As communicators we pride ourselves on being excellent writers. And we are. We know how to tell a story, weave a communication, put thoughts together so they make sense in the context of the organisation, the public and the employees. Communicators are generally good writers, yet Kademy members overwhelmingly asked for a writing course.
We were surprised, and to be honest, there’s already a lot of help and advice to be found – how to write a good blog or a good article, how to correctly use grammar and punctuation, how to write for business or for publications. You name it, it’s out there. So, we dove a bit deeper into the request and discovered it’s not so much the actual writing that’s the problem (although that does sometimes need improvement!). It’s that the writing isn’t breaking through the clutter. It’s not resulting in met objectives. It’s not always effective, and we don’t understand why. We’re providing all of the information, in an interesting way, in a number of places, and in a consistent manner. So why is it not having the right impact?
There are two reasons:
- We’re not clear about what we’re trying to achieve.
- We don’t know enough about who we’re talking to, to achieve it.
The standard process most communicators go through when they’re asked to formulate a communication is to get all the facts from the business partner, choose an angle, get their creative juices flowing, bring it all together into a written piece for the audience and top it with an amazing headline. There’s nothing wrong with this process and it definitely sits within a communicator’s comfort zone. The hard truth though is that even the most creative writers aren’t necessarily the best business writers.
To be a good business writer you must produce content that moves people to action and meets objectives. Creativity does play a critical role in making that happen, but before you get your creative juices flowing, you need to get your strategic juices flowing. Strategy first, creativity second. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Identify your audience – do a simple impact analysis or use persona mapping to understand who this campaign is targeted at and how you’re most likely to reach them.
- Determine the appropriate tone of voice – consider the level of sensitivity of your topic and the required timeliness of the response you need. Spending time here will influence whether your reader believes what you say and will ultimately do what you ask.
- Remember the basics – what do you want to happen as a result of your communication? Have you set the right (or any!) objectives for your writing? What’s the best call to action?
At Kademy we take a step back from traditional approaches to writing and reshape show we approach the writing process from the very start. Resetting things in this way provides you with a foundation for knowing exactly what creative direction will best serve your objectives. By cultivating your strategic writing mindset and adding it to your already established creative writing one, you not only save time in the execution, but create more powerful and successful communications.
Kademy’s virtual course Writing: Strategy First, Creativity Second looks in detail at the strategic writing process and by using an active case study, enables you to create more impactful communications that yield meaningful results. Call us on +44 (0)207 157 9787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discover what a Kademy membership could look like for you and your team.