Business Writing / Project Management

Business Writing / Project Management

Selected Writings /
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About me


Testimonials in brief:

"What we've got here is an articulate, creative, professional document." -- comment from Xtracycle Access Foundation director Adam French.

"Thanks... for your time and expertise. With your input, our summary is a better document and in the competitive world of fundraising, that makes a real difference." -- feedback from Year Up director Gerald Chertavian.

"I... am very pleased with all of the grass-roots marketing you guys have been generating. Great job, and thank you!" -- Jay Townley, bicycle industry consultant, having read several of the newsletters I wrote for Xtracycle LLC.

"I just wanted to... thank you again for your incredible help last week. You wrote a beautiful letter." Feedback on a fundraising letter from Jennifer Kaminski, president Cycles La Femme.


Paul Freedman's Business Writing Services:

Introduction: | top

Based in San Francisco, California, I offer business writing and project management services to individuals, organizations, and companies. My projects have included web sites, business letters, newsletters, Powerpoint presentations, product review articles, grant applications, a user-documentation system, and project management. Prior to working as a business writer, I worked for three years in the internet industry, in Boston, London, Denver, Amsterdam, and San Francisco. I then worked for two years in the consumer products industry (cycling and outdoor). In addition to creating winning text, I am a visual thinker, and I can assist you in recruiting and managing graphic designers to give your project a crisp, professional look. I hold a BA with honors in Computer Science from Harvard University.

The greatest challenge I repeatedly face in business writing is "How can I make this story come alive?" It is straightforward to put into words what a client wants to express, harder to do it concisely, and more difficult still to tell the story in a way that conveys the energy and intent of the client. In my business writing I focus on listening to the client so that I can vividly communicate their excitement about their project or product through my own words.

I have worked for years in professional environments. I bring with me a strict personal commitment to: the highest quality work, regular, informative communications, and respect for deadlines. My references can speak to these qualities. Please contact me for a references list.

Setting up an Engagement: | top

I have availability for additional projects, depending on the duration and scope. Please call me or email to schedule an introductory phone call, where I can learn about your needs.

When we speak on the phone, I will listen to your project needs to determine whether I have the appropriate skills and availability for your project. If the answer is yes, I will prepare a project proposal. In my proposal I will summarize the project background, and explain my approach, the components of my work, my steps and timeline, and finally, my fees. After reading my proposal, you will know exactly what steps I will follow, what my key deliverables to you will be, and what will be the associated deadlines.

By the time I've written and submitted a proposal, I've spent enough time processing a client's needs that the hard work is behind us. The way forward on the project will be fun, creative, and rewarding.

I work at competitive rates that are consistent with my skills and level of experience. When compared with the expense of hiring a professional PR firm or a full-time marketing staff, I offer a major savings. In the past I have worked with nonprofits and startups to taylor my offerings to their budgets.

Services Offered: | top

Editorial Proofreading -- This service is useful for clients who have already produced a document but want to double-check it before it goes out the door to a potential funder, client, investor, employee, supporter, etc. The service involves many reads of the document, general suggestions and feedback, specific in-context suggestions, and a complete grammatical sweep of the document.

Writing -- The client has a letter, document, or presentation in mind and calls on me to produce this document. Clients who want the best results from this type of service must prepare to help with research -- finding quotes, specific examples, numbers and statistics, possible interview subjects.

Project Management -- For more complex projects such as web sites, I manage the creative and production processes. I bring in necessary talent (graphic design, photography, illustration, and later, printing) and coordinate client meetings and conference calls to review progress.

Web site copy writing -- Web writing must address a faster paced reading style and a networked approach to knowledge. I have also refined my web writing style to win high ratings with search engines like google.

Technical documentation -- For software or complex web-based tools, thorough documentation can turn doubtful first-time users into model customers. Detailed screenshots, step by step instructions, and human-friendly language are the keys to successful documentation.


Past and current clients: | top

Cycles LaFemme -- The premier designer of fashionable bike shirts for women, Cycles La Femme made its debut at the industry trade show, Interbike in 2002. After winning awards for her designs and securing her first orders, founder Jennifer Kaminski sought financing for her national sales rollout. Kaminski used my editorial proofreading service to rewrite her fundraising letter and bring in the capital needed to place her first order with the manufacturer.

"I just wanted to... thank you again for your incredible help last week. You wrote a beautiful letter," wrote Kaminski.

For more information about Cycles La Femme, visit

Village Bicycle Project -- This nonprofit collects bikes from garages and basements in the Pacific Northwest, and transports them in shipping containers to Ghana, where it offers them at discount prices to villages. Founder David Peckham brought me in to repackage research from his 2001 Ghana trip for the popular cycling press. As of July 2003, the photo essay "Getting by in Ghana" is under consideration by Velovision Magazine. Peckham also used my editorial proofreading service for his annual report, which goes out to 300 supporters and funders worldwide, via email.

Xtracycle Access Foundation -- XAccess is a Berkeley-based non-profit dedicated to bringing load-carrying bicycle technologies to the developing world. XAccess did not have any 'literature' online or in print, and needed to tell its story to the world. I worked with Erik Krauter Design of Boston to produce the XAccess web site. (Screenshot at right.)

Other projects for XAccess:

- prepared XAccess's application to join the Tides Center, a non-profit umbrella organization. XAccess director Adam French, after reviewing the draft of the application, wrote: "What we've got here is an articulate, creative, professional document."

- prepared XAccess application to the Tech Museum innovation awards.

- secured PR appearances in WIRED, and Hooked On the Outdoors, and wrote "A Bike Tinkerer's Heaven in Berkeley" a profile piece about XAccess' headquarters, for the Sierra Club Yodeler magazine.

- managed key strategic partner relationships with ITDP and ApproTEC.

Screenshot of The primary goal here was to bring the story of XAccess to life with compelling photographs and text. My other goals were to create a design scheme that was vibrant, yet professional, and a site structure and navigation scheme that would be easy to update, so that the site would grow with the organization.

Year Up -- Based in Boston, this nonprofit teaches technology skills to disadvantaged urban youth, creating a community of 'life-long learners.' I worked with Year Up's director, Gerald Chertavian, on a 9-page executive summary to be used for funding. After my editorial proofreading Chertavian's team rewrote the document and approached potential funders with new confidence. "I really appreciate your... incredibly helpful suggestions," wrote Chertavian.
For more information about Year Up, visit .

Xtracycle LLC -- The sister to XAccess, this for-profit manufacturer of "Sport Utility Bicycles" debuted its product three years ago in the foothills of the California Sierra and now has riders in at least four continents. Xtracycle asked me to write a product review for publication in Adventure Cycling, the monthly publication of a 40000 member organization by the same name. My review ran in the September/October 2001 edition of Adventure Cycling, and has since resulted in a more direct sales for Xtracycle than any other piece of press coverage. I also contribute, on roughly a bimonthly basis, a newsletter to loyal Xtracycle fans and supporters. Xtracycle boardmember and bicycle-industry consultant Jay Townley wrote "I... am very pleased with all of the grass-roots marketing you guys have been generating. Great job, and thank you!" For more information about Xtracycle, visit

Metazoa, Inc. -- Metazoa has drawn thousands of scientists worldwide to use its suite of online research tools. As a full-time employee of Metazoa, I designed and managed the production of myCollaborations, an online collaboration tool for biologists. One reviewer from Tufts University's Cochran Lab wrote: "The ability to manage collaborations is an especially strong feature." I worked with a seasoned graphic designer and a team of 8 software engineers based in Lahore, Pakistan to produce and design the project. I also designed and produced the online documentation system for our research tools.

Screenshot of the myCollaborations tool at The goal here was to create a space for scientists to share critical research data and observations. The collaboration tool included sophisticated features to support group work; examples include a mailing list that allowed group members to respond either on their email program or using the web, advanced search capabilities, and an address book.

John Stevenson Gallery -- Thanks to John Stevenson, Platinum Photography, a process that yields brighter brights and darker darks than silver-based film, has a home in New York. When Stevenson wanted to take his gallery on the web in 1997, I helped him develop a navigation system that literally brought the web viewer inside the gallery.

Stevenson's web site has added many more photographers since '97, but the navigation system still serves its original purpose with simple elegance.

Please visit Stevenson's web site; his online platinum photography collections are incredible. If you are in New York, visit his 23rd street gallery in person. Nothing can do a platinum print justice like seeing it with your own eyes.

Navigation system from The navigation scheme is designed to give the viewer the sensation of moving through a premier photography gallery.

Landslides Aerial Photography -- Aerial photographer Alex Maclean has flown over most of the United States in a single-engine aircraft, literally leaning out the pilots window with a gyroscopically stabilized 35mm camera to capture the stories of the land below. I designed and produced a web site for Maclean and Landslides, to feature his editorial, educational, and architectural photographs. The site,, has recently gone through a substantial design revision and no longer showcases my work. However, it contains some fascinating aerial photography.

Author John Spooner -- Bostonian John Spooner is the author of nine novels and non-fiction books. I worked with Spooner to promote Do You Want to Make Money Or Would You Rather Fool Around?, a book of contrarian investing advice couched in charming personal anecdotes and humor.