March 4th, 2015
Author: Catherine Brasch
#ICYMI: Facebook is controlling the amount of promotional posts you see


We’re back with a great update from social media! In this edition of #ICYMI we look at an update to Facebook promotional posts that took effect in January. Read More

February 26th, 2015
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words

February 2015 OnWords

This month we look at flat adverbs, which are increasingly popular but often ruffle feathers because they seem to break the rules. Also, if you’ve ever wondered whether ‘that’ or ‘which’ is the right word to introduce a clause you’ll find out in this month’s issue of On Words. Read More

February 12th, 2015
Author: Gayle Robin
Designing Effective Creative
January 16th, 2015
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words: January 2015 Grammar Tips

jan on words

When a new year begins, many of us look at everything with fresh eyes and renewed enthusiasm. It’s a good time to remember the importance of good grammar and to remember the best written or spoken communications are about much more than the mechanics. Clarity, brevity and using the right tone all make a big difference, while having a passion for language helps with composition. In this post, we look at hyphenating compound adjectives, an odd headline, and more ‘confusables.’ Read More

December 17th, 2014
Author: Andrea Berry
The Crammer’s Guide to Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

For those of us in denial, the holidays are here! And if you’re like some of us here at StrategicAmpersand, you haven’t even started your shopping list! So, to make holiday shopping a bit easier, we’ve come up with a few ideas for those ‘tricky’ folks on your list.

For the builder and creator on your list:

The LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Milano Spaceship Rescue is THE signature set from LEGO’s Guardians of The Galaxy line, the latest in its Marvel Super Heroes collection. Recreate one of the most exciting moments from 2014’s summer blockbuster in stunning detail, with five mini-figures – including three of the Guardians (Star-Lord, Drax and Gamora) – and 665 pieces. This is sure to be a hit with the ‘young’uns’, and young at heart, on your list this holiday season.

As LEGO says about The Milano Spaceship Rescue: Prepare for an epic clash between the Guardians of the Galaxy™ and the ultimate villain, Ronan™!
Read More

November 17th, 2014
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words: November Grammar Tips

On Words is designed to help build or renew your grammar skills. This month we look at run-on sentences, overuse of passive voice, usage of semi-colons and more ‘confusables’ – words  often mistaken for each other.

With educated people, I suppose, punctuation is a matter of rule; with me it is a matter of feeling. But I must say I have a great respect for the semi-colon; it’s a useful little chap.

- Abraham Lincoln

Using Semi-colons:
You may disagree with Abraham Lincoln, but there are instances where semi-colons serve a good purpose. The University of Toronto writing department advises using a semicolon to join independent clauses without a coordinating conjunction (and, or, nor, but, so, yet, for), and gives this example:  “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Had there been a coordinating conjunction like ‘and’, you would use a comma instead, as in “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Tip: You can use a semi-colon if the two clauses in a sentence can stand as sentences on their own, as in the first example above.

Exception: Semi-colons can also be used occasionally as ‘supercommas’ between items in a complicated list, as in, “I have a three-day layover in Amsterdam; another stop in Geneva; and a third stop in Frankfurt.”

Avoiding run-on sentences
It’s easy to get carried away and try to pack too much information into one sentence. I know, because I’ve done it. Sentences that become bloated by going off in too many directions and containing too many words are a reader turn-off.

Tip: Ensure each sentence expresses only one central idea. Read More

November 12th, 2014
Author: Jennifer Rideout
The biggest mistake your brand can make on social media, and how to avoid it

ICYMI - June 23

At StrategicAmpersand, we manage many social media programs for clients, as well as provide support to in-house teams. We’ve seen and discussed, a lot of social strategy. And there is one mistake that brands – B2B or B2C – make in their social media strategy that is often repeated. Read More

October 29th, 2014
Author: Catherine Brasch
#ICYMI: Facebook is basing ads on where you’ve been recently and embedded Instagrams will appear much bigger and clearer on the web

ICYMI - October 29


In this week’s #ICYMI we look at the latest change from Facebook that will benefit advertisers as well as Instagram’s improved embedded photo quality. Read More

October 20th, 2014
Author: Dianne Craig
On Words: October Grammar tips

Lemony Snicket, in The Wide Window, on words:

Grammar is the greatest joy in life, don’t you find?

Fall is a great time of renewal, as F. Scott Fitzgerald observed: “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” It’s also a good time to renew or build your grammar skills. This month we look at ellipses, hyphenated words and ‘confusables’ – words often mistaken for each other:

Using the Ellipsis …

Those three dots you often see within a sentence, ‘ …’, form an ellipsis, commonly used to indicate omitted words. It’s Latin, with Greek origins meaning to fall short, leave out. It’s like the print equivalent for those times when someone recounts a conversation to you with “blah, blah, blah” or “yadda, yadda, yadda” to indicate that extraneous or predictable words have been omitted. Ellipses are particularly useful for shortening a long quotation. Always put a space before and after the dots. Note also there are two alternate uses, including:

Read More

October 8th, 2014
Author: Ashleigh Mair
ICYMI: Facebook’s new ad network and Hootsuite integrates with BBM Channels

ICYMI - Oct 8

In this week’s #ICYMI we look at the latest changes on Facebook that will work in advertisers’ favour as well as Hootsuite’s exclusive integration with BBM Channels.

1.    Facebook recently announced the launch of Atlas, a former Microsoft property that Facebook bought last year and was “completely rebuilt to tackle present day marketing challenges.”  Atlas produces people-based marketing, helping brands reach people across devices, platforms and publishers. Read More