Archives for February 2015

Writing Tip: Formatting Dates

For dates that include the month or the month and year, just use the numeral for the date (this will be the case for the vast majority of marketing copy):

  • January 1
  • January 1, 2015

If no month is included, turn the numeral into an ordinal, preferably spelled out. If it’s used with a numeral, it should never be a superscript—keep it the same text size as the digits:

  • We’ll meet on the twentieth.
  • The meeting was on the 20th.

When space is at a premium (H1s, email subject lines, etc.), feel free to abbreviate the month, so long as it’s consistent.

  • Claim your discount before Feb. 20!

Use these preferred month abbreviations, always including the periods as they appear here:

January Jan.
February Feb.
March Mar.
April Apr.
May May
June June
July July
August Aug.
September Sept.
October Oct.
November Nov.
December Dec.

Writing Tip: Formatting Quotes

Whenever you include a quote in your copy, it’s important to show the source. If the quote stands alone (in its own paragraph, as a social post, etc.), it should be formatted like this:

“For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’” —1 Corinthians 1:19

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that we were made for another world.” —C.S. Lewis, author

Here are some key points:

  • Always use curly quotation marks in any context (here’s how).
  • Keep double quotation marks around the whole quote.
  • If there’s a quote within a quote, surround it with single quotation marks.
  • For the attribution, end with a space, em dash, and source (no space between the em dash and the source). Alternatively, you could begin a new line with the em dash if it makes more sense in context.
  • If there’s a verse range, use an en dash (“Proverbs 3:3–6”).
  • If there’s a job title or department associated with the source’s name, use these capitalization guidelines.

Going into more depth with formatting, let’s look at how to use punctuation with quotes.

Check out this (overly complicated) example from The Chicago Manual of Style:

“Don’t be absurd!” said Henry. “To say that ‘I mean what I say’ is the same as ‘I say what I mean’ is to be as confused as Alice at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. You remember what the Hatter said to her: ‘Not the same thing a bit! Why you might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see”!’”

Hopefully none of us ever need to write something so complex, but it shows us some great examples.

Let’s break this down into some main points:

  • Keep double quotation marks around the whole quote.
  • If there’s a quote within a quote, surround it with single quotation marks.
  • If there’s another quote within that quote, return to double quotation marks, continuing to alternate the two with each level. (Please note that this is very rare and should be avoided or reworked when possible.)
  • Periods and commas generally stay inside closing quotation marks:

“I wish I could study the Bible in depth,” she said.

He said, “You should try Logos Bible Software.”

  • Colons and semicolons are placed outside closing quotation marks:

She wanted to sing “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”; he wanted to sing “Amazing Grace.”

  • Question marks and exclamation points stay inside the quotation marks when part of the quoted text. Otherwise, they fall right outside the closing quotation marks.

Did she say “I love Logos Bible Software”?

“I love Logos Bible Software!” she said.

Writing Tip: Job Titles & Departments

In most cases, job titles are lowercased:

  • He is the professor of biblical studies.
  • Jane Smith, president and CEO, will speak at the meeting.
  • Author, speaker, and writer John Smith will attend the conference.

However, there are a few exceptions where capitalization is necessary.

  1. In title-cased text, capitalize job titles as you would any other term.
  2. When the title is used before someone’s name, as part of their name, it should be capitalized.

President Barack Obama gave his address.

Editor in Chief Jane Smith will review the publication.

  1. If the title is a proper term, use the correct capitalization.

He has been appointed the John A. Smith Professor of History.

And similar rules apply to departments, too! In general, lowercase department names unless they’re used as the name itself or have a proper name:

  • The marketing department will run the promotion.
  • All promotions requests go through Marketing.
  • The university’s department of history is holding an open house.
  • The John A. Smith Department of History is holding an open house.

Writing Tip: Best-Selling, Bestselling & Best Seller

We often talk about best sellers, some of our best-selling titles by bestselling authors.

Here’s how to distinguish each usage:

  • Best-selling (with a hyphen) is used to describe the product that has sold the best (whether it’s within our ecosystem, nationally, over the years, etc.):

This is one of our best-selling resources.

  • Bestselling (without a hyphen) is used in a colloquial sense, usually in terms of something besides the product itself. One of the most common usages is to describe an author—we’re not literally selling the author, but they’ve written a best-selling title:

She’s a bestselling author.

  • Best seller (two words) is the noun for a best-selling product:

This resource is a best seller.

Writing Tip: Spelling Out Centuries

Ordinal numbers with centuries should always be spelled out:

  • the twenty-first century

However, since this can take up a lot of space, feel free to substitute numerals where appropriate (H1s, email subject lines, or other scenarios where space is at a premium):

  • the 21st century

If the century is used as an adjective (typically placed before the noun), use a hyphen. If it stands alone or comes after the noun, remove the hyphen.

  • I love literature from the twentieth century.
  • I love twentieth-century literature.

For parts of centuries, only hyphenate when it’s used with “mid-”. “Early” and “late” should be left without hyphens.

  • This book was written in the mid-twentieth century.
  • This book was written in the early twentieth century.
  • Mid-twentieth-century literature is valuable.
  • Early twentieth-century literature is valuable.

Writing Tip: Is It ‘Bible’ or ‘bible’?

When using any of these terms, they should be capitalized as shown here:

  • Bible
  • biblical
  • Scripture
  • scriptural

One easy way to remember is that the text (“Bible” or “Scripture”) is always capitalized, like book titles. But the words describing it (“biblical” or “scriptural,” etc.) are always lowercased.

This goes for all contexts—running text, subheads, email subject lines, etc.—but in title casing, “biblical” and “scriptural” would each be capitalized.

Some examples:

  • Explore the Bible’s cultural context.
  • Explore the biblical world.
  • Understand Scripture with Logos 6.
  • Understand scriptural context with Logos 6.

Intro to Jira

Hi Marketing Team,

As many of you have heard by now we are transitioning to Jira in the coming weeks. Jira will replace fogbugz as our project management tool here in marketing. As we transition I will keep you all updated on which teams will be transition when so you can start diving in and utilizing Jira.

You will find login instructions below and here is a link to the user guide.

Please take the time to read the below information regarding the transition.

To give you a little more information and to answer a few questions that have come up in the last couple of weeks.

  1. Is Marketing the only department switching to Jira? We as a company are transitioning to using Jira. Eventually fogbugz will be replaced all together and we will no longer be using it.
  2. How will this effect working with other departments? As we have transitioned to more of a line of business model here at Faithlife there will be more opportunities to work on projects with other departments. Jira will be a great tool in which we can work on cross department projects with other teams.
  3. Are we required to use Jira? What if we like what we are doing? As much as possible we ask that each team and individual use Jira for all of their projects and tasks.
    1. Why, you might ask? A few great benefits of Jira:

i.     Everything for your project is in one place. You will no longer have to add everything to the wiki, asana, google docs. (This doesn’t mean that we won’t use these tools anymore, but the amount of duplication and where you need to add information will become less repetitive.)

ii.     Management will be able to pull reports from Jira, decreasing the number of reports you will need to turn in or fill out on a weekly basis, giving you more time to work on your projects.

iii.     Time Tracking will become a lot easier!! We will be switching to a monthly time tracking system with time tracking by project for LARGE projects.

iv.     Jira is more user friendly than fogbugz.

How does this affect you now?

  1. You will want to set aside sometime over the next few weeks to get familiar with Jira, go through the user manual and attend the training that you are scheduled for.
  2. Any projects you have in fogbugz will be migrated over to Jira in the next 6 weeks at which point you will be working solely out of Jira.
  3. You will need to work in both Fogbugz and Jira until all teams has been transitioned. As much as possible we ask that once a team is transitioned you enter any new requests in Jira rather than fogbugz.
  4. Any projects that are not in Jira will need to be put in manually by you.
  5. As teams transition over you will need to start submitting your request in Jira (even if your team is still working in fogbugz and hasn’t been transitioned over).

A few terms to familiarize yourself with:

  1. Issue: An issue is equivalent to a parent case in fogbugz
  2. Project: A project is equivalent to a project in fogbugz (For example our current projects in fogbugz are: Marketing Projects: Logos, Marketing Projects: Ecommerce, Marketing Technology Team, etc.)
  3. Task or Sub-Task: A task or sub-task are equivalent to a child case in fogbugz


How to Login:

You all currently should have access to Jira. If you are unable to login please let me know.

To login, follow these instructions:

Go here: (you may want to bookmark this)

  1. Your username is everything in front of the @ on your faithlife email address.
  2. If you don’t have a password, click unable to access your account, and you will be prompted to create a password.

As you start exploring the tool, know that we are still making changes and these changes will continue to take place over the next 6 weeks as we get everyone transitioned over. Please be patient and ask lots of questions. If you aren’t sure how to do something connect with your team lead first, if they don’t know the answer then feel free to reach out to me.

Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns.