Here's some more detailed information: frequently asked questions, "About me" and that kind of thing. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and read on.
What can you write?
Strange name for a business!
Isn't this just PR / marketing / advertising in another guise?
Are you a Content Marketing Specialist?
How does the process work?
What do you charge?
What about confidentiality and security?
Who's behind this?
Who are your previous clients?
You spelt 'authorised' wrong! And 'spelt'!
Is this science?
Is this evil?
Do you do your own research?
Do words really matter so much?
What a bland website design!
Where are you based?
I have another question...
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Just about anything. Seriously. As mentioned on the homepage, I can help you wherever words are required. Content marketing material, websites, media interaction, company reports, white papers and almost any other kind of text content.
Yes, that's so you don't forget it. The human mind is more likely to notice and retain information that stands out from the background noise. I could have called it something like "Business Words" or "Writing for Business" but that wouldn't have been as effective. And effective is what I'm all about.
Also, although I'm neither a government ministry nor a minister of religion, one could perhaps say that I'm religiously expounding the values of good business prose...
No, although those three sectors do use psychology in their written material (or at least they should). However, they do so mostly from gut instinct. Good PRs, marketing people and advertising execs will have built up some psychological knowledge through experience. They might not call it that but they'll know that some things work and some don't.
That's great, as far as it goes, but I'm coming at this from the other direction. I'm looking at how the human mind processes written information; what triggers particular responses and behaviour. Then I trace back to create prose that has the desired effect.
'Content Specialist' and 'Content Marketing Specialist' originated as terms for professional writers working in the PR industry, at a time when Google and other search engines modified their algorithms to reduce keyword spamming. This happened some time ago, and almost overnight a vast new market opened up for well-written content that wouldn't fall foul of the search engines' enhanced spam-detecting scrutiny. Countless LinkedIn profiles were frantically updated to take advantage of this new demand.
But I've been writing good quality content for over thirty years. I started writing professionally when most of today's rebranded Content Marketing Specialists were still at school. So no, I'm not a Content Marketing Specialist. I can do content marketing for you, but I can also do a whole lot more.
We'll talk through your requirements by email and voice/video call, to establish exactly what you need. I'll ask you questions about the target audience, your own perception of your company and how you'd like it to be perceived, what you're trying to achieve through prose, and the specifications of the finished content such as word-count, platform, structure and format.
Then I'll go away and write. I'll come back to you with a draft, or perhaps more than one. Sometimes it helps to offer two or more drafts, each in a different tone, so you can decide which one best suits your company.
Finally I'll take your feedback, go away and polish your prose until it gleams.
I'll do all of this as quickly as I can, though without rushing (because that's how mistakes are made). Time is money and I'm used to working to deadlines.
I charge by the hour or by the word, depending on the type of work. Some jobs require a significant amount of discussion and thought before and during the actual writing stage. I'll provide a written estimate of time and cost once I fully understand your requirements.
I need to live, of course, but I make sure that my work is affordable and that my words provide excellent value for money for my clients. It's in my interest to do so, because I want you to use my services again and again. I believe you will, because well-written, well-targeted prose can make a huge difference to your organisation's performance and revenue.
The words I write for you represent your competitive advantage. You won't want those words finding their way into the wrong hands. I've worked for government departments (with full security clearance) and large & small corporations, so I understand the need to keep your information secure and confidential.
I use secure Linux systems and strong encryption software. If you request it, every communication between us can be encrypted. Your files are always encrypted on my work machines and with current technology it would take longer than the age of the known universe to crack the encryption and gain access. I can also sign client confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
No security system is perfect but I do my very best to keep your data secure. That's all I can do.
Ministry of Prose is owned by me: Alex Cruickshank. I'm a native English speaker who's made a career out of writing. More than three million of my words have been published in magazines, newspapers, white papers, press releases and on numerous successful websites including my own.
I have degrees in Psychology and Physics/Astrophysics, with a deep interest in the human mind and all things technical and scientific.
Writing and psychology are two of my passions. I've been writing since I could hold a pen, and writing for money since 1994. I also launched, built up and eventually sold an IT-related website that generated money from words. I couldn't stop writing if I tried.
Psychology has fascinated me ever since the BBC's "The Mind Machine" offered me the first glimpses into the underlying machinery of the human brain. In the late 1990s I used some of my knowledge to launch and run a not-for-profit website dealing with mental health, which made life more bearable for tens of thousands of people suffering from clinical depression. I use psychology every day, in all sorts of ways.
Three decades ago ago I wrote an article about the newly-formed world-wide web, entitled "Content is king." I watched it bounce around the internet for over a decade, always with the central message intact. It was true then and it's true now, both online and offline. Content is king.
Words may be cheap, but the right words are priceless. The combination of good writing and cognitive psychology is unbeatable for delivering high quality business prose.
Over the past 30 years I've written effective and engaging content for organisations including HP, Microsoft, the UK government (three ministerial departments), IDG, DropBox, Independent Newspaper Group, Future Publishing, Ziff-Davis, Dennis Publishing, VNU / Incisive Media, Xero, GoCardless, TrueLayer, Softbank, Obrizum, TechTarget, Lexmark, Panasonic, Contextual Solutions and many other businesses.
In recent years I've been writing regularly for several companies around the globe, including two international clients with market caps of well over a billion US dollars each, and one in the 200 million US dollar range. I'm also writing for smaller, privately owned businesses, both locally and internationally. Over the past decade I have been a regular contributor of articles to Computer Weekly, IDG Connect and various other technology publications.
It doesn't matter how big or small your business happens to be. I can make words work for you.
English isn't one language. Different English-speaking countries have different idioms and different methods of spelling the same words: color/colour, plow/plough, authorized/authorised and so on. I can adjust spelling to suit the target audience of the words I write for you.
Partly, though there's some art to it too. When I first became interested in psychology in the mid-1980s, there was a considerable amount of hand-waving and not a great deal of hard, quantitative evidence. That's changed since the turn of the century, and psychological research is now more likely to be based on numbers than qualitative emotional experiences.
I like the feel of good numbers from solid quantitative research, but qualitative research still has its place. That's especially true where words are concerned, because words are inextricably linked to emotions.
The bulk of psychological research is still carried out on undergraduates, because they're readily available to university-based psychology researchers (this fact alone tells you a great deal about the human mind). That doesn't necessarily scale well to the rest of the population. In addition, brain scans don't always tell you what you think they might.
Still, psychology is an exciting discipline and becoming more so. Our knowledge of the human mind is improving all the time.
No. I use written words, not subliminal imagery or concealed audio messages or sensory deprivation or hypnotism or anything like that. Consumers and readers retain their choice. I wouldn't work under any conditions in which that wasn't the case.
Unfortunately, fMRI scanners are unaffordable for anyone other than hospitals and a few universities with deep pockets. However, the information I require is already out there in other forms. It just needs to be gathered and looked at in new ways. That's what I do.
Prose is fundamental to the success of any organisation, yet some businesspeople don't realise it:
"We went to school, didn't we? We can write, right? After all, it's just words."
Just a gateway into the minds of others?
Just the finest means of communication available?
Just the written expression of exquisitely complex mental processes?
Just a subtle form of influence more powerful than anything else yet devised?
How do you expect to influence anyone if your written material can't attract and hold their attention? Basic prose won't do it. You must tap into their world-view and offer something of value.
You can't afford to get this wrong, because your competitors know that powerful prose works. So I'll help you get it right. I'll take on your writing tasks, putting all my knowledge and experience into delivering words that work for your business.
Thanks! But you're still here, so it's serving its purpose. Humans are easily distracted, which is just one reason why advertising works. I don't need distractions on this site. I want you to read and understand my intention, which is to make words work for your business.
Online. I've lived in the UK, New Zealand and Germany and I travel a lot. It doesn't matter where I'm based. I can create high quality business prose for organisations anywhere in the world.
Please, get in touch and ask: firstname.lastname@example.org