Sustainability (and such)

Strategic Writing

As a long-time marketing/communication practitioner and academic, I’ve seen both awesome and atrocious writing trends for strategic communications.  Digital skills (and divides) have transformed our ways of living, meaning that writers must be more speedy, accurate, and credible for many different audiences.  It’s all about getting your message heard successfully; unfortunately, some groups have yet to realize that we’ve moved from a top-down flow of information to a horizontal flow of information, meaning that the public has seized its huge voice in how news and information is sent and received.  Whereas news and promotional materials were once broadcast, we’re now a narrowcast society, with fragmented media giving anybody the chance to create a viral video or crisis snapshot.  (Think about Silent Spring, the BP oil spill, and even Clint Eastwood-ing as examples of unforgiving publics.)  The Public Service Announcements I once wrote for corporations in the 1970’s differ tremendously from the social media news releases I write now.  It’s incredible.

To keep up, I’ve had to continually take classes and constantly learn about the newest platforms (and crises) that diversify approaches toward achieving goals.Transparency and accessibility are now enmeshed with standard of good writing which remains the core of strategic communications.  Although writers no longer live by as many deadlines, given that monthly magazines are often usurped by daily blog posts, we must still work toward engaging, accurate words despite the trigger-happy needs of 24/7 media.  It’s interesting, isn’t it, that fluid deadlines are creating more problems with writers who dash off emails that live forever, often without checking details and grammar.  Our words live forever.  Our errors live forever.  And our clear, true writing lives forever.

Take five or ten minutes every day to send and receive information.  Use social media (Twitter with Tweetdeck, Facebook, and Pinterest in some cases) and get a Google + account ASAP.  For more resources, subscribe to Poynter’s NewsU for many free, self-directed tutorials, as well as Ragan Communications’ PR Daily and For Immediate Release podcast.  And yes…use your real name before somebody else does.  Your business card is simply a Google search, so manage your name and your brand.

And click HERE for my online Strategic Writing class syllabus at Bridgewater State University.

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