Writing. At Strategic America, writing can be as simple as a blog about writing, or as complex as a white paper used to reach a very specific, niche audience. However, there are a few general truths about all writing at an advertising agency. Here are four truths that are important for all writing:
1. Know your audience
Obvious? Sure. Easy? Not always. Your audience is much more than the demographic data that we’ve all come to know and love. You need to know how they think, what they’re reading, their interests and aspirations, and what trends are important to them. Many times, this means having a solid foundational understanding of the industry you’re writing for. But sometimes, it’s as simple as having a great client relationship where you can easily stay up to date with what’s happening. The readers’ perspective should ultimately dictate voice, tone and subject matter because they are the end consumer—and the ones who will determine whether you’ve done your job well.
2. Keep it concise
Regardless of the industry you’re targeting or the way it’s published, your writing should be short, concise and conversational. That can make all the difference in whether it’s read, skimmed or skipped altogether. A trick to test this is to take out a dollar and hold it up to the screen or printed piece. If a paragraph extends past the short side of the dollar, it’s too long. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short
3. Make it relatable
Weaving in elements that make it easy for the reader to understand and relate to can help them more easily grasp the concept you’re trying to convey. Without that connection, they might end up searching for the same information elsewhere. This is especially true with topics that are complex in nature or require a lot of background knowledge. A good trick is to use an analogy that is easily identifiable and understandable by the reader.
4. Ask yourself “who cares?” one more time than you think is necessary
Some people may feel like this is slanted toward PR folks, but it can help your writing stay focused and ensure your writing is clear and concise. If you’re writing with a clear objective, it’s easy to ask (and answer) this question. You are writing for a purpose; now make sure you’re backing it up by writing something helpful or informative for your readers.
Of course we’ve barely scratched the surface when we think about writing, but hopefully these four tips have helped create even the smallest spark to push your writing forward.