Who we are

The First Word is run by Cristina Harvey and Neil Martin.

We work with a team of expert writers, trainers and coaches who specialise in everything from brand tone of voice and digital, to customer service and internal communications.


Writing is one of the most powerful things we do at work, but so often the default setting for business writing is formal, complex and bland. And if we’re honest, we’re all guilty of it from time to time.
That’s why we set up The First Word. To banish the blah, bull and bunkum from business writing. To help people write like human beings, not corporate clones. And to get organisations where they want to be by changing the way they use words.
Because when you make writing better, you make business better.


Neil Martin

Over the last ten years Neil's helped brands like British Airways, Sainsbury's and EDF Energy to create a distinctive tone of voice. He's also helped everyone from CEOs to customer service teams to be better writers, in the UK, America, India and Australia.

Neil studied Creative Writing at UEA. He was lucky enough to be taught by novelists and poets like Andrew Motion and Ali Smith, and he went on to have some of his work published. If there’s anything Neil loves as much as words it’s bikes, whether he’s wheeling round his native Forest Hill or he’s watching the pros in the Tour de France.

Cristina Harvey

Cristina knows what it takes to get read. Having cut her teeth writing press releases, she went on to write for and edit business-to-business magazines. Now she gets a big kick out of helping people at work bring their personality to their writing.

When she’s not chasing her toddler, Cristina can be found indulging her love of all things Italian: food, football and Frascati.