Writing is the new speaking

Someone asked me the other day what my background was before getting into the third sector, and I said it was literature. As they looked at me with pity/disbelief/wonderment in their eyes, I explained that this had come in useful when writing funding applications, investment proposals and policy documents. Not, as a cynic might suggest, because these are works of fiction, but because they are all essentially about constructing an argument or making a case in a clear, coherent manner. [In theory] Which is pretty much what our teachers used to ask of us in writing an essay.

Now before we head down the "Evaluation in triplicate: drawing the (triple bottom) line…discuss" type of road, I mention this for two reasons. One is the fact that SSE is recruiting at the moment and whilst deciding on ‘key skills’, I kept returning to excellent written skills being essential. The second is that I ran across this post on the MicroPersuasion blog: "Writing is Part of Almost Everyone’s Job" which argues that writing is becoming more and more important:

"Almost every white-collar job today requires good communication
skills. There’s nothing new to report there. However, what is new is
that much of the way we communicate today in business is in writing
through email. So even if you’re not a scribe by trade, you’re a still
a writer by default.

Writing not your forte? That was just fine 10 years ago, but not
anymore. Writing is how business gets done. Communication inside
corporations will shift somewhat away from email to wikis and blogs,
but that doesn’t really change the need for this skill."

And it’s no different in this sector; particularly for social entrepreneurs given that they are often responsible for everything (at least to start with), from the business plan to marketing literature to funding applications to press releases. MicroPersuasion recommends the ‘Word Wise’ blog which is good, with tips and advice on how to improve your writing / presentations; check out this post on e-mail subject headings, for example, or this one on one of my personal bugbears/failings: e-mail tone.

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