How to help your writers avoid the pitfalls that make most corporate writing dull, uninspired and convoluted
Writers are second-class citizens in the corporate world.
To be a writer is to be a peon on the almighty org chart. Better to be someone with a much fancier-sounding title, something like internal communicator or communications partner or, best of all, strategic communications specialist. Now that really sounds like something. I don’t know what, exactly, but something.
Being a writer, it seems, doesn’t make the grade in most companies. Yet good, clear communication is the one skill that organizations can’t do without, and one that always seems in short supply.
Why? Two reasons: No one has made strong writing a priority, or the people doing most of the writing aren’t very good at it. Combine the two and you have an organization that struggles to get its messages across to employees, customers, media, investors and anyone else who might be listening. And that’s just not good business. Here’s worse news: If you’re a communications executive, this is your fault.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for communications people being strategic thinkers and valued counselors who advise executives how to frame the mission, shape the message, engage the work force and commune with customers.