Recently I’ve been reading and working on some client-facing materials (on and offline) for a couple of companies, big and small. Here’s a little cri de coeur from me. Think of it as a little set of guidelines if writing and publishing copy isn’t your stock-in-trade.

  1. If you’re going to publish content, behave like a publisher. Go read a magazine, or a good website, or a book, and see how the pros lay it out. Bad layout, spelling and grammar turn readers off. Use your top proper English like wot I do.
  2. Your desire to broadcast is not matched by your audience’s desire to learn. They are not an empty vessel waiting to be filled by your wisdom.
  3. No-one cares about your acronyms. No-one.
  4. If you find yourself using the words ‘stochastic modelling’ in a client-facing presentation, stop. Leave the building, find some hawthorn twigs, and beat your back until it’s bloody. If it’s your compliance department trying to get you to do it, beat them until they’re bloody instead.
  5. Please, please, write for your audience, not into the ether. If you don’t know who your audience is, don’t write it. Spend the time finding out, it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Just basics, but dearie me, our industry does struggle with them.  Mind you, if everyone got it right I suppose my job would get a lot harder.