Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, writing is back in vogue.
Yet, fresh challenges stand between today’s business writing and grabbing the reader by the scruff of the neck.
As we scrutinize our own writing and the associated internal training, we view seven issues that guide us:
1. Education of stakeholders: This has nothing to do with the actual writing part, but everything to do with the end product. It’s still very — no make that very very, tough — to help the stakeholders with sign-off power recognize that the “me, me, me and now here’s a little more about me” era has ended. I’ve been conducting our storytelling workshops for several years, and the No. 1 thing participants come back to me with is, “Yes I believe in storytelling. I’ve made the shift in my writing. But how the hell do I get the big bosses to sign off?” I wrote a post with this in mind, “Who Moved My Story?”
2. Online is a different game: There’s no getting around the fact that the Internet has changed how people consume information online. We need to develop online copy with pace (i.e., shorter sentences, conscious choice of verbs, subheads that break up copy, etc.).
3. And mobile is a different game than online: Attention spans gets even shorter. Visual storytelling must come into play. I know PR people don’t come with MFAs, but we absolutely need to get the visual storytelling religion for mobile. With this in mind, we increasingly turn to illustration where anything is possible.