Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 1 [game]

this-weeks-challenge-question-marcia-riefer-johnstonLet’s play a game. I call it Tighten This!

How to Play

  1. My turn. Every week starting today (see below), I post a sentence I’ve come across—all natural, picked from the wild, nothing I’ve fabricated. I may change the occasional noun or pronoun.
  2. Your turn. Type your revision into a comment below. Use multiple sentences if you like. Since we don’t know the audience or context, just rephrase as if talking to a colleague familiar with the topic.
  3. My turn. The following week, I post the winning revision: the one that uses the fewest words while losing no meaning.

Notes

  • Have fun. To play is to win. You’re building a skill. Right and wrong do not apply.
  • In the absence of comments, I will propose my own revision.
  • I may edit winning answers for grammar.
  • In the event of a word-count tie, I’ll consult with my editorial board (aka my husband) and choose the most aptly phrased revision.
  • In the event of duplicate revisions, I’ll pick the first one submitted.
  • If you spot—or write—a candidate for a challenge sentence, pop that into a comment, too. You just might see it in a future “Tighten This!” post with a hat tip to you.

Example Challenge Sentence

Normally I won’t divulge my sources. In this case, I want you to know that this example comes from the master of minimalism himself, Ernest Hemingway. If even Papa could have pulled in his prose, we can all relax.

Original: Write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after.

Revision: Write when you know something, not before, and not too damned much after.

Word-count reduction: 24%

Hypothetical translation savings: $250,000

challenge-question-percentage

How did I arrive at this translation formula? See “Write Tight(er): Get to the Point and Save Millions.”

Today’s Challenge Sentence

Original: If you are entertaining the expectation that you will effectively achieve a measure of success with your content-marketing program, you may want to consider a shift in your thinking: think of it as relationship building instead.

Revision: _______________________ [Your turn. See “How to Play” above.]

Want tips? Go to “Write Tight(er): Get to the Point and Save Millions” and scroll to “My Favorite Tightening Technique.”

Psst: If you’re on Twitter, please click this tweet to share the joy of writing (and the joy of Word Up!) with fellow word lovers:

Writers—yes, you—got your copy of @MarciaRJohnston's 'Word Up!' yet? #writing #editing Click To Tweet

Sign Up!

Every week, I post a Tighten This! Challenge Question—and announce the previous week’s winners. Want to play? Want a shot of fun while building your concise-writing skills with word-loving friends? Want to edify your inner editor? Subscribe to my blog under the heading “Sign Up!” (above right or, on a mobile device, all the way at the bottom). Then, each time I publish a post, you’ll receive an email.

Index of Challenge Sentences

136 thoughts on “Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 1 [game]

  1. Improvements:

    Successful content-marketing builds profitable relationships.

    Redefine content-marketing! Use it to build relationships.

    Optimally, content-marketing builds relationships.

    Build relationships with content marketing.

  2. Woah! Assuming I comprehended the original correctly:

    To succeed at content marketing, think of it as relationship building.

  3. Expecting success with your content-marketing program without building relationships is dreaming.

  4. To achieve successful content marketing, think of it as relationship building.

  5. If you want success with your content-marketing program, consider it as relationship building

  6. If you expect your content-marketing program to succeed, you should think of it as relationship building.

  7. To succeed with your content-marketing program, think of it as relationship building instead.

  8. If you expect to effectively achieve a measure of success with your content-marketing program, think of it as relationship building.

  9. Successful content marketing builds relationships.

    Want your content marketing to succeed? Think of it as relationship building.

  10. Successful marketing does not focus on providing content, but building relationship with an audience.

  11. Consider a shift in thinking – relationship building is key – content marketing success will follow.

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  13. You could try to achieve success with your content-marketing program or succeed with relationship building.

  14. Successful content-marketing programs depend on strong relationships. Shift your thinking from “marketing” to “relationship building.”

  15. The challenge is not knowing which point the author is trying to make. “Expectations of success” and the need to “shift your thinking” may or may not be important to keep.

    If you’re expecting to succeed with your content-marketing program, think of it as relationship building instead.

  16. If you expect to succeed with your content-marketing program, consider thinking of it as relationship building.

    Expect to succeed at content-management by building relationships.

    • If you expect success with your content-marketing program, consider thinking of it as relationship building.

      If you expect success with your content-marketing program, consider thinking of it as relationship building.

  17. Expect success at content-management by building relationships.

    Repeats are what I get when I type while eating. 🙂

  18. Early front-runner: Melissa.

    >>
    Content marketing? Forget success. Build relationships.
    <<

  19. Giving this a go! 🙂

    Successful content-marketing programs focus on relationship building instead of achieving a measure of success.

  20. Carol and Chris came up with nearly the same thing I did, but I’ll throw my hat in the ring so you know I came by.

    If you expect to succeed with your content-marketing program, shift your thinking to see it as relationship building.

  21. Bringeth content to your marketing activities and expect a measure of success, if only you should consider a similar shift in thinking that reflects the relationship thou hast built with thine customer. Entertain these expectations with great care, o’ marketer, and think…yes, think! Think of how you can further leverage thine content insights to help the customer first and thyself after that hast complete.

  22. If you expect material success with your content-marketing program, you might want to reconsider – think of it as relationship building, instead.

  23. If you expect to achieve a measure of success with your content-marketing program, consider a shift in your thinking. Consider it relationship building instead.

  24. Improve your content-marketing by raising your engagement with your audience.

  25. I think for the paragraph to work, it needs to make not only better linguistic sense (such as in the “tighten this up” goal) but also logical sense. By definition, content marketing means a marketing program based on the creation of media to acquire and retain customers. The paragraph also brings relationships in to the mix, which has its own definition. Relationship marketing emphasizes customer retention and satisfaction, rather than mere sales transactions. It sounds like both are important, especially since the measure of success is mentioned in relation to content. So the re-write may be….

    “Marketing success implies a balance between content and relationships.”

  26. Trying again: Successful content-marketing depends on building relationships.

  27. The take-away from this is that there is more than one way to improve a sentence. I didn’t count, but we’ve improved your botched sentence about 20 ways.

  28. You think you just want a successful marketing campaign, but maybe you’re ready for a relationship.

  29. I pressed enter too fast and left a typo! Here’s the corrected version:

    Think relationship-building rather than content-marketing… and succeed!

  30. To succeed in your content-marketing program, think of it as relationship building.

  31. In working towards a successful content-marketing program, consider a shift in your thinking: approach it as relationship building.

  32. The best choice depends on context (e.g., whether this is an ad or an article or something else).

    Build relationships to succeed at content marketing!

    OR

    Success with content marketing depends on the relationships that you build.

    OR

    Content marketing programs succeed best when you focus on building relationships.

  33. Achieve success with content marketing through relationship building.

  34. I took a more liberal approach to this.

    The point of content marketing is to build relationships, not to pad the bottom line. If you are counting eyeballs or adding up impressions and dollars, think again.

  35. It’s not the shortest, but I tried to get the main ideas in:

    To succeed at content marketing, rethink what it really means: building relationships.

  36. If you expect success with content-marketing, rethink of it as relationship building.

    Alternative:
    Expect content-marketing success? Not. It’s relationship building.

    Too fun… curse you Marcia for creating another distraction for me! (but in a good way. 🙂

  37. Instead of thinking about your content-marketing program as something you measure, think of it as a way you build relationships.

  38. Expectation of achieving a measure of success, with content marketing, builds relationship quota.

  39. A couple of attempts with slightly different meanings:
    Content marketing is like relationship building.
    Think of content-marketing as an opportunity to build relationships.

  40. For success with your content-marketing program, shift your thoughts to relationship building instead.

  41. Pingback: Tighten This! Challenge Sentence 2 [game] - Writing.RocksWriting.Rocks

  42. Consider relationship building the measure of success with your content-marketing program .

  43. Build relationships to achieve a measure of success with content-marketing programs.

  44. If you expect that you will achieve success with your content-marketing program, think of it as relationship building instead.

  45. To achieve success with your content-marketing program, think of it as relationship building.

  46. To achieve a successful marketing program you may want to think of it as relationship building.

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