Mark Puppe








Is it just me or have your Facebook posts become increasingly rare, too?  I don't know the last time I posted something there, but I do know it's been awhile.  Then again, I haven't posted anything on my very own website for two-and-a-half years.  That makes me wonder whether I'm writing this entry to accomplish more than getting a more recent date posted so it doesn't appear totally deserted.

The fact you're reading this shows you're at least somewhat interested in what this business has been doing.  Thank you for that.

The calls for service keep coming, but commitments to my family and full-time sales position at the National Federation of Independent Business require me to do what every business owner dreads, tell prospects "No."  Master Manuscripts remains registered with the Secretary of State and the website obviously remains online, but its business activity is about as rare as my posts to this blog.

That's a long way of saying, "Master Manuscripts has been and will be on the back burner for awhile."  But you invested the time, interest, and effort to required to click the blog tab so I owe you more than a simple Facebook status update.



Let's Make This Quick!  Over and over we've heard that website visits typically last 7-10 seconds.  Thanks for reading this far!

I’m wondering what you think of internet pop-ups.  You know…the ones that automatically play or bounce around when you visit a website.  Maybe they’re about the organization or industry you’re investigating or perhaps something totally separate from your interests.  Regardless, they’re there.

The Need for New Strategies.  Internet pop-up ads also represent the need for the audience-driven, high-impact communication strategies and perspectives Master Manuscripts offers.  It’s an audacious statement, but deferring to you will substantiate its truth.

When pop-ups show up, do these or similar thoughts come to mind?

  • Where’s the timer; how long ‘til this ends?
  • Where’s that "Close (X)" button?
  • When's “Skip Ad” going to show up?
  • Where’s the mute button?
  • Get out of the way!

Maybe those thoughts don’t exactly echo yours, but considering how fast-paced and skeptical our society has become, I’ll wager that I’m at least scratching surface of concurrence.

Not All Ads Are Bad.  Now, I'm not saying internet advertising has no value.  After all, I have a website, am taking the time to hammer out this text, and constantly thinking about how to enhance my online presence.  However, it does mean messages that make the product, service, or idea primary does more to repel and irritate audiences than capture and retain them.  Glossy-talk sticks out—just like pop-up ads—and people typically do what they can to avoid it.

Put Readers First.  If we want readers to stick around, it’s imperative to remember their visit is driven by the desire to see whether a particular product, service, or idea has any potential to fulfill their respective need(s). The need can be as simple as personal intrigue, but readers are the audience and won’t be won until the website’s message targets the audience’s need and puts message sender’s own fancies in the back seat.  Whereas pop-up ads demonstrate an unbridled desire to throw information in a reader's face.

My Enlightened Clients.  Reversing the described mindset is a delicate and difficult process and cannot be accomplished unless audience-focused strategies and content are developed and implemented.  Few people recognize that truth, so my services are difficult to market.  However, the unique and immeasurable success Master Manuscripts’ clients enjoy attests to their merit and effectiveness.  Whether they're a business, organization, or individuals, my clients are enlightened enough to know their messages need to put their audiences’ interests first.

Still Here?  Again, I appreciate that you’re still here read this far.  Thank you.  Your diligence and interest show that website visits can last longer than a few seconds and not all research is right.



We trust technology too much in communication.  Email allows us to receive massages instantly rather than weight for the male.  Mangers are butter aware of orifice operations and diners can be micro waived in seconds.  Sure, many techno knick knacks are trustworthy, butt end up casting us a lot when we misplace our truss.  Believe it or not, spell check clams this paragraph to be flawless.  How do we spare ourselves?

Don’t Trust Spell Check.  Txt mgs to friends are one thing, but contract proposals, resumes and marketing materials are another.  The classic slipup is my resume client; who dropped the “l” and identified herself as a “pubic relations specialist.”  She struggled for months to land an interview and couldn’t figure out why she’d been so fruitless.  Spell check didn’t catch her error, but the hiring authorities had no problem.

Another Set of Eyes.  Asking someone to review our work not only helps catch grammatical and spelling errors, it provides insight into a reader’s perspective.  We easily get so close to our work that what reads well in our minds can dumbfound or confuse others’.  Reading text aloud will also reveal trouble spots in readability and flow.  By the way, thanks to the editors who looked over this column.

Sleep on it. Scrambling to meet a deadline becomes problematic for obvious reasons.  I’m just as guilty of this as the next person, but have spared myself immense hassle and embarrassment by completing projects early and looking them over in the morning.  Staring at the monitor for hours can fry attentiveness and spike fatigue to the point that the most blatant mistakes can be easily overlooked.

These suggestions might seem remedial, but foregoing them can inflict detrimental, preventable loss.



September 1, 2011 marks Master Manuscripts' third year as a strategic communications and writing firm.  Whether you're a client, partner, friend, or web site visitor, I owe you a debt of gratitude for contributing to the triad.  You deserve a glimpse of what you've helped create.

In 2008 I was executing my job search from Mom and Dad's basement; determined to never forgive the employer who just cut my job.

The monitor displayed more job descriptions than pixels, torn up "thanks for your interest" letters covered the floor, and "overqualified" had been in the Google search box since the computer was hooked up.

Then, the phone rang and the caller was asking me for resume help.  I cordially replied, "You've got to be kidding."  But I needed the work so that caller became my first client.

Two days later, on Sept. 1, 2008, I launched Master Manuscripts committed to helping clients reach, capture, diversify, and grow the audiences they need by creating communication strategies and written messages that set them apart.

Now it's 2011 and more than 200 clients throughout the nation and economic spectrum advance their interests by using communication strategies and written content I created.  However, my biggest accomplishment is the benefits clients receive and perpetually enjoy after working with me.

Clients from 17 states, the District of Columbia, Central America, and Asia have come to Master Manuscripts for communication and writing services.  It's personally rewarding that most became clients as the result of referrals.

Multitudes provide those referrals, but the resume client I mentioned above came from the staff at  Preference Personnel - before I was even in business.  Evidently, my resume impressed somebody.  This staffing agency has been in business for decades and has been a pillar in my first three years.  When candidates request resume help, they often respond, "Call Mark Puppe at Master Manuscripts.  He can help."  Support like that is hard to come by so every comment Preference and other staffing agencies make on my behalf is appreciated beyond description.

Resumes are what people hear most about Master Manuscripts because other clients need to put their own name on the public statements they make, but I actually polish or prepare far more.  Legislative testimony, letters to the editor, web site content, speeches, PR campaigns, newsletters, and every other kind of message clients order gets  prepared on my computer(s).  Then the client's name goes on it. Clients deserve the credit because those messages are products of their thought.  They're just generous enough to provide me the chance to boost their impact and influence.  That process has worked over and over again in multiple industries for innumberable interests during the past three years and I'm grateful to have had a role.

Although referrals are the primary marketing force behind Master Manuscripts, every inquiry is appreciated and I constantly seek new business.  So, when you want your message to make an impact, you know where to go - as well as where to direct others who have similar needs.

Thank you, EVERYONE. for supporting Master Manuscripts during the past three years and your continued enthusiasm for the company in the future!



No matter where or how hard we work, our income comes from other people. They can be clients, donors, members, taxpayers, and even someone who saved us money by doing us a favor. Those relationships drive our income. Sustaining active communication with these relationships ensures we profit. Tailoring our communications to the audience and personifying ourselves will help ensure that payment keeps coming in.

My dentist recently sent me a handwritten note with congratulations for paying attention to my teeth and a gift card for a premium car wash. I don’t know how much the car wash cost, but I bet it’s negligible relative to payments he received from me. Nonetheless, his commitment to communicating with me beyond the sale will keep me coming back.

Here are two simple steps that will keep your customers coming back to you:

Personalize the message. A brief, handwritten letter that not only thanks people or their business, but also shows admiration, makes a far better impression than silence or form letters. People want to be acknowledged. If you see a customer on the news or hear them on the radio, let them know. If you learn something unique about your customer during the sales process, incorporate it into future communications.

Follow up. Sure, it’s important to do this during the sales process, but critical to continue it after the sale has been made. You had to overcome their skepticism before making the initial sale. A simple email or telephone call inquiring about the effectiveness of what you sold them can perpetuate the trust required to secure future sales.

These are two among many other powerful and cost-effective communication strategies you can use to attract and win your audience. Do some research, and keep them coming back.

*Published by North Dakota Young Professionals, July 29, 2011.