I need to start this post by saying that I am not a writer. It’s a position I have maintained over many years as a communicator. I will admit to having a good command of English and that I am able to produce well written copy to fit an occasion or a strategy.
Writing, while important, is not the primary skill of communicators. Communicators must know: the communications objectives; the audience; the vehicles to reach the audience and the measures for success. That is strategic communications.
Start with the end in mind was a mantra of the late Stephen Covey. Unfortunately, I see far too much written in business that appears to serve no purpose, is not geared for the audience (if the audience is even identified) and because distribution channels are as undefined as the audience, the chances of measuring impact are nil – in other words, an absence of strategy.
So does writing always follow strategy? No. Sometimes, writing something helps shape strategy as it helps people crystallize their thinking and sometimes a piece written to a specific strategy results in a modification to the approach as people realize the strategy is flawed.
My engineering background helps me write logically. My creativity is expressed in articulating strategies, thinking outside the box and developing copy – not fiction – that achieves objectives.
I value writing not for its own sake but for its ability to harness ideas, express views and influence others. So while I am not a writer – I have dedicated my career to using words to achieve outcomes.