College professors have lived by the mantra “publish or perish” for a long time. And there’s good reason for that. In academia, frequent publication, whether in the form of a book, research or articles in academic or industry publications, reinforces a person’s reputation as a subject matter expert. In turn, these published works impact an institution’s ability to recruit staff and students as well as secure financial support from foundations and alumni.
Business leaders typically don’t seek publishing opportunities for the same reasons as academics. However, getting published is still an essential corporate tool and offers these key benefits:
- It positions them as industry experts and thought leaders.
- Publishing increases their visibility in the marketplace.
- It creates a competitive edge and corporate distinction for authors and their companies.
So what keeps executives from using this tool to their advantage?
1. They have competing priorities. Most business executives are busy and often don’t find the time to write. They are involved with the day-to-day operations of their companies with the accompanying profit-and-loss responsibility. Additionally, they answer to multiple stakeholders whose needs have to be addressed. Other concerns include marketplace conditions, competition and business issues that contribute to the long-term success of the organization. It’s not surprising that writing falls to the bottom of the “to-do” list.
2. They have the knowledge to write but not the skills. Many executives are charismatic motivators and good communicators. They are likely to be more comfortable when presenting information in person. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in a one-on-one meeting, small-group presentation or as a keynote speaker. Some people just have a better delivery when the audience is live. Unfortunately, speaking and writing skills are not one and the same. Speaking is forgiving. Writing is not. It requires strong organizational abilities, logical and sequencing strengths, solid spelling and grammar skills and attention to detail.
3. They may not know what makes good content. Many would-be writers start out by wanting to promote their company’s products or services. Yet, this isn’t the type of content that appeals to readers. What makes for interesting and compelling reading is more customer-centric in nature and addresses the problems and challenges readers have. Good content is like a good story: it has a beginning, middle and end that engages people in a way that provides a valuable take-away.
Using Published Content
As companies begin planning for 2016, consider using published content (articles, white papers, case studies and other forms of marketing communications) as a way to connect or reconnect with your target audiences. Published content has a much longer shelf life than other forms of marketing such as direct mail and advertising. Plus, it contributes in a positive way to your brand image. In addition, published content can often be repurposed and used to further support the business development team.
As an incentive to get started, we are happy to provide you with a list of writing tips to make the content development process easier. Send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, if you are interested in working with a skilled writer who captures your message and your voice, please call us at 805 496-8850.