As professional communicators, we’re paid to be effective communicators. That usually means communicating concisely. So when it comes to demonstrating our worth as PR pros, how do we explain in detail our efforts without contradicting ourselves and writing a thesis? It’s a question that needs answering, because theses don’t typically attract many eyeballs.
The dilemma comes up often during industry awards submission time. We’re forced to reexamine our work in retrospect and think of a clear way to summarize months of status calls, late nights, endless email chains and tireless work. We don’t always feel like our results speak for themselves, so we walk the fine line between overloading our target audience with behind-the-scenes information and selling ourselves – and our work – short.
As a product of journalism school, I subscribe to the belief that less is more. When more is necessary, however, structure your information in such a way that prioritizes the important pieces and makes everything easier to digest. The inverted pyramid technique of organizing information, although not without its critics, does a good job of making sure the most vital nuggets are summarized first. Also, breaking down a large amount of text into easier-to-digest paragraphs of 2-5 sentences helps. It’s all about making your summary less daunting for someone to read – and ensuring they take away the vital pieces of information even if they bail early.
Where do you fall in this dilemma? How do you recap and demonstrate the value of your hard work?