As public relations and marketing professionals, we write a lot… and that is an understatement. No matter what we write, we make sure to follow writing processes to help us develop creative, compelling copy that reaches our target audience effectively. These processes may be different depending on the writer, but following are a few key considerations to help you develop your own personal writing process.
Prepare before you type. Spend time with your good ol’ pen and paper. Create a simple outline or organize your information in a logical way. Short and sweet, this outline should include the purpose/intent, main message, as well as a few supporting examples/outlying thoughts. Consider it a framework.
Primary vs. Secondary. Determine what information is primary and what is secondary. Develop your main message and then expand. Always remember who your audience is and why you are writing. If you feel yourself going off base on tangents, look back at your outline to help keep you focused.
Write with precision. Do not lose your audience by rambling one-off thoughts that do not tie into your main message. Details are picturesque, but remember that too much fluff can result in mixed messages.
Don’t rely on spelling and grammar checks. In the age of mighty word processing software that underlines every grammar faux pas, it is easy to begin typing and hope thoughts translate accurately to the written word. Make sure your writing makes sense to humans – not just the computer.
Step far away. After you have finished writing – close the document and, literally or figuratively, step away. Focus on something else for a bit. Share it with a co-worker or friend to get another pair of eyes on it. When you return to edit, you will notice any imperfections or oddly worded sentence/ideas.