If you’re a public relations writer, there’s a good chance that you’ve got more than one client on your roster of responsibilities. You might go from writing a byline for a C-level executive at a non-profit one day to drafting social media copy for a financial consulting firm the next day. In short, as comms pros, we can be asked to adjust the way we think about our approach to writing. Flexibility and adaptability are two of the most desirable traits in a comms writer, and when you’re able to train your brain to switch over as your work demands, you’ll become an asset that is perfectly able to capture the story of any client you’re communicating for.
Nailing the voice
If you’re working on a roster of clients with different writing demands, you’re very likely going to have to adjust the tone and voice that you write with. For example, you might have one client that is prone to making grand pronouncements and using flowery language, while a second may mandate a conservative approach that doesn’t stray from the main path.
As a communicator, it’s your job to figure out what type of voice is going to fit the assignment. A great way to do this is to hold content capture meetings with your clients in order to gain a sense of what they’re looking for and pin down not just what they want written, but how they want it written. A campaign touting a new hire on social is going to take a much different form than a report detailing all the organization’s marketing initiatives for a year, and you as a writer need to be able to switch up your voice accordingly. Listen to what your clients have to say and be attuned to what they’re asking you to put out into the world. Your words should be a mirror not only for their goals as an organization but as a direct echo of their voice.
Working with feedback
You’re also going to have different levels of feedback coming from multiple directions. In the editorial process, it’s critical to incorporate feedback from your clients that might vary widely from assignment to assignment. As a comms pro, you can’t take feedback too personally — some of your clients might prefer to be incredibly hands-on with edits, while others might just take a look and leave the rest to you. It’s your job to incorporate the client’s notes in order to capture the story and make the work feel as if they themselves penned it. The more you work with feedback from an individual or organization, the better you’ll be able to really put yourself in their shoes as a writer to ideally tell the story.
Have a plan
As with any kind of public relations communication, getting a plan set ahead of time can make your life as a writer much easier. For instance, you could try to develop editorial calendars and content creation plans with your clients during the ideation process — this way, you can have ideas to run by the client and they can also respond with their own desires regarding stories that you can slot into the overall plan.
In addition to making the client happy, having a varied set of subject matter and content formats will help keep the audience engaged. Consider changing in shorter form blurbs with longer, more time-intensive pieces to keep the audience always on their toes and wanting more.
By being adaptable and ensuring that your writing is able to fluidly move from subject to subject while capturing the correct voice and tone within the content, you’ll be setting yourself up for sustained success.
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Tags: writing tips