I once noted on Facebook that you know you have a popular profession when everyone tries to dabble in it. Such is the case with writing. Everyone believes that professional writers do something very easy. After all, everyone writes words. How hard can it be?
In fact, every word a professional communications consultant writes must be carefully considered and written with the knowledge and experience gleaned from their entire career.
I know, for instance, that a single improper word, whether written or spoken, can not only lose the trust of your reader, but can ruin a reputation or derail a campaign overnight.
Such was the case of George Allen, a Virginia Senator who was running for re-election in 2006, and planning a future presidential campaign.
During a campaign event, he made an unscripted remark when he referred to one of his opponent's staffers, who was there taking pictures, calling him "Macacca." The staffer was of Indian descent, and the word was used as a slur against brown people in India.
The resulting media firestorm ruined his campaign and any chance for a future in politics.
This is among the primary examples I use when telling candidates for office that they must campaign from written speeches and ought not ever tweet or use Facebook themselves.
The same is true for a CEO of the major company, or a single businessperson just starting out in their profession.
Professional writers know what words to avoid, and not just obvious slurs. Avoiding the wrong words, phrases, slogans, context, tone, confusing jargon, trigger words, or trite sayings - and using the most effective words - can keep a message on track, either for a politician or a business professional.
Words have the power to move people to action, to inspire the mind, and to touch a human being's deepest emotions.
Words, therefore, ought to be chosen and used with great care and skill. Professional writers are worth having, and worth compensating fairly.
When so much rides on the written word, it just makes sense to have someone assist you who has made a career of writing.
Consider Stephen Abbott of Abbott Media Group for your firm, campaign, or group's communications needs.
Stephen Abbott is principal of Abbott Media Group, located in Central Texas, but available remotely, worldwide. He brings decades of news media, political, and business writing skills, along with political and social media management skills to the table for every client.