How a writers’ room can inspire your communications team

Collaboration on a writing project need not result in a camel—the proverbial horse designed by a committee. Here’s how to cultivate brilliance with the right mix of minds.

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Writing by committee sucks.

You know the pain. Over days or weeks, contributors cobble together a draft, then pass revisions around by email. One sorry soul amasses and interprets feedback, negotiating edits to please reviewers whose ideas are at odds.

Ultimately, someone “wins,” and others swallow their opinions to keep the peace and get the freaking message out the door. Bruised by compromise and frustrated by wasted time, the team delivers a lackluster communication.

Collaborative writing doesn’t have to be this way.

With confident leadership, honest participation from everyone and a strong grasp on the audience and the objective for the communication, you can get great writing from a committee. Those involved can actually find the process smooth, rewarding, effective and—yeah, I’ll say it—fun.

Work your message in a writers’ room.

Writers’ rooms are common practice in such fields as comedy, television and advertising. A handful of creative people gather to brainstorm. They pitch and share and develop ideas. They plan story lines, invent characters and debate plot twists.

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