Only a journalist will do

The word ‘content’ is used everywhere in the commercial world, mostly in a random and unstructured way.

That is scarcely surprising; it covers so many variable areas: marketing, obviously – we all know that. But also company websites, newsletters, brochures, company magazines, HR manuals, social media, annual reports, case studies, product reviews, customer testimonials, CEO blogs, user manuals. And so on…

Every piece of communication that people in companies write is information that can be shared. Maybe should be shared. Or maybe should be kept secret and private. It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that what is written is true, factually correct and penned so that is easily read and understood. In other words, created and crafted to a professional writing standard.

Which is why if it’s an important document this is a task best left to professional writers.


Because journalists, plausible manner and rat-like cunning to the fore*, have been trained to find stories amidst the puffery; to find an angle that makes the difference between a piece of boring sales piffle and something that people actually want to read, writing it both well and correctly.

You cannot learn this. It is an ability derived from experience that seeps into your consciousness like alcohol into your liver; slowly and over a period of time.

If the first thing your content says to people is “we cannot spell” or “we don’t care if this is interesting” the second thing it says is “we don’t care to get important things right”.

And that will be the end of that engagement.

*Nicholas Tomalin, Journalist: “The only qualities essential for real success in journalism are rat-like cunning, a plausible manner and a little literary ability.”