If a picture is worth a thousand words, what are words worth?
Business professionals write everyday, often having never majored or minored in grammar, English or communications: emails, TPS reports, white papers.
Marketing, PR and social media types write even more: blogs and comments; case studies; press releases and pitches; short, pithy, and hopefully share-worthy tweets.
Elegant phrases or funny quips, copywriting, fiction, dialogue for stage and screen – I miss having a Joss Whedon show on my TV – I likes me some good writing.
Writing to be Heard
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Purposeful pauses and passionate delivery, Dr. King gave this sermon using cadence and rhythm to build and connect with the crowd, some of it ad-lib in the moment.
“April 4, shots ring out in the Memphis sky. Free at Last. They took your life but they could not take your Pride.”
U2’s Bono sings those words heartfelt, strong, resilient; poetry to be song from the heart and soul (even with the 80s hair).
Writing to be Read
I like to read snarky TV recaps and sportswriter Rick Reilly. I read a host of blogs because they make me laugh, think, grow as a communications professional. For example:
“When the dust and paint settled, what was left were two painters, some townspeople and the most powerful and beautiful shade of dark red anyone had ever seen. It covered streets, signs, people and walls. Silence once again reigned as people stared, stunned.”
“The very wrist which were once used to orchestrate and create are now dry, callus, and weak from carrying the weight of the steel. I was a prisoner of my past. My ‘history’ controlled my future.”
As I think about content, about the style and patterns to my writing I know that is how I plan it. The humor, the impact, the reveals, the object lessons on public relations and social media: it is written to be read.
In today’s complicated business world, good writing – effective, powerful communication – will always be worth a thousand pictures. Thoughts?
Photo credit: I also miss the writing of Waterson’s Calvin and Hobbes.