Getting The Most Out of Creative Services

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Writin’ Ain’t No Easy Job!


In case you thunk that writin’ business stuff be a snap, thunk agin! (And especially if you’re expecting an office assistant or website designer to be a writer!)

Oh, and just to kick it in gear, you might do the thunk agin part with a blank screen and a blank piece of paper in your face. Thirty years of business writing taught me that very few day-to-day business tasks are more challenging than performing a creative process that most people seem to think is simply a mechanical function. It’s not. Try it. Then be embarrassed.

Write a business plan for us, will you? I need it for an investor meeting next week. (Most effective business plans take months!) And, before you get started, knock out a couple of TV commercial scripts for the sale that’s coming up. (At least a few weeks, if there are expectations of having any impact.)

Oh, and we’ll probably need three or four blog posts (another week) and an online banner ad about that sale too (a couple of days). Will you also fit in a speech for me to give to the Roundtable Club? Say 25-30 minutes? (Another week!)

Sour grapes examples? No: Reality. If you own or operate a business and expect someone to write AND GET IT RIGHT, realize that the creative process doesn’t turn on and off like a water faucet. Effective writing is not about writing; it’s about RE-writing! RE-writing takes time and effort and knowledge and skill and experience. The simpler it is, the harder the task.

Also Reality: “Creative” people in business (or anywhere, for that matter) are more sensitive as a rule than say lawyers or accountants or investors or engineers. So –like flies– you’ll catch more with honey! Try always to give them extra time, to provide them with extra input, and then to stay out of their collective hair!

Nothing wrong with asking for rough drafts or updates, but avoid harsh criticism– as you would with a customer–if you’re interested in getting outstanding work back. Explain points you disagree with the same way you would want others to explain points that they might disagree with you about. It’s not that hard, and you will gain both respect and greater effort.

It’s one thing when someone takes twice as long as you think she or he should to perform a routine mechanical task, but quite another when you assume that the creative process is routine and mechanical and proceed to set unrealistic deadlines . . . unless you really don’t care about a quality image or delivering a meaningful message?

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HAL ALPIAR Writer/Consultant 302.933.0911, LLC
National Award-Winning Author & Brand Marketer – Record Client Sales

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