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Tips for working with a professional writer


Here are suggestions for a more productive experience when working with an outside writer:

  1. At the outset, provide solid, relevant information about the project, audience, expectations, deadlines, budget and review process.
  2. If your agency or organization has a standard creative brief, rock on! If not, request a creative work plan to supply key points and direction at kickoff.
  3. Be prepared to address these kinds of questions:
    • What types of communications materials need to be created?
    • What is driving the need or timing?
    • Who is the audience and what are their concerns?
    • “What's in it for me?” — what are the advantages for your target?
    • What are you selling or promoting?
    • If your organization is raising funds, why are they needed?
    • Why is your organization uniquely qualified to address this need?
    • Who is your competition?
  4. Supply contact information for interviewing sources and subject matter experts.
  5. Provide samples of your most relevant existing materials.
  6. Share print samples and websites that help inform creative direction.
  7. Expect to discuss the desired voice, tone and style. If there is a specific writer's style book or other brand guidelines, please provide these documents or access to them online.
  8. If revisions are necessary, be constructive and convey how the copy needs to be different.
  9. Lavish praise, prompt payment and kind referrals cultivate goodwill for potential future favors.
  10. When the project is complete, please provide printed/electronic samples, feedback on performance, and any input on results achieved.