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Making Connections & Solving Problems

January 13, 2010

Light bulbDuring the last few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is I love about writing.

Of course, I love the way the words tumble from my imagination and form pictures on the page. Of course, I love the way certain words sound when they’re side-by-side on a page. But what I really love is solving the overall communication problem.

When a client believes they have a situation that needs immediate communication, they often feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to begin. That’s when its fun to step in, erase their worry and solve the problem.

Understanding the Problem

  1. Understand. The first step in the process is to understand the client’s problem. What happened that created the need for communication?
  2. Uncover. Once you understand the basic need, you can then dig a little deeper to uncover all the details and determine who’s affected by the situation. The client probably identified one audience that needs to know what’s happening. And often times that’s where they’ve stopped. Because they’re stressed, they may not have thought beyond the immediate need. Yet typically, there’s more than one audience affected.
  3. Examine. It’s up to you to think about all the audiences that may be affected by their communication emergency – and what follow-up communications may need to take place beyond dowsing the initial fire.
  4. Propose. No, I’m not talking marriage. As a communications adviser and consultant (yes, this is what you are even if you think you’re just a lowly writer), it’s your job to propose a solution to the client’s overwhelming problem. You need to sound confident. You’re the expert. Explain clearly and calmly how you’re going to solve their problem and put their mind at ease.
  5. Create. Then go and do it. Sit down, and knock out the pieces.
  6. Repeat customers. Providing a quick solution to your client’s problems will go along way to reinforcing your expert status and boosting your own confidence. Your clients will love you, and will remember to turn to you not only for their emergencies but for their run-of-the-mill communication needs as well.
  7. Prevent future fires. This will make both of you happier. You won’t constantly be running around trying to put out fires or correct quickly drafted copy by someone who’s not a professional writer. Your client will be happier because they can focus on what they do best, which probably isn’t writing – given that’s your job.

I’d love to hear what gets your blood pumping when it comes to writing, editing and connecting. Leave me a comment below.

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