Be Read, Be Brief

by Trudy on November 23, 2012

I am helping someone create a communication piece that will educate, inspire and rally people. The person creating the piece is deeply impassioned about the topic and is lost in the forest, which is why she turned to me. To get her focused.

She asked – “What needs to be in here for this to have impact?” What a great question, one we all need to take the time to consider as we put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

I have been thinking about this, and believe it boils down to a few things:

  1. Start where you want to end. Know the specific impact/outcome/action you need to achieve
  2. Know who you are talking to, and talk to them and their needs/interests. You need to know why they would have interest in reading your communication.
  3. Know the top 3 points you need them to know. Tell them these and no more.
  4. Include powerful, short facts, only the essentials. Fewer is better, more weakens.
  5. Provide some value to the reader, a reward for time invested (a benefit, new knowledge, etc.)
  6. Be explicit about what you want them to do
  7. We are all time crunched, and have become skimmers, so do yourself a favor and edit. Studies prove that conciseness and scan-ability dramatically increase the usability of communication.

Whether you are writing a media release, an email, a memo, you can use these steps to increase readership of your communication, and increase outcomes and actions. Give it a try.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: