’s daughter.

“My main concern is Bea and protecting her privacy as she deals with the unimaginable grief of losing her mother,” he states. “Kate loved Bea so very much.”

– Andy Spade

The media response and the social media response has been overwhelming. Some of it was amazing and heart warming!  I wonder if Kate knew she was so loved and respected and that she had made such an impact on so many lives. But then the details released possibly untrue? Was there a note? What did it say? Do we really need to know?

NO WE DON’T. It’s a family matter.

Let them grieve in peace.

I thought this was beautiful:

In her 2002 Glamour Women of the Year interview, Kate Spade said: “I hope that people remember me not just as a good businesswoman but as a great friend—and a heck of a lot of fun.”

Kate Spade was an amazing, talented and smart business women. Can we not give this family some peace! This 13 year old girl lost her mother at a very influential and hormonal/emotional time in her tween life and now she has to read all the junk posted and speculated about in the news and social media about her mother.

People should be a shamed of themselves!

If you need help, please reach out to someone you care about. There is also many organizations there to support you. The CBC article I read had some great links if you need help, of who to contact and the warning signs to watch out for. I have listed them below.

Here are some warning signs:

Suicidal thoughts. Substance abuse. Purposelessness. Anxiety. Feeling trapped. Hopelessness and helplessness. Withdrawal. Anger. Recklessness. Mood changes.

Where to get help:

The toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (Phone), Live Chat counselling at

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre

Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS) (French): 1-866-APPELLE


social-facebook-box-blue-icon Life is Hard & So is Death, let them grieve in peace

Twitter_icon The Death of an Icon, let them grieve in peace

ET Canada Article: “Kate Spade’s Husband releases heart breaking statement”Kate Spade’s Death: ‘There Was No Indication and No Warning,’ Says Her HusbandCBC Article: Fashion designer Kate Spade found dead in New York

COM0015 – Blog #4: Out of the Box

This is actually my last assignment over a 12 month period for this certificate program and I must admit that a lot of what was covered was new to me and might not have been considered SM in my eyes. Now I look at many different methods of communication and different platforms as SM and what I really see as trending or unexpected would be live streaming tools, webinars & employee collaboration online – See more at: .

I actually participated on webinars, Social Media Today, gained plenty of insight and realized that in the future this type of service could serve me well as golf instructor. If you are really going to make full use of SM as a tool for business you need to be a member here and just spend ten minutes a day (bet you can’t stop at ten) just reading one new article or finding an archive webinar of interest, beware those take an hour to watch and can be addictive.

It may not be out of the box thinking anymore but many of the SM focus is moving to the mobile platform and this also interest me for my future golf instructor business; I can imagine the day where a client sends me a video from the practice area or range directly to my mobile device, I analyze and send back tips and notes for the client to use during the same practice session. The possibilities, while not endless, are many; downloadable video lessons to your touch pad, possible interactive with two way live conversation.

Now is the the next trend can include the lowering of costs for all the data transfer on mobile devices it would me and many of you much happier…