You’ll Handle the Content? Great, We’ll Bash our Skulls with Ball Peen Hammers.

written by: Mike Granetz

January 22, 2010

This calls for nothing less than unvarnished candor: You can’t write. You think you can, and you do a good job on your family’s holiday newsletter, or emails on company policy, or passable proposals. But when it comes to describing your business with precision, clarity, and eloquence, you’re yawningly mediocre at best and borderline schizophrenic at worst.

It’s not your fault. You’re busy running a business. It’s not so much about talent as it is about time. Practice your chips and putts every day, and you’re shaving strokes off your game before you know it. But you have to do it daily to keep the technique in tune.

Same goes for writing. You can’t decide to launch a new website or work up a clutch of new collateral, put all your budgetary muscle into the design, and then think you’re going to “knock out the content while watching the game next Sunday.”

It’s going to be an incoherent mess requiring as much, if not more professional intervention, editing, and proofing to make it work.

Not convinced? Write a reply to this post. Take one minute (a fair amount of time, actually), and another to read through what you wrote. If you’re absolutely satisfied, post your first-pass comment. We’re betting you’ll want to take a few minutes to clean it up before it goes public.

Save yourself the time and trouble. Put a skilled copywriter/editor on the task. Their job is to sift through the stacks of background material, interview the right execs and experts, and produce content appropriate to whatever medium you have in the works. If it’s for the Web, it’s going to be crisp, concise, at times as fragmented and blunt as a bumper sticker. If it’s for brochures or reports, it can be a bit more expository, but it still has to be written with active voice, prioritize key points, and flow with smooth, logical transitions.

Don’t tell us you’ll handle the content. Tell us what we need to pull it together. We’ll set up an editorial kickoff that helps your people understand the best way to share their expertise. We’ll wrangle the research. And we’ll give it the final copy perfect punch, tone and momentum.

You’ll save time, expense, and sanity — and you’ll be able to work on your short game.

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