October 17

Copywriting, editorial and consulting


Writing Consultant
In brief

Good writing makes business sense. It’s shorter. It’s quicker. It’s unambiguous. And it can be learned, provided we first unlearn the bad habits acquired from old-fashioned bosses or ill-trained bloggers.

Sydney-based writing coach Stephanie Oley offers several tried and tested frameworks designed to lift your writing techniques. Workshops range from in-house to public and motivational.

Drawing on her background in magazine journalism, radio and copywriting, Stephanie’s original courses include marketing, business, media and presentation writing, complete with original workbook.

Any course can be customised. All come with rigorous upfront client consultation and post-workshop feedback.

Did we mention?

When not consulting, Stephanie is creative partner at The Offices, where you’ll find her latest copywriting across a range of media. Offline, Stephanie stays busy exploring her passion for design, culture and community, and rambling about Sydney with her young family. She has several fiction manuscripts in progress.


Scribbles from Stephanie's notepad 


Stephanie offers a mix of in-house and public writing workshops, all replete with her original textbooks. Talk to her about customised writing, speaking and editing gigs too.


1. In-house workshops

Got six or so people in need of training? Or a very specific brand voice, project or goal to develop? Ask about the bespoke workshops, where Stephanie’s core presentations are adapted to carry examples from your organisation or industry.

Email moc.yeloeinahpetsnull@olleh to request a brochure on copywriting for marketers, writing for business, writing for the media and delivering a presentation. Rates are shown for full-day, half-day and hourly training.

2. Public workshops

Since 2006, Stephanie has presented several full-day writing workshops at The University of Sydney’s Centre for Continuing Education. Click on the links below for course descriptions, rates and upcoming dates.

Persuasive Marketing Materials

Effective Business Reports

Write and Promote a Media Release

3. Speaking

Whether you need a presentation for humour, hype or help, Stephanie’s extensive public speaking experience places her comfortably in front of any audience. Perhaps you want your people to get excited about writing better, or need a workshop on effective emails or better online bios? Just ask about the possibilities.

4. Writing

Long and short, content and catch-lines, websites and wobblers: Stephanie’s writing folio spans various formats and styles. See a selection of work here. Visit The Offices to browse her latest work, or download her portfolio below.


Stephanie Oley






Ruminations on a name


Hello, I’m Yoghurt by Orin Zebest (Flickr)

Naming a business or product is a tough task, and well worth the extra time needed to think up and test out a good one.


A client recently called me for some quick feedback on a name she was considering for an offshoot brand for her main business. Her main idea fell flat, which got me thinking about the alchemy of naming a business or product.


There are some great articles out there on naming. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ve put together a few thoughts of my own – and a shortlist of some fantastic reading on the subject.


I should add that I personally am not one of those ballsy individuals who can pluck the perfect name out of nowhere, motivated by little more than a bottle of wine or the crack of a whip.


So if you’re after a quick fix, you won’t find it here. Instead, get comfortable in your chair, surround yourself with thesauruses and bookmarked reference-points, and prepare to do some long, hard thinking, scribbling, cutting and pasting.


  • Stick with your first thought. Some people get that flash of inspiration immediately. The late, great Steve Jobs famously pondered several names for his fledgling brand back in 1976 and kept reverting to the ‘apple’ orchard of one hippie acquaintance. ‘If we can’t think of a better name by morning, we’ll just go with Apple,’ he told his founding business partner, Steve Wozniak. If your gut tells you a name is right, stick with it.


  • Explore technical terms. Almost all industries have their own lingo, and these words emphasise how special these fields are. The textiles industry has lovely craftsy words like herringbone, indigo, argyle, gossamer, bespoke and patchwork. The computing industry is full of bright clashing sounds such as BitTorrent, boot loader, cygwin, pixel and googol. Just ask Pixar, Google and Gizmo what they think of tech-speak. Pull out your reference materials and get thinking.


  • Play with exotic languages. OK, it’s been done before, so don’t just cosy up to the obvious ones like agora, chateau or shogun unless you have a good reason. Have a meaningful connection with that language or exotic locale (such as Patagonia or Amazon), or add some context – like the creators of Sumo Salad and Le Specs did.


  • Mash words together. What does your brand’s main theme word look like spelled backwards? Or cut in half and fused with something? Or with the spelling altered? Memorable mash-ups include Adidas, Tigerspike, FedEx and PayPal.


  • Fun with puns. Many smaller business names are goofy takes on everyday expressions, song names and other word association. It can be fun – like Hands On for a chiropractor, or Nail It for a handyman service. If you do want to go down this line, make sure the pun works on all levels: it’s true to brand and it doesn’t have an unsavoury side meaning.


And if your industry is already full of pun-laden competitors, take a different approach. In my area, Thai dining is rife with puns – Thai Foon, Thai Me Up, Thai-namic… You get the idea.



More useful reading:





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