3 secrets weapons to writing about hard topics

Writing about these things will never be easy. But you can be more effective at it.

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Writing about these topics is hard.

Writing about these topics will never be —and should never be — easy. We must always keep our compassion and empathy when messaging around these difficult events. But we must find ways to get through them and give full justice to these situations.

Ragan’s recent Writing Workshop for Internal Communicators, the “Writing about Sensitive Subjects” panel tackled these thorny questions.



Lisa Claybon, vice president of communications for Compass Group North America & Chartwells K12, and Amanda Minto, director of HR communications, technology, product, and Xperience at Comcast, shared their experience in messaging the tough topics.

Here are three tools you can use the next time you have to share the worst news.

Read a piece out loud

This is an underrated piece of writing advice in general. Reading a piece out loud has big benefits for editing and improving word flow, but it also can help inject humanity into statements in difficult times.

When we read words on a paper, we tend to see them as inert. Reading them out loud connects us back to their meaning and helps us see where places might come off as cold, brusque or otherwise not up to the moment.

“If somebody shared this with you, how would you take it?” Claybon asked.

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