It’s tricky. Explaining to people what I do. When I answer “writer” their eyes often glaze over and an “oh wow” escapes their mouths, and I can almost see their romantic visions of me sitting in billowing wind composing the next great novel. This delusion becomes ever more apparent in doctors’ rooms when you are handed a form and just about have an anxiety attack when faced with one all too short line to fill in your occupation: Writer… Yes, I add the ellipsis, as the word just seems too short to capture the reality of what it is that writers for PR agencies actually do.
Here’s the reality. We spend a lot, and I mean A LOT of time fine tuning messages. There is no wind billowing as we sit day after day hunched over our beloved laptops ignoring articles stating that sitting will shorten our lifespan and that eight hours of sleep are ideal, which we always tend to come across during our research.
There are always deadlines. It is the nature of the job. But I believe we owe it to our clients and their products, as much as to ourselves, to take precious care of every piece. Successful writers therefore have the skill to look at every press release, column, corporate brochure and more, from a strategic, content and language point of view. An effective writer knows what will add value, what will entice and what will offend.
Everything we write is deliberate. It has been added to, edited, rewritten and polished. It is well-researched and viewed from our target audience point of view. There is no ego involved, as it is not about us. We are chameleon writers who become the voice and the tone of a vast array of products and clients. One day you might write about surge protectors, the next day about make-up. We might work for “us” as an agency, but we do in fact stand wordlessly behind our clients, listening and planning, all the time thinking until the words that are spot-on tumble out of us.
We therefore sit in the wings much of the time, and could perhaps even be seen as ghost writers, sometimes friendly, sometimes grumpy, as we passionately put together the perfect and most powerful nucleus of the piece.
Our role is to do this. To add great value to the content through research and words that tickle interest without distracting a diverse set of audiences through various channels, from publications to social media.
Yes! We are writers. We love grammar and laugh hysterically when memes on the subject of language, puns or the like cross our desk. But, for the love or hate of the Oxford comma, we play an important strategic role and bring with us corporate communication experience and vast business understanding, which we expertly weave into the language of every announcement, feature, column, Tweet, product release and more.
So, if it is not too much to ask, could the doctors’ rooms please increase that space following “occupation”?