Updated: Oct 16, 2020
Effective written communication is a difficult skill to master at the best of times.
Whether you're a leader or a starter in business, anticipating the psychological responses your readership may have to your writing is a universal challenge.
Understandably, businesses are struggling to navigate the changed contextual landscape that the COVID-19 pandemic has created.
Here are our quick tips to help you write effectively for both your internal and external comms:
In times of crisis, people want clear information. Be direct and remain focused on the essential points. Although straying from the point may be okay at other times, people need clear and concise information right now and won't have the time for unnecessary deviation.
Don't encourage it. And certainly don't breed it. Use a sensible rationale to sell your product/service/idea, not opportunism. Not only is it morally questionable but people will recognise it for what it is and your reputation may suffer as a consequence.
3. Humour (or humanity)
Use it. Not overly, but people do respond to a bit of levity in times like this. Perhaps just add a phrase or two in your otherwise earnest email to show that your alive-and-kicking spirit is still there. Laughter brings us together and reminds us of why we're in this whole human gig after all. If you're not confident about writing with humour, say something human and relatable instead: it will have a similar effect.
As many psychologists can testify: empathy is a practised skill as well as a natural response that nurtures healthier human engagement. As obvious as this sounds, it's worth reiterating: sometimes we need to take the time to imagine ourselves in the situations of others before expressing anything that attempts to offer understanding. With deliberate and considered compassion, your language will naturally flow with authenticity.
"This too shall pass": a superb mantra. The current situation with COVID-19 will affect us all physically, economically and socially. But as we know from medical studies across the years, it's amazing what a bit of hope can do. For some people, it lies dormant until inspired, so inject a bit of it into your writing: it may well change someone's day.
FULLPROOF REMAINS COMMITTED TO SUPPORTING OUR STAFF, OUR CLIENTS AND OUR COMMUNITY DURING THE EVOLVING SITUATION WITH COVID-19. Our charitable arm, ActiveProof, will continue to support NFP and charitable organisations in need of writing services during this time.