September 18, 2015 nº 1,671 - Vol. 13

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"

Albert Einstein

In today's Law Firm Marketing, How to use questions and commands to create conversational copy

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  • Top News

UN rights chief: no country has achieved gender equality

The High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday stated that no country has achieved full equality between men and women and urged the 47 members of the Human Rights Council to make efforts to achieve such equality. During an opening statement to a panel discussion on gender equality, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein blamed such things as under-representation of women in the member states and only having women experts on panel discussions regarding issues with women and children as possible causes of this inequality.

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  • Crumbs

1 - KitKat goes unprotected as European court rejects trademark case - click here.

2 - Microsoft Accused of Discriminating Against Women in Lawsuit - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

New China still closed to foreign firms

As China's old economy slumps, service industries from banking to telecommunications are poised to take up the slack. Overseas banks and life insurers have both seen their markets shares slip over the past decade; foreign ownership of China's booming telecommunications industry is less than 1 percent, while law firms from abroad are prohibited from practicing domestic law. Almost two years after President Xi Jinping championed the biggest market opening in two decades, foreign firms are contemplating a future with marginal access to the new growth engines of the world's second-biggest economy. Xi meets with President Barack Obama next week during his first state visit to the US, with lack of business access adding to tensions that include cybersecurity, the valuation of the yuan and territorial disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

China firms in US high-speed rail deal

A consortium of Chinese rail firms has teamed up with private US company XpressWest to build a high-speed rail line between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The deal marks the latest initiative in China's keen pursuit of overseas high-speed rail deals. Analysts say the project could open up the underdeveloped US high-speed rail market. There are about a dozen high-speed rail projects in the US, but they have struggled to gain traction.

Students assigned degree majors by lottery

Students at a university in southern China are being assigned degree majors using a lottery system. Second year civil engineering students at the University of South China, in Hunan Province, are being randomly allocated one of seven specialist subjects available in their department. The university says the lottery is necessary because some majors are more popular than others.

  • Law Firm Marketing

How to use questions and commands to create conversational copy
By Tom Trush

You'd think writing conversational copy would be easy.

After all, you just use the words and phrases you and your prospects speak every day

Simple, right?

Well, the problem is most people don't write the way they talk. Instead, they turn to the formal tone taught by high school English teachers. The result is a stiff, boring style that isn't easy to read or remember.

Copy that connects with prospects is conversational. When read out loud, it sounds like you're talking to a friend over lunch.

You have short words (and sentences)... repeated information ... occasional questions ... and casual pauses...

You also engage one person -- not a large audience. And the dialog goes back in forth.

Of course, if you haven't used this type of copy in your marketing before, it might seem odd at first. You'll likely feel uncomfortable even trying to write it.

Don't worry, though. Your natural voice will eventually come through after a little practice. If you continue having trouble, record yourself telling someone about your product or service. Then transcribe the recording.

One easy way I trigger mental dialogue in copy is with one- or two-word questions. I write a statement and then give the reader an opportunity to pause and take in the idea.

Some of my favorite questions include "Make sense?" "Right?" "Understand?" "Fair enough?" and "Sound familiar?"

Have a look at the questions from this excerpt on my Personal Marketing Multiplier Partnership page:

You're fed up with searching for strategies and finding time to act on them. You're sick of seeing your inbox pummeled with pitches for products promising improbable profits.

What you'd rather have is someone to stand by your side, walk you through the marketing process, and show you what steps to take next.

Right?

Or, what you need is a sounding board for critical marketing decisions. You want the security that comes with picking up your phone, calling a trusted advisor and asking, "Is this the right move?" or "Can you look this over and tell me what you think?"

Sound familiar?

Now I realize the guidance people want varies from business to business. So now you can get my expertise at any level you need -- and without a long-term commitment.

Another conversational copy technique is inserting command statements at the beginning of sentences. Some of my favorites are "listen," "remember," "keep in mind" and "imagine."

For instance ...

Keep in mind, when you don't grab control of your 401k or at least educate yourself about your investment options, you limit your retirement to what the market delivers.

You can also use longer command statements as transitions. Here are several examples:

Allow me to explain ...

Listen to this story ...

Let's take a look at what I'm talking about ...

Think about that for a minute ...

And here's one fact you can't ignore ...

WARNING: Yes, you should use proper punctuation and spelling. But writing conversationally means sometimes breaking the "rules." So don't be surprised if your copy sometimes causes grammarians to break out in cold sweats

You can occasionally use one-sentence paragraphs (even one-word paragraphs) ... start a sentence with "and" or "but" ... include sentence fragments .. and even create contractions.

These grammar violations help match your marketing copy with the way your prospects speak, which in turn makes your message more memorable.

Tom Trush is available at https://www.writewaysolutions.com.
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© Trey Ryder
FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Trey@TreyRyder.com. Write "Subscribe LMA" in the subject line and write your name and e-mail address in the body of the message.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Dumping

El Departamento de Comercio de Estados Unidos ratificó su decisión de que el azúcar mexicana ha sido subsidiada y vendida a precios "dumping" en el mercado estadounidense, en una medida largamente esperada que lleva a la investigación comercial hacia su etapa final. (Presione aquí)

Bancarrota

Una corte federal de las Islas Vírgenes recibió los documentos para iniciar el proceso de bancarrota de la refinería Hovensa, dos días después de que la compañía se acogió a la protección por quiebra al declarar que debe US$ 1,860 mlls. a sus dueños: Hess Corp y la venezolana PDVSA. (Presione aquí)

China – Argentina

El banco central de China designó al Banco Industrial y Comercial de China - ICBC, por sus siglas en inglés- como la entidad compensadora del renminbi para Argentina. Ambos países firmaron el jueves un memorando de entendimiento para el uso del yuan o renminbis, la moneda del gigante asiático, en operaciones de comercio e inversión entre ambas naciones y para la designación de un banco compensador de la moneda china.

Telecomunicaciones

La empresa estadounidense Verizon Communications Inc comenzará a ofrecer el servicio de "roaming" inalámbrico en Cuba la próxima semana, por lo que se convertirá en la primera empresa en brindar este servicio. Verizon cobrará 2.99 dólares por minuto para llamadas de voz y 2.05 dólares por megabyte de datos, lo que es una opción cara para el mercado cubano.

  • Brief News

Battle lines over impeachment sharpen in Brazil's congress

Brazilian legislators are picking sides in the growing debate over a possible impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, who is struggling to pass austerity measures designed to restore investor confidence in a shrinking economy. Leaders of some of the biggest allied parties on Thursday said they don't see grounds for impeachment, adding to an expanding number of legislators in the ruling coalition who have spoken out publicly in defense of Rousseff in recent days. The leaders hail from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB, which is the largest in the lower house with 66 legislators, and three other parties that together account for another 111 lawmakers. "At this point, impeachment legally isn't viable," said Leonardo Picciani, the lower house leader of the PMDB. Meanwhile Rousseff's detractors on Thursday filed an amendment to strengthen the legal case for an impeachment request that is backed by Brazil's largest opposition parties. Helio Bicudo, one of the founders and a former member of Rousseff's ruling Workers' Party, co-signed the request.

HRW challenges UK surveillance

Human Rights Watch (HRW), along with three anonymous individuals, filed a complaint Monday alleging that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is violating their rights by sharing communications with the US National Security Agency (NSA). The complaint alleges that GCHQ has been intercepting and storing communications from HRW and that these actions violate Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights), as incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998. The complaint seeks injunctive relief in the form of forcing the GCHQ to admit to the wrongdoing, halt any future wrongdoing and destroy any records they have obtained unlawfully.

EU court fines Italy for failure to recover social security aid

The Court of Justice of the European Union issued a fine Thursday against Italy in the amount of €30 million for failing to recover millions of euros that were improperly granted to hundreds of companies in the form of social security aid. A court ruling in 2011 issued an order to recover the aid, but Italy failed to comply and in some cases even suspended recovery of aid. The court imposed an additional €12 million fine for each six-month period of delay in respecting the 2011 ruling.

GM agrees $900m settlement for faulty ignition switches

General Motors has agreed to pay $900m (£580m) to end a criminal inquiry into its failure to recall vehicles with faulty ignitions. The car maker was being investigated for not checking millions of cars, despite staff knowing for more than a decade about the defect. The fault has been linked to more than 100 confirmed deaths. It could shut down engines, disable power-assisted steering and brakes and prevent airbags working. GM has admitted it did not alert regulators and the public, failing to issue a timely recall of vehicles. The US government has agreed not to seek a conviction in exchange for the settlement and the appointment of an independent monitor at the company.

French farm produce 'ruined by WW1 pollution'

Farmers in northern France have been ordered to destroy this year's produce because of pollution caused by World War One armaments left in the soil. Hundreds of tons of old ordnance are destroyed in France every year because of metals and toxic compounds found in soil., much of it found in fields in the north-east. Restrictions put in place by the French regions allow the ban of food produce if it comes from land contaminated by heavy metals. More than a billion shells were fired during WW1, and an estimated 30% of them did not explode. Many are yet to be uncovered in northeast France, the scene of some of the biggest WW1 battles.

Germany mulls cleansing law of Nazi-inspired language

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas is drafting a new law to overhaul the country's criminal code, primarily by getting rid of holdovers from the Nazi era, the Global Post website reports. The Central Council of Jews in Germany agrees it's time to officially erase Nazi terminology from German laws. "Formulations introduced into our codes of law by the Nazis should certainly have no place there," said council President Josef Schuster. As the code still stands, a murderer is defined as someone who kills "because of bloodlust, sexual gratification from killing, greed, or otherwise base motives." That wording is "typical of Nazi ideology." But not everybody is happy with the proposed change. Conservative politicians have warned that questioning the definition of murder would send the wrong signal to terrorists.

If you fly, we can’t

Wildfires are rampaging through California, destroying homes. Drones being flown near the huge blazes are disrupting the flights of aircraft being used to control the fires. A bill hurried through by California State Senator Ted Gaines aims to give greater powers against drone use. Specifically, it wants to make it possible for firefighters to knock drones out of the sky by using electronic jamming, without fear of being sued for compensation. The bill, if passed, would mean California's drone operators would face six months in prison if found to be flying a drone in a manner that hindered the efforts of emergency services.

Nepal lawmakers approve new constitution

The new Constitution of Nepal was approved by the Constituent Assembly of Nepal on Wednesday after years of debate. The original 2010 completion date was repeatedly delayed due to international and domestic criticism for failures to protect fundamental rights. Despite continued minority protests against the final draft, the approval of the long awaited Constitution by 507 votes to 25 led to cheers and celebration within the assembly. The Constitution will be formally promulgated by President Ram Baran Yadav on Sunday at which time Prime Minister Sushil Koirala will resign from office.

Federal appeals court refuses to expand Argentina bond class action

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Wednesday that a lower court judge should not have expanded a class action suit of bondholders suing Argentina. District Judge Thomas Griesa had been overseeing litigation related to Argentina's sovereign debt default from roughly 14 years ago. The appeals court noted it was the fourth time it had reviewed and subsequently rejected Griesa's tactics for calculating damages. This decision is related to the litigation by Argentina bondholders seeking full repayment after the country's approximate USD $100 billion default in the beginning of 2002, after which the country defaulted on some bonds again in July 2014. Henry Brecher, who led the plaintiffs in the case, sought damages of up to €68 million (USD $77 million).

Beer giants AB InBev and SABMiller in merger talks

The prospect of a tie-up between the world's two largest brewers is looming after Anheuser-Busch InBev said it had made a takeover move for SABMiller. The combined value of the two firms is likely to be at least $230bn based on Tuesday's share price. AB InBev's brands include Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, while SABMiller owns Peroni and Grolsch. If the deal is successful, the merged company would produce one third of the world's beer.

Canada court rules women may wear veils during citizenship oath

A Canadian court on Tuesday ruled that women may be allowed to wear face-covering veils during swearing the oath of citizenship.

US central bank leaves interest rates unchanged

The US central bank has decided to hold interest rates steady and keep them at the same level since December 2008. The Federal Reserve said nine members of its Federal Open Market Committee voted to hold the key federal funds rate target at 0 to 0.25%. The Fed made it clear that concerns about the strength of the global economy had influenced its decision. The Fed's main interest rate has been practically zero since the dark days of the financial crisis. It has been unchanged since December 2008, a few weeks after the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers.

South Dakota lawmakers petition Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade abortion ruling

A group of South Dakota lawmakers on Tuesday presented a resolution to the US Supreme Court asking it to overturn its abortion rulings in such cases as Roe v. Wade. The lawmakers believe they have significant evidence that such rulings are doing significant harm to women. The resolution passed through both South Dakota's House and Senate with a majority vote. The unprecedented resolution urges the court to overturn the decision in Roe in order to allow state law makers to pass laws to protect the women and children of their state.

Dewey & LeBoeuf accounting fraud case goes to jury

The trial of three former executives of the once-prominent law firm is headed to a verdict — but jurors had plenty of questions for the judge.

Religious groups win bid to ignore Obamacare coverage rule

Religious groups needn't obey the Affordable Care Act mandate to provide workers with health insurance that covers contraception and can't be forced to tell the government when they don't, according to an appeal ruling that pushes the fight toward the US Supreme Court.

  • Daily Press Review

Pakistan Taliban fighters attack air base near Peshawar
Al Jazeera, Doha, Qata

Eating salty food doesn't make you thirstier, says Haifa scientist
Haaretz, Liberal daily, Tel Aviv, Israe

Croatia closes Serbia road borders
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, Englan

Trump didn't correct questioner who says Obama is Muslim
CNN International, London, Englan

Nicola Roberts gets slapped with a parking ticket but laughs it off with parking warden
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Aylan Kurdi's father vows to hunt down trafficker who led son to his death
Daily Mail, Conservative daily, London, England

Chaos in Croatia as relentless migrant surge continues
EuroNews, International news, Ecully Cedex, France

'We have the support of the army,' Burkina coup leader tells FRANCE 24
France 24, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Franc

Excavations at Myra show ancient hairstyles same as today's
Hurriyet Daily News, (Liberal, English-language), Istanbul, Turkey

12 pictures that capture the chaos caused by Europe's refugee crisis
Independent The, London, England

South Korea sees surge in infidelity after law change ending jail for adultery
Telegraph The, Conservative daily, London, Englan

Elton John happy 'Putin' prank call highlighted gay discrimination
Telegraph The, Celebrity news, London, England

Coup in Burkina Faso; president, PM arrested
China Post, English-language daily, Taipei, Taiwan

Are Crimes Against Women Unstoppable?
Chosun Ilbo, Conservative daily, Seoul, South Korea

In pics
Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

World Bank Offers Funds for Burma's National Power Plan
Japan Times, Independent centrist, Tokyo, Japan

Opposition parties' delaying tactics throw Diet into chaos
New Zealand Herald, Conservative daily, Auckland, New Zealand

YouTuber's video removed over jokes about fat people
Straits Times, Pro-government, Singapore

Ukraine President cancels trip over protests in eastern Ukraine
Sydney Morning Herald, Centrist daily, Sydney, Australia

Inaugural Taichung Arts Festival set for October
The Economic Times, Business, Mumbai, India

Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump: 'Cut it out'
Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Solutions to Greek crisis: Greenpeace Greece launches crowdfunding campaign
Globe and Mail The, Centrist daily, Toronto, Canada

Obama administration decision on Keystone pipeline overdue, Clinton says
International Business Times, Business news organization, New York, U.S

Fact-checking the second GOP presidential debate
Reuters, Business News, New York, U.S

China firms sign deal for high-speed Las Vegas-Los Angeles rail link ahead of Xi's U.S. visit
Reuters, World News, New York, U.S

Man Asks Trump: ‘When Can We Get Rid' Of All The Muslims In America? His Answer Was Horrifying.
Toronto Star, Toronto, Ontario

Supporter asks Trump to solve 'Muslim' problem
BBC News, Centrist newscaster, London, England

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