Thursday, April 23, 2015

WriteCulture's workshops & recommendations

Some of you know I'm in the process of going from consultancy to company.

The website is still in the works, but here's some of the copy. 


Here's our top recommendation.

Two “Best Bet” foundational workshops

• Two half-day workshops
• Cut across all types of writing

Attendees use their own content as source material: bylined articles, media pitches, speaker abstracts, awards submissions, complex emails, case studies, reports, etc.

First: "Creating Compelling Content" -- 4 hours, limited to eight people at a time

1. Distill main point
2. Discover hidden news value
3. Structure for highest impact
4. Glue readers’ eyes to page
5. Build long-term trust relationships
6. Dramatically reduce word count
7. Think like a veteran professional writer

Second: "Being Your Own Best Editor" -- 4 hrs, limited to eight people at a time

(Unofficial nicknames: How to Have a Calm Supervisor, How to Write Like *David Pogue)

1. Demystify process – what to do when, with whom, how & why
2. Clarify writing standards for digital business era
3. Clean & tighten – tips for improving mechanics
4. Rev up verbs the real way, without a thesaurus
5. Learn when to slow down to speed up overall
6. Invite readers visually
7. Take responsibility

In both workshops, attendees make discoveries about their own writing. Each person brings their own work, and measures it against criteria, standards and examples in a workbook.

Attendees share ah-ha moments, and learn as much from their peers’ reactions as from the workshop leader. The outcome is not just illumination but motivation. Because they see it and feel it for themselves, they find the changes easier to make.

*Apologies to David Pogue  ;-) He didn’t participate in the creation of this workshop, but his writing appears in some of the examples.

David Pogue was the tech columnist for the New York Times for 13 years before moving to Yahoo Tech. He’s a monthly columnist for Scientific American and host of science shows on PBS’s “NOVA.” He’s been a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” since 2002. He’s won two Emmy awards, two Webby awards, a Loeb award for journalism, and an honorary doctorate in music.


These two workshops above are the place to start, no matter whether you are:

• rewarding a seasoned team with a refresher
• shoring up a growing team receptive to help

Micro-training by topic

After completing the two “Best Bet” workshops, teams can add micro-training on topics including “SAE Transition,” “Award Submissions” and “Turn Survey Results into News.”

After you’ve taken the foundational courses, you’re ready to add on. Please note there may be additional prerequisites for a few of the courses below.

All classes below are shorter in duration than the two “Best Bet” foundational workshops, so it’s possible to combine multiple workshops within a single day.

1. “Make Your Pitch a Hit” (3 hours) –- AAs to  SAEs, mixed-level
2. “Get Faster Email Replies” (3 hrs) -- interns to  AMs
3. “*→Turn Survey Results into News” (2.5 hours) -- AEs to AS/AMs, mixed
4. “*→Make Press Releases Strategic” (3 hours) -- AEs to AS/AMs, mixed
5. “Grammar for PR Pros” (1.5 hours) -- all levels, mixed-level
7. "Latest & Greatest AP Style for Tech PR" -- AAs to SAEs
8. "Build a Narrative Arc" (2 hours) -- AMs to VPs
9. "SAE Transition: Think Strategically" -- SAEs and experienced AEs nearing promotion
10. “Up-Level Reports for Executive Eyes” (2.5 hours) – interns to SAEs, by level
11. “Speaker Submissions” (2 hours) – interns to SAEs, mixed
12. “Award Submissions” (2 hours) – SAEs to VPs, mixed
13. “Interviews for Case Studies” (2.5 hours) – AAs to AS/AMs
14. “Think Like a Journalist” (times vary) — all levels

*→ The workshops marked with asterisk-and-arrow have prerequisites.

Ask for info about:

1. “Blogging for Business”
2. “Journalism for Bloggers”

Easy-to-add standalone classes

Recommended next-steps after the two “Best Bet” foundational workshops:

• “Brain Pack” – Develop a business mindset  (by job level).
• “AP Style for PR” — It’s the industry standard, and our workshop is efficient.
• “Grammar for PR Pros” — Top mistakes by educated professionals. Entertaining.