Larry Lehmer, a veteran newspaper reporter and editor, is the president and founder of When Words Matter, Ltd., a Des Moines-based company that provides writing and editing services to small businesses and helps families and businesses preserve their histories.
“Many small businesses can’t afford a staff writer to help them create web content, brochures and press releases,” Larry says. “Those duties often fall to interns or recent hires, probably the least-qualified people on staff. Considering that many companies’ first interaction with potential customers is through these materials, that’s a risky proposition. Communicating clearly and accurately with customers is crucial to a business’ success.”
Besides offering affordable writing and editing help to small businesses, Larry also helps families preserve their legacies by collecting, organizing and saving their stories.
“Researching family history is the No. 2 hobby in the United States, trailing only gardening,” Larry says. “While genealogy is a good start in creating a family tree, it’s the stories behind the names that really bring it to life. That’s where I can help.”
Since February, Larry has written a personal history blog called Passing It On. It can be found at http://whenwordsmatter.typepad.com.
Larry has over 30 years of writing experience, including 24 years as a senior editor, reporter and newsroom manager at the Des Moines Register. During Larry’s time at The Register, the paper was named one of the country’s top 10 newspapers by Time magazine.
During his newspaper career, Larry was a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters & Editors. He is a graduate of the American Press Institute in Washington, D.C.
Larry is also the author of The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens (Schirmer Books), which was nominated for the Gleason Music Book Award. As a result of the book’s success, he worked with the E! cable television network in producing an episode of its Mysteries and Scandals series and was a contributor to a VH1 documentary on Buddy Holly.
Clear and accurate communication with customers and potential customers is crucial to a small business’ success. With the When Words Matter media assessment, Larry will review your web site, brochure or catalogue to make certain the message you’re delivering is the message you intend and that it is presented in a clear and accurate manner consistent with your brand. Larry will also look for opportunities to extend your reach into the community beyond paid advertising, such as through targeted press releases.
In the family history assessment, Larry will compare your goals with possible information sources and create a plan that will get you started down the path of saving your family’s legacy through its stories.
Larry has over 30 years of writing experience, including 24 years as a senior editor, reporter and newsroom manager at the Des Moines Register. Larry is also the author of The Day the Music Died: The Last Tour of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens (Schirmer Books), which was nominated for the Gleason Music Book Award.
He founded When Words Matter, Ltd., in 2005.
Larry’s web site can be found at www.whenwordsmatter.com and he can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 515-270-2084.