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.

markobrienusa@gmail.com

(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 markobrienusa@gmail.com

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 markobrienusa@gmail.com. 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: markobrienusa@gmail.com

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:

Ropella.com

Madden Media

ITEX.com

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.

What I can do for you

I write website copy that reaches your target audience and brings in new customers and revenue.

I convert jargon into layperson’s terms without dumbing down the content or turning off more knowledgeable people. I get your message across in an appealing manner, one that inspires people to appreciate your products and services and want to do business with you. And I do it quickly.

Some of my clients:

Ropella.com

Madden Media

Numerous advertising agencies

My background in journalism/public relations/marketing helps me make points for you with content that is direct, friendly and persuasive.

I’m just an email away: markobrienusa@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Write that book you always said you would

You know your business, and you talk very knowledgeably about it.

Now it’s time to write a book and establish yourself as an authority in black and white.

A book is a great marketing tool and it quickly pays a fantastic return on your investment.

Clients and potential clients will immediately give you new respect and new credibility when you collect your knowledge and put it in a book.

I’m a professional writer with more than 30 years experience in journalism, public relations and marketing.

I can help you tell your story quickly and effectively.

Mark O’Brien

markobrienusa@gmail.com

 

See if these O’pinions add up

Months don’t come much better weatherwise than gentle, hopeful May, full of great beach weather, joyful graduations and promises of vacations.

Unfortunately, May inevitably turns into June, July and August, heat and humidity, and constant complaints from Pensacolians about heat and humidity.

So enjoy May and revel in its glory.

Meanwhile, I hope these O’pinions count with you:

3 Improvements I like on Pensacola Beach: The new Visitor Information Center makes a great first impression and will be much more attractive to visitors.

Pedi-cabs — Find a parking spot and pedi cabs will provide cheap, fun transportation to the destinations of your choice.

The new restaurant, Casino Beach Bar & Grille, next to the fishing pier is a major upgrade that appeals to locals and tourists alike.

317 — The approximate number of existing or new mattress stores under construction in Pensacola. No high-tech jobs there.

3 Bad Ad Men: Some actors have jumped the shark and worn out their welcome with their incessant and lame pitching of products on television: Neil Patrick Harris and beer; Matthew “I’m So Vain” McConaughey and whatever he peddles; and Samuel L. Jackson shilling for most every product ever made.

19 People are running or thinking of running for the Republican nomination for president next year, yet none light my fire.

5 Years have gone by since the BP oil spill threatened the Gulf Coast’s way of life. So far, there’s been little lasting damage, so we should be grateful, but watchful, too, lest there be more fallout lurking under the water.

3 Restaurants I miss: Hunan’s in East Pensacola Heights; The Creamery in Gulf Breeze; Hopkins Boarding House on North Hill.

3 Landmarks I love: For 38 years I have been driving under the 17th Avenue overpass and only once can I remember seeing a four-letter word painted on the walls. This shows respect for the public space. The vast majority of the time the artwork is eye-catching and shows soul.

The fish pointing us from Gulf Breeze toward Pensacola Beach is from another era for sure, but it’s a wonderful symbol etched in many memories forever. The publicity deservedly goes to the Maritime Park and other major new improvements, but tree-shaded Seville Square is still a great place to pull up a bench and daydream for a while.

$194 is the most a person can get for food stamps for a month. That’s a little over $6 a day. I’m not jealous.

812R was my family’s telephone number in rural Massachusetts in the late 1950s. You lifted the receiver and waited for the operator to come on and ask you what number you wanted to call. Today’s phones do so much more. Thank you, modern technology!

2 Things that would dramatically improve Cordova Mall’s appearance: a bright new exterior for Dillard’s — the interior looks great — and resurfacing/rebuilding of the dipsy-doodle parking lot on the store’s south side.

2 Cliches that are worn out and need never be said again:

“It is what it is.”

“Think outside the box.”

20 Pounds I need to lose.

0 percent interest I have in losing them.

Writer/editor who will help your business grow

MARK O’BRIEN

I’m lucky because I’m living my two dreams — to live in the South and to be a writer.

I came to Pensacola in 1978 to be a reporter for the Pensacola News Journal. After a stint as editor in charge of local news, I became a columnist for several years. Then, I spent a year teaching journalism at Spring Hill College — a refreshing break from “the real world” — before going into public relations working for the State of Florida, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and E.W. Bullock Associates, which handles marketing for numerous businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. I returned to the News Journal in 1999 and wrote more than 2,000 columns about the people and institutions of our area — never missing a deadline!

Since 2011 I’ve been in business for myself, free to write for people and organizations I prize.

CONTACT ME at markobrienusa@gmail.com

More about Mark O’Brien
Writer of blogs, tweets, email campaigns, news releases and video scripts that consistently deliver effective results for clients.

Experienced writer of advertising copy in a variety of formats.

Certified and accredited as a public relations professional who helps individuals, businesses and institutions tell their stories.

Author of literally thousands of newspaper columns and news stories.

Author of two books, “Sand In My Shoes” and “Pensacola On My Mind.”

Ghostwriter of books for others on topics such as marketing and social media as well as co-author of histories on local families and the University of South Aabama.

Producer and host of “The Mark O’Brien Show” on BLAB-TV and WCOA radio; host of BLAB-TV infomercials for Baptist Hospital, the City of Pensacola and private attorneys.

Writing awards: National Society of Newspaper Columnists (twice), Pensacola League of Women Voters, Pensacola Press Club.

Former newsman for The Associated Press. Also wrote for USA Today, The Boston Globe, Editor & Publisher and other publications.

Master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development, Troy University; bachelor’s degree in English, University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Young folks may be smarter than Baby Boomers

I’m a certified old guy and I have two questions:

What’s with all these folks moaning about “Millennials” and their view of life?

And why don’t critics concede that maybe it’s tougher in some ways today for people in their 20s and 30s?

Generation-bashing is nothing new.

I clearly recall my parents and other folks complaining about Baby Boomers and our sense of entitlement and our alleged unwillingness to work for anything.

Maybe my fellow Boomers have a collective case of amnesia, but I suspect they all were scolded at one time or another by “grownups” who said we needed to work more, goof off less and appreciate all they had given us.

And what about their complaints about men’s long hair and women’s clothing choices back in the 1960s and ‘70s? Are we forgetting those comments, oh fellow Boomers who rant about today’s tattooed youth with droopy pants?

It’s part of a long tradition of young people determined to tick off the old. Today’s youth just have to go to more extremes because the Baby Boomers went so far rebelling against their parents.

 

I suspect people have been complaining about “kids these days” ever since Adam and Eve were raising their young’uns, who incidentally weren’t all shining examples of virtue.

In many ways, today’s young people have it much tougher than Boomers did.

The blue-collar jobs of old required few credentials yet offered paths to promotions and better pay. Most of those jobs are in China now, however, and unskilled people can only ask, “Do you want fries with that?”

College is much more expensive, too. I went to a state college where basic tuition was $100 a semester. That’s correct – 100 dollars. I made $73 a week at my job, so tuition was not a tough reach.

Books then cost a tiny fraction of their price today. Anyone remember those Penguin Classics that cost 95 cents apiece? This means books for an English class seldom cost more than $10 per semester.

In the early 1970s, jobs for new college grads were hard to come by. The economy was struggling and the job market was flooded with other Boomers. But the cost of living was far from what it is now; I made $103 a week and had a $35-a-week furnished apartment in a good neighborhood and thought I was living like a king.

Those rents no longer exist, at least not in the United States.

Millennials also get a bad rap because many of them want jobs with flexible hours, a pleasant working environment and lots of praise for a job well done.

I spent 23 years working in a windowless tomb of a building for a huge, very profitable corporation that spent little on training and once held the annual company picnic in the parking lot rather than spend a few bucks to reserve a pavilion in a real park.

The bosses called at all hours and shrieked in horror at the thought of giving compliments, let alone raises.

Personally, I think young people are right to expect more from employers and more from life.

I like to think of it this way, “We Boomers raised some smart kids.”

 

Splash magazine