Archive for Tricked Out!

Tricked Out Tip #2: content writing

stages of writing web social media content

This one includes publishing and pre-writing (conceptualizing) as stages

A lot of people struggle while writing content for business or communication programs. Whether it is drafting a press release, a blog post, a Facebook update or a tweet, the principles of writing remain the same. Most people overlook basic fundamental rules while creating content for news, publishing or social media and wonder what went wrong! In my opinion, the education system in India does not help much either. There are hordes of professionals passing out from top colleges and B-schools with good grades and technical knowledge of their subject, but find it difficult to construct a single coherent sentence for business or communication to get their work done.

This handicap becomes glaring and painfully obvious, if to begin with you work in the communication industry and secondly you are expected to write on behalf of your clients or firm.

Well this is not really a long training manual on ‘how to write good content for web’. You can search for it and there are plenty of useful resources available online. It is essential for social media practitioners and strategists to be well versed with content creation and writing skills, to successfully execute client programs. Let’s face it, web can be an unforgiving medium, especially when a sore typo or a syntax error is staring in your face in the form of a tweet or an update on your brand property!

This is about the basics. The fundamental stages involved while creating content are –

  • Planning
  • Drafting
  • Redrafting or revising
  • Editing

I forget the last one very often, as you may have noticed by now after going through few of my blog posts! It is essential to follow these basic stages to create a good copy. Most people who claim that they don’t review what they write are just fooling themselves! Subconsciously you are reviewing what you write, even if you don’t want to!

Another small tip which works for me, if I am being extra careful about what I am writing is this – I save the draft copy of what I have written and close the document or folder for review later. This way I am able to see the copy with a fresh perspective and a little more objectively the second time around, which helps me identify a few things that could have helped the written content. Another simpler way is to share the draft copy with your friend or colleague for review, an alternate opinion always helps!

Hat tip: This post started as an idea as i see people constantly struggling and complaining about not being able to write effective content. My simple submission is if you try a bit harder and follow the process, you may find it a bit easier.

If you still don’t get it, then well you shouldn’t be in the communication business to begin with!! Well then you should find something else to do! 🙂

I came across a related post on aliventures along with more useful tips and advice. Do check it out.

 

Tricked Out Tip #1: email wars

email wars tip to get away with it

email bombs don't get you anywhere!

 

How to avoid email wars at work! 

There are days then you find yourself stuck in the middle of a situation where there’s this email staring at you menacingly from the screen. Most of us start furiously typing an apt response trying to get the last word in. Some of us choose to take the high road and leave it be. The wiser leave it for later and meet the person to resolve matters first hand.

But if you are the kind who NEEDS to respond, here’s a smarter way to deal with the issue.

Tricked out tip #1 –
Always make sure your response is half the size of the other person’s email. Remember brevity is the key here and keeping it short and sweet has its advantages!

So for example, if your boss writes this furious mail detailing each and everything that you have missed out on and wants an immediate response, ensure that you respond judiciously sticking to the key points rather than a point wise rebuttal.

Or if your colleague writes along email about how you are not being supportive at work with examples of how you have not done that in the past, you can just simply choose to say, “I will try and be more supportive”

Or if a person responds to your short mail with a shorter one sentence response, try simply saying, “Ok”.

Or an “Ok” with a “K”. (pure evil!)

It does two things. Allows you to gather yourself, collect your thoughts and think of ways to deal with the issue rather than get into a ego battle, which never ends in a good way for anyone.

And it lets you walk away with a bit of dignity rather than being smashed to smithereens.

Caveat: Do not try this with your boss on a critical issue! Or with people who may genuinely have a problem which is left festering and unresolved because of your callous approach. People should be given the due respect and dignity that they deserve. This is more of a way out for rants which can avoid potential flames over email or a full blown war at work! The message is simple, take the high road!

Hat tip: This tip was shared by a much wiser and experienced friend, as sound advice on a frustrating day. Works like a charm. 🙂