Does writing well still matter?

In the age of Twitter, how important is word craft? Some argue it doesn’t matter as much while others maintain it’s as critical as ever.

In the age of flip cameras and Yammer and Twitter tweets full of hash marks and perplexing abbreviations, does good writing matter in the way it used to for communicators?

Sure, people will always be stringing words together. But have writing skills declined in importance when you can post video of a CEO’s remarks on a corporate blog rather than write up a piece for the newsletter? And are those kids with the dazzling technical skills writing worse these days?

Liam FitzPatrick, head of practice at Bell Pottinger Change and Internal Communications in the U.K., stirred up a series of Web denunciations this year after he posted a blog item argumentatively titled, “Who cares about writing skills?

Having waved a red flag in front of the bulls of Pamplona, FitzPatrick bravely held his ground in a recent interview from London. He’s not arguing for sloppy writing. Rather, he insists, writing is just a subset of skills needed to communicate, and other abilities are more important in planning the message or gathering feedback for top bosses.

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