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Martin C. “Red” Fredricks on advertising, marketing, PR, business communication and whole heck of a lot more.

The Red Letter – What’s in the Name?

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The Red Letter

making every day a “red-letter day” for your advertising, branding & pr

Screenshot of Lions United ROAR Scholarship webpage

Lions United Opens Doors Wider With ROAR Scholarship

New Work – Lions United Fitness Center “ROAR Scholarship” messaging development, website content & copywriting.

Screenshot from SnowWolf ActivEdge video - scriptwriting by Fredricks Communications

SnowWolf Video Introduces ActivEdge

SnowWolf released it’s latest sharp snow-removal accessory last week, the ActivEdge. FredComm was honored to help with the launch.

Snow Plowing for Good

Breast cancer is a menace to women and men. One Fredricks Communications client – SnowWolf – is doing something about it for the second straight year.

Cropped image from Itch outdoor campaign by NOW

Itch – Killing It Right. NOW.

This outdoor advertising campaign in the London Underground for a flea treatment company made me paws… er, eh, pause.

Screenshot of the homepage for Fredricks Communications client True|IT

New Work – True|IT Gets IT with Messaging, Website, Copywriting

Engagement Manager Kevin Spaulding didn’t really see the need to bring in a freelance copywriter for the relationship planning document he planned to use with clients. “Just wait and see,” said Sales & Marketing Director Brant Flint…

Stock image for outsourcing

Brand Story: 10 Reasons to Work with FredComm

There are lots of great reasons to work with Fredricks Communications on building an effective brand story and communicating it through advertising, marketing and public relations that works. Here are the top 10.

Image of woman thinking. Words next to her are: "5 Keys to Effective PR Writing"

5 Keys to Effective Public Relations Writing

If you work in public relations, or if PR responsibilities fall to you by default in your company, it’s a good idea to keep these keys to effective PR writing in mind.

Fredricks Communications Tips Graphic

#TipTuesday – Break This Rule in Advertising, Marketing & PR Copywriting

We need lively, engaging copy to sell anything. Keep your copywriting clear, keep it brief, and provide work without with. Allow me to explain….

Image of fist being held over an employee.

“Shoulding” is Messy

Employees are the most valuable assets of any business, if they’re freed to contribute and thrive. Managers and owners hire them for their brains and abilities; it doesn’t make much sense to shut down their potential before they even get started.

Fredricks Communications Tips Graphic

Tip Tuesday – Is Your PR Writing Overqualified?

As professional public relations writers, we should do a little better than using qualifiers. We should be deleting extra words like “little,” “rather,” “very” and “pretty” anyway. Even if they look pretty.

BankNorth TV - BankNorth in South Dakota: Values-Based Banking by Fredricks Communications

BankNorth in South Dakota: Values-Based Banking

BankNorth announced its acquisition of banks in SD with this TV spot, print, radio, media relations and direct mail created by FredComm & project partners.

coffee beans superimposed with words "comped cuppa"

Caribou Love

A little love can go a long way… sometimes even to a free cuppa. Here’s to the fine folks @cariboucoffee. If you get a chance, go show ’em some love. You might not get a free cup, but the people and the coffee are great.

Screenshot of Martin Fredricks doing vlog post

Copywriting: To Split or Not to Split

The rule against splitting infinitives and other verb phrases is a myth. In your advertising, marketing and public relations, copywriter like people speak. Split away!

BankNorth print ad - "Values-Based Banking. Always."

BankNorth – We’ve Always Been Headed This Way

For nearly 115 years, First State Bank of North Dakota has served customers and communities in rural North Dakota with honesty, loyalty and integrity. It’s been Values-Based Banking. FSBND became BankNorth on July 20, 2018. And it’s still Values-Based Banking.

Driver behind the wheel

Copywriting: Remember the Passenger

Copywriting is like driving. Do it well, and your readers-passengers won’t even mind that you’ve been steering them in a particular direction all along.

Graphic of a cartoon bomb

Tip Tuesday – It’s Not Literally Dangerous in Copywriting, But…

Let’s be clear. No limbs will go flying when you use the word “literally” in your copywriting. Nevertheless, beware of using the word in your advertising and marketing content….

A bridge at sunrise

Tip Tuesday – What Advertising, Marketing or Public Relations Costs

Everyone asks the question. “What’s it going to cost for x, y or z advertising, marketing or public relations service?” Recently, I heard the best answer of my nearly 20 years in this business…

Man in front of blackboard with huge, muscular arms drawn on board

Creativity Muscles: We All Have Them. We All Can Build Them.

Creativity is not a birthright. It’s not something you either have or you don’t. The truth is, we all have a creative muscle, and if we do our reps, attack our sets, rest and repeat, we all can make it big and downright bad….

Fredricks Communications Tips Graphic

Tip Tuesday: In Order to Achieve Greater Impact…

To be more concise and effective, forget the purists; always edit out “in order” and simply leave “to” in your advertising, marketing and public relations writing.

Tip Tuesday: The Magnificent Seven of Copywriting References

Which references do I keep on my shelves? and Which references should every copywriter have on their shelves? Depends on the copywriter, but these seven are indispensable to me….

Assure, Ensure & Insure – What’s on Second in Your Marketing?

You insure your car, ensure the bills are paid on time and assure your clients your creative ideas will be effective. Pity the marketing copywriter who gets them mixed up.

Tip Tuesday: In Copywriting, “Up” Gets the Thumbs Down

All due respect to Mick and the boys, but to elevate your copywriting, “start” giving “up” the thumbs down in your online and offline advertising, marketing and PR materials.

Why, How and Other Questions About Writing a Press Release

One of the most basic tools of marketing is the press release. It can garner extra exposure for your brand, company, product or service. So how do you do it?

Tip Tuesday: You Might Be Fortunate to Read This Communication Tip on Writing…

But It Is Not Fortuitous. When writing copy, be careful with the words fortuitous and fortunate. Fortuitous events happen by chance, randomly. While they need not be fortunate events, they often are, e.g., “It was purely fortuitous that the meter reader came along less than a minute after I returned to my car.” Although fortunate […]

Here’s a Quick Tagline Scoop

I recently saw this tagline on the side of a truck from a local animal waste handling company – “Got Poop? We’ll Scoop.” My suggestion – We’ll Take Your Pet’s Business

When a Fake Google Rating/Review Shows Up…

Make sure you always respond to Google ratings or reviews, or reviews of your business on any other platform, whether they’re fake or genuine, good, bad or indifferent. Here’s what I did when someone gave my advertising agency a fake rating…

Can Your Brand Join the Cult of Cults?

In branding, “cult” is anything but a four-letter word.

Achieve cult status with your brand, and you’ve found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – word-of-mouth. Can you do it?

Tip Tuesday: Advertising Writing – Keep It Brief

Enough said. Or, if you want more (but not much more) of the skinny on brevity and advertising/marketing copywriting, here it is….

Almost More Than an Advertising & PR Word Dink Can Take

It’s almost over English-major advertising & PR word dinks like me can take. Wait. That makes no sense. Read it again…I’m over happy to help… What? What!?

Listen Up! – 10 Things Your Marketing Copywriter Should Do When Learning About Your Business

If your marketing copywriter isn’t doing these 10 things when gathering information about your business, products and services, it’s time to find a new one.

XXX, The End of a Press Release

XXX in Press Releases

Not every press release that ends with -XXX- has something to do with the adult entertainment industry. In fact, I’d guess very few, if any, do. So what the heck does it mean?

Image to illustrate radio to blog post

Blog Posts: Topic, Interview… Airwaves?

Blog posts for clients can get started just about anywhere, from topic to key personnel interviews to… radio interviews? Yep, even there…

Nasty Philly Fans and the BlackRidgeBANK Brand

The Philadelphia Eagles’ star quarterback is the BlackRidgeBANK spokesperson. Will despicable behavior by Eagles fans hurt the bank’s brand?

Image of telephone for business telephone customer service post

Three Phone No-Nos for Relationship-Driven Businesses and How to Turn Them into Customer Service Yes-Yeses

Owners and employees of a lot of small to mid-size companies are out there every day building strong brands by working their tails off and insisting on customer service that leaves people feeling like royalty. As self-defined “relationship-driven companies,” they take pride in it. And they should, because it takes a lot of pride to […]

"About Faces" Masthead

Real People. Real Stories. Fargo-Moorhead.

Fredricks Communications and Darren Gibbins Photography are proud to present a new Fargo-Moorhead community project collaboration. “About Faces.” is a collection of profiles – in both images and words – about people who make Fargo-Moorhead and the surrounding regions what they have been, what they are and what they can be. Check out the first photo/story installment….

New Work – Ventoco Messaging & Website Content

Managerial Expertise and Experience for Renewable Energy Companies   It’s not often that a website content creator gets triple exclamation points. Lars Møller, partner and chief executive officer at Ventoco in Bensenville, Ill., hit me with two sets of them in the same email last week, much to my surprise and delight. The previous week […]

“Special” Copywriting and Content for “Special” Organization

Built on Bravery Builds Athletes of All Abilities Andrew Cameron knows how to train athletes, especially special needs individuals and Special Olympics athletes. He recently started a new organization – Built on Bravery – to help them become the very best they can be. Built on Bravery provides individualized personal training and more focused Special […]

Advertising & Public Relations Thanks – It Goes Both Ways

I was delighted this past week to receive a thank-you card from Krista Andrews & Tim Brookins at PartUs. Now it’s my turn to say thanks; you really made my day. It’s one thing when an advertising, marketing and public relations service provider sends a thank-you card to a client. It’s good form, and really […]

New Work – SnowWolf Press Release & Social Media

Fredricks Communications recently had the pleasure of working, once again, with Burnsville, Minn.-based SnowWolf, for the release of its latest innovation, the QuattroPlowHD. FredComm created a press release for the new attachment and developed headline/content for a series of social media posts. SnowWolf is a highly innovative leader in the snow-removal equipment market. Over the years […]

No Pride in “Pretty Sure”

I learned about taking pride in my work in the back of a 1970s station wagon.

Yeah, I know – that just sounds wrong. But it’s true.

It was my Uncle John’s old wagon, a Chrysler, I think, or maybe a Dodge.

Creating and Evaluating Advertising and Marketing Taglines

Your brand positioning line, a.k.a. tagline, is more than just a catchy phrase. It’s the first message your customers and prospects get from your company or organization. As such, it can be a key to the success of your advertising and marketing.

Case Study Copywriting: Create the Vision

The ultimate goal of any marketing piece should be to create a vision in your prospects’ minds that points them to your product or service. A great place to start is a well-written case study.

Marketing Consultant – “I’ll Help You”

The Red Letter – What’s in the Name?

The name for The Red Letter grew from the hair on my head to the copywriting, strategic messaging and brand consulting services I provide. In other words, it combines a number of Fredricks Communications brand and personal-identity ideas. The first is as plain as the red hair on my head. I come by it honestly. My grandfather, […]

Tortoise & Hare Write-Off

“Do you have any tips for writing copy and content faster?” a colleague texted recently. My response probably seemed to contradict the question: Sloowwwwww doowwwwwn. Wha-? How does slowing down make one faster, especially when it comes to getting characters onto a blank screen? It makes no sense! Who ever said writing is supposed to make […]

The “Duh” Metric for Blog Posts

Circular Logic in Content Goes Nowhere Fast Online marketing and social media people write thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of words each day about blogging, copywriting, SEO, content development, inbound marketing, social ROI, metrics and on and on. A couple of weeks ago I read a few hundred of those words that… well…. let’s […]

Explosive Copywriting

by Martin “Red” Fredricks Ka-BLAM! That’s the reader reaction you should strive for every time you write a headline or copy for an advertisement, marketing piece, blog post, website advertisement or blog post. Words should figuratively blast off of the page, hit members of your target markets hard right between the eyes and make them want […]

Building Your Brand House

by Martin “Red” Fredricks You know who you are, what you do and what you do better. Now you need to tell everyone else. Repeatedly and consistently. Consistency is one of the keys to branding. In terms of copywriting and content development, that means making sure you’re saying the same things in the same and […]

So this guy walks into a bar…

by Martin “Red” Fredricks, Dec. 1, 2015 So this guy walks into a bar…. So begins the story I wrote about Trevor Cronk, an alumnus of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., and co-owner of Lift Bridge Brewing in Stillwater, Minn. (Man, have I been waiting a looooong time to write that line and get away with it!) The story fun […]

Larry’s story, otherwise lost in Fargo Navy Week 2011 events & media relations

Navy enjoyed Larry-like welcome in Fargo-Moorhead Published in The Forum, Fargo, N.D., Sept. 4, 2011 There’s one Fargo Navy Week story that deserves to be told again. It’s Larry’s story, but more than that, it’s about everyone in Fargo-Moorhead who helps make this a friendly, inviting place. The people of Fargo-Moorhead made a huge impression […]

An Awarding Run Comes to An End

  For years, I’ve been entering work I’ve done for clients into various advertising, marketing, public relations and communication awards competitions. I used to report the wins the Red letter, but the entering and reporting ends here. Here’s why – Opinions in the industry regarding the value of these competitions, and the awards they bestow, […]