Recently, a pro-Trump press release was sent to a journalist, which contained the following statement:
Donald Trump lives, works, eats and employs people of all races and religions.
Unsurprisingly, the thought of a cannibalistic President generated a storm of hilarity on social media.
(And yes, we know President Trump didn’t actually write this. Sorry for the slightly misleading headline - but sometimes a little creative licence is useful to get someone’s attention. There’s a good writing tip right there).
This funny anecdote does raise a very important point, however. Which is: everybody needs to be able to write better than this.
Credibility is the foundation of our professional reputation. And whether it’s emailing geographically disparate colleagues or putting together an important client proposal, much of our interaction is in writing. Think of the poor PR person who wrote this release - do you imagine them to be particularly competent at their job? Would you hire them? Our personal brand depends heavily on our ability to come across well on paper, and yet we invest so little time in growing this skill.
In the professional world, many people are hired and subsequently promoted on a particular technical skill set. Great engineers or finance experts aren’t necessarily expected to be wordsmiths. But with progression comes new expectations - notably, the ability to persuade, inform and win business. And the ability to write effectively is absolutely fundamental to this.
In my career in both consulting and communications, I've seen countless good initiatives fall over because they weren’t presented well enough. Someone, somewhere in the process, just couldn’t get the words right. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Writing is like a muscle - it is a skill that can be taught and grown over time.
Good writing brings not only credibility to the individual, but helps organizations to win new clients and enhance their public reputation.
Talk to us here at Ursa about how we can work with your team to build professional writing skills. Before they publicly imply that your boss is the next Hannibal Lecter.
(It’ll be more fun than fava beans and a nice chianti, we promise!)