When approaching any type of writing, we follow Hake’s six key rules to clearer, more effective and more engaging copy. Last week we looked at rule number one: Know your audience. This week we are looking at:
Rule Number Two: Set A Clear Goal
We all know that we should take the time to create clear strategies when it comes to our businesses and that doesn’t stop at communications. But then neither does the not doing what we know we should (quit looking at me like that, treadmill). However, taking the time to properly plan your communication efforts and understand the objective(s) that you want it to achieve, really will lead to more effective content.
Like any formal business strategy we must:
Really think about and question:
- What the objective of the communication is
- What information you want your audience to know
- How you want your audience to feel
- What you want your audience to do
Understanding this will completely change the way you draft a communication about an exciting new product launch, to communication about the closing of a business department.
Once you have analysed the purpose of the communication, you need to set clear and definable goals, to help guide your writing. SMART is the tried and tested way of setting goals and we’re not one to question that. Goals should be:
The more specific the goal, the easier it is to achieve through focused communication.
How do you know you’ve achieved your goal if you can’t measure it.
Content writing can achieve a lot but ensure that it can achieve the goal in mind.
Is the goal relevant to what you want to achieve?
Set a defined time limit. It will keep you focused and give you a deadline to work towards and measure your success against.
Understanding your goal by taking the time to strategise and analyse, will enable you to design and create cleaner, clearer and more effective writing.