Guys, get game! Write better

Bad writing costs business billions of dollars per year — from poorly written memos to unnecessarily complicated instruction booklets to expensive marketing materials that fail to connect with the audience.
But it also hurts guys in the dating game.
A recent Wall Street Journal report about a study found that 87 percent of women were turned off by bad grammar and poor writing in profiles men posted on the dating site.For the ladies, grammar even ranked ahead of teeth as a deal-breaker.
So, fellas, work harder on your writing skills if you want to win a woman’s attention.
Women should, too, although grammar and writing skills aren’t as important to men looking for women. Only 75 percent of men listed these talents as must-haves for a woman.

No, I won’t write a profile for you. But I will write a great brochure, blog series, web copy or news release that builds positive attention for you and your business.

50 ways to get personal, build business

Few companies maximize their websites by showcasing the people who are, in fact, most of their assets.

I’m referring to the “About Us” portion of websites.

Fortunately, Mary Stribley has dozens of ways to make your “About Us” very attractive to readers interested in your products and services:




Have you read your website lately?

I can tell the story of your business via website content that builds awareness and draws new customers.

Your website is the Internet’s version of your front door. Well-written copy makes your business more attractive and draws customers inside.

I can quickly and inexpensively help you reach new customers and motivate existing customers. You can boost your brand with interesting, appealing content that makes customers want to know more about you and your products or services.

Mark O’Brien. Experienced. Attentive. Quick.

Contact me for a free initial consultation and references.

Want content that works? Get to the point

Most of us learn to write in high school or college, where we soon realize that beleaguered and/or lazy teachers often grade papers by the pound.
One common school requirement is to write to a required minimum length, a good theory but one that often encourages new writers to pad copy, fill lines and amass word count.
That’s OK for school, perhaps, but clunky writing doesn’t work on today’s Internet, where readers prize their time.
That’s where I come in.
If you want energetic, concise writing that gets your customer’s attention, then I can help you improve your website, blog, book or brochure.
I create content that gets to the point in a quick, entertaining, likable manner that helps you reach your desired audience.

What I can do for you

I write for businesses and individuals who want to expand their audiences and win more customers. My background in marketing, public relations and journalism lets me tell your story in ways that draw and keep the attention of people you want to influence.

Here’s some of what I have done for clients in the past few weeks:

Wrote promotional material for a group of hotels and a cruise line.

Edited two books on management.

Wrote all the copy for a 48-page specialty magazine.

Wrote web copy for a national rehabilitation company.

Wrote web copy for a website-design company.

Wrote and placed four news releases for two organizations — news releases that were picked up and used by several media in their market, winning valuable “free” media.

Edited copy for two tourism magazines.

Wrote web copy for a firm doing business in the chemical industry.

Wrote numerous blog posts for a heating and air conditioning company.

Wrote a 30-page e-book for a client.

Contact me for a free consultation on ways I can help your business grow. I’m experienced, attentive and quick.

(850) 982-8585

Improve your website content. Now.

You’re good at what you do. You thought you had a good website.

But customers aren’t buying.

There’s a reason: Your copy doesn’t work.

Maybe the writing is stale and uninteresting, or it needs new material. Maybe it was something you hired your neighbor’s kid to write, and you never got around to fixing it.

I can improve your content quickly and effectively.

I’m experienced, attentive and knowledgeable; I create content that informs, entertains and motivates customers.

I’ve been writing for 30-plus years — social media, websites, advertising, journalism, public relations, marketing, Twitter, books and blogs.

Lousy sites die miserable, slow, expensive deaths. Why stick with one that’s losing money?

For as little as $125, I will quickly rewrite the existing copy on your site, incorporate new material and tell the story of your business in an effective, productive way that lives, breathes and connects with customers.

Contact me for a free consultation.

(850) 982-8585

Mark O’Brien’s bio

Mark O’Brien is a certified public relations counselor who helps businesses improve their images and raise customer awareness of their products and services.

Mark’s specialty is writing and editing copy for websites, which are the Internet’s version of a business’ front door. He knows how to write content that inspires customers and potential customers to do business.

Mark has been a professional writer for more than 30 years, writing everything from Twitter campaigns and business postcards to blogs and news releases, He has ghostwritten books for other people about marketing and social media.

Mark has 10-plus years experience marketing businesses.

This includes writing advertising copy and working with the news media to do stories about his clients.

Mark formerly was a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist. He worked 23 years for the Pensacola News Journal. He also hosted talk shows on BLAB Television and WCOA radio.

Something you didn’t know about Mark: He worked his way through college by driving a taxicab in Boston.

Contact him at

How I help you get more business

You must tell the story of your business quickly, clearly and in an appealing way.

Many business people can do this verbally; after all, they know their business and feel a passion for it.

But many of these same folks don’t do so well when it comes to expressing their story in print, which is where most business is conducted in these days of the Internet.

Here’s where my 30-plus years of experience can help you, whether it’s making your website more appealing to potential customers, crafting an effective brochure or contacting people vie email and other media.

I will make it simple yet enticing by focusing on the value in your products and services.

I will tell the story of your business, and you will see results — in sales, in website visits and in your bottom line.

Let’s talk.

I’m For my clients, I have written everything from postcards to books to get their messages to the audiences they wanted to reach.


I can bring you customers

I write copy that tells the story of your business in a simple, engaging way.

It can be content for your website, a brochure or a book.

I know how to write to reach different audiences.

Thanks to 30-plus years in journalism/public relations/marketing, I can tackle all sorts of subjects and present them in a way that works for you, the client. You get great return on investment when I write your copy; I save you time and bring in the readers you want to reach.

Contact me for a free consultation:

Some of what I have done recently: Wrote or rewrote copy for numerous websites about companies ranging from insurance and sound systems to chemicals, tourism, computers and real estate; wrote and edited brochures and direct mail pieces; wrote and edited books about media, marketing and family history for people who wanted to establish themselves as authorities in a field; wrote blogs and Twitter campaigns for tourism agencies and nonprofits.

Some clients:

Madden Media

9th Grid





Hit refresh and start over this month

True story: My wife and I were at a restaurant recently when a young couple sat nearby, celebrating the one-year anniversary of their first date.

The guy was visibly jacked up, gulping his drink, asking people to take pictures of him and his lady friend, and telling everyone about their anniversary.

She, meanwhile, was sipping water, complaining about an upset stomach, texting on her phone and leaning back in her chair even as he reached across the table to hold her free hand. Body language definitely can speak louder than words.

Then a server discretely stopped by the table and slipped the guy a small box. The guy quickly went on one knee and bent toward the woman. The exact words of the proposal were hard to hear, but her response was not.

“I don’t think I can do this,” she said very clearly, admiring the ring but not putting it on her finger.

They left a few minutes later, much to the chagrin of all of us who were sneaking peeks and wondering how a guy could misread the signals so badly.

“This couple needs a fresh start,” I thought to myself.

It was my second thought. First, I wanted to tell the guy to get that ring back to the jewelry store as quickly as possible and ask for a refund.

But fresh starts are good for all of us, and there’s no better month than June. It’s a time of weddings and graduations, when happy people venture off to marriage and careers.

Lots of us could use fresh starts now, and please don’t mention the New Year’s resolutions that crashed and burned by Jan. 10.

The field of presidential candidates could use a fresh start, and some fresh blood. Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush would bring far too much family baggage to the White House, and the other candidates either lack experience or they’re extremists catering to cults.

The Kardashians and TV-watchers everywhere need a fresh start. Perhaps the Kardashians could find that fresh start far, far away from cameras, social media and the selfies they post so proudly.

A fresh start — far from elected office — is due for the Florida House of Representatives, which chose to quit mid-session and go home rather than engage in discussion with the Florida Senate. Normally it’s fun to see politicians fight — they’re such hair-pulling sissies that they squeal — but this action caused all sort of problems for citizens — you know, the people who pay the bills while the politicians pull each other’s hair. By the way, the lawmakers get their health insurance through the state — for less than $9 a month. Yes, that’s n-i-n-e dollars a month.

Please, a fresh start for the sheep that line up at convenience stores to buy lottery tickets each week. Someone please tell them that the casinos pay better odds and they give you free drinks, too.

Then we have the people with “First World” problems and don’t realize how good they have it.

“My BMW is making funny noises.”

“The traffic is so bad it adds two minutes to my commute.”

“I had to wait an hour to get an appointment with my hairdresser to get my hair frosted.”

Check out the folks in the Third World, with genocide, abject poverty and chronic dysentery and get a fresh start on your perspective, people!

This appeared in the June 2015 issue of Splash!, an entertainment magazine serving the Pensacola area.